From the Rachel Maddow Show Oct. 5, 2009. Rachel reiterates this report from TPMDC--The GOP's New Foreign Policy: Undermine American Diplomacy:
An interesting pattern has been emerging in the Republican Party's handling of foreign policy: Individual GOP officials are now making a regular point of not only formulating an alternative foreign policy, to be presented to the American people and debated in Congress -- they're acting on it too, and undermining the official White House policies at multiple turns.
• Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is visiting Honduras in order to support the recent military coup against a leftist president, which has been opposed by the Obama administration and all the surrounding countries in the region. (Late Update: DeMint's office says he is not taking sides during his visit to the current Honduran leadership, denying the New York Times reports that this was his intention.)
• Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) will be going to the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, bringing a "Truth Squad" to tell foreign officials there that the American government will not take any action: "Now, I want to make sure that those attending the Copenhagen conference know what is really happening in the United States Senate."
• House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) traveled to Israel, where he spoke out against President Obama's opposition to expanded settlements. He also defended Israel on the eviction of two Arab families from a house in east Jerusalem, which had been criticized by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
• Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) boasted in June that he told Chinese officials not to trust America's budget numbers. "One of the messages I had -- because we need to build trust and confidence in our number one creditor," said Kirk, "is that the budget numbers that the US government had put forward should not be believed." Since then, he has declared his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Anyone remember this statement by Trent Lott when some Democratic Congressmen dared to visit Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion?
Lott raps U.S. congressman in Iraq:
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, who is one of three House members visiting Iraq to urge Iraqi officials to avert war by allowing U.N. weapons inspectors back in, has acted irresponsibly, Lott said.
"For him to be in Baghdad, the center of one of the most dangerous dictators in the world, with all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, to be questioning the veracity of our own American president, is the height of irresponsible," said Lott, R-Mississippi. "He needs to come home and keep his mouth shut."
Or these attacks on Nancy Pelosi for going to Syria? Pelosi's Syria Trip: Media Advancing Right-Wing Spin.
As always, IOKIYAR.
Update. Transcript below the fold.
MADDOW: As Republicans search for meaning in the political minority, as they try to beat a path out of the political wilderness, an increasing number of Republican leaders seem to be trying to compensate for their relative lack of power at home by flexing their muscles abroad. Republicans have been traveling to other countries to try to undermine the policies of the United States. You might call it anti-diplomacy.
We first reported this phenomenon in June when Illinois Republican Congressman Mark Kirk bragged that on a trip to China, he had met with Chinese government officials and told them to not trust the American government on matters of the budget and the deficit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK KIRK: One of the messages I had-because we need to build trust and confidence in our number one creditor-is that the budget numbers that the U.S. government had put forward should not be believed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Don't believe the U.S. government, China. Congressman Mark Kirk's great idea for building trust and confidence is to tell China to definitely not trust us.
But a little over two weeks ago, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma made an announcement. He said that he was going to go rogue overseas himself. He says he plans on attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December and it's because he thinks that global warning is a hoax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JIM INHOFE: All these problems, it just didn't happen. In fact, the IED rate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Well, that's not at all-what was interesting part of what he said. What he said was, "I'm going to go ahead and announce now, I'm going to go to Copenhagen. I think someone needs to be there as a one man truth squad." A one man truth squad.
Senator Inhofe says the mission of his little one man truth squad will be to tell other countries not to believe what the United States says when our government negotiates on climate change and carbon emissions. And, you know, when it was just Mark Kirk going to China to tell the Chinese not to trust us, that was weird. Then when it turned out to be Mark Kirk plus Jim Inhofe, when it happened twice, sort of seemed like it might be a coincidence.
But when something like this happens three times, I think it's called a trend-which makes Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina officially the trend-maker. Senator DeMint is now back from meeting with the de facto government of Honduras, the government that the United States does not recognize.
Mr. DeMint called the meeting with the military government that ousted their president there, quote, "very productive." Adding, "We saw a government working hard to follow the rule of law, uphold its Constitution, and to protect democracy for the people of Honduras."
Senator DeMint is referring to a government that ushered its country's democratically-elected president out of the country in his pajamas, a government that until today allowed police and soldiers to break up public meetings, arrest people without warrant and restrict the news media.
Then today, remarkably, three more Republican members of Congress went to Honduras and visited with this government that we, as a country, supposedly do not recognize. Thereby jumping on the "go abroad to undermine American foreign policy" even though you're an American bandwagon -- this creepy, creepy bandwagon.