It seems to me that the White House has blundered, once again, by forgetting, once again, that the Democrats aren’t helpless anymore in the face of slander.
When Pelosi gets back from her trip, the House Foreign Affairs Committee ought to hold a hearing at which Pelosi and the Republican visitors to Damascus are invited to speak. If the Republicans show up, they should be asked about the White House role in setting up their trip. If they don’t show up, so much the better. Members of the Iraq Study Group, which recommended a re-opening
That hearing could be followed by written questions, and if necessary subpoenas, to officials in the White House and the State Department asking the same questions: when did the White House know about the two trips? What role did it have in setting up the Republican trip? Did it make any effort to ask Pelosi and her colleagues privately not to go to Damascus before using the trip as political ammunition? What is the opinion of senior career diplomats about the impact of the trip? If it’s such a bad idea to talk to the Syrians, why was Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Saurbrey sent to Damascus last month?
Every time the Democrats are hit, they should hit back, hard. It’s time to rub the Bushies’ noses in their lies, along with the noses of the journalists who supinely transmit those lies.