In no uncertain terms, the Constitution gives the President authority over foreign affairs. Things that happen outside the United States are now and have always been the purview of the guy who will have to command the military if things go wrong. Congress’ only dalliances outside our borders involve state trade with other countries, and approving wars for budgetary reasons. And that’s it.
However, President John Boehner made headlines recently when he decided “Nah…not a big fan of that.” Republicans like Boehner have long backed Israel in all things Palestine. Party, because Jesus. Also Muslims. But mostly because Israel and its oil explorations in the illegally occupied Golan Heights and Syria sort of matter to people in that business.
President Boehner made his position on that clear when he invited Israeli Prime minister Netanyahu to speak on the floor of Congress so he could make a case for sanctions against Iran. This, without clearing the invite of a foreign president, in regard to an ongoing conflict, through the actual United States President. Who we hear Boehner doesn’t like.
And that dislike is returned by Actual President Barack Obama not only toward Boehner, but also toward Netanyahu himself. Obama’s already said he will not meet with the Prime Minister this close to Israel’s elections, if only on the basis that he may be bargaining with a dead horse.
But there are larger considerations behind that, just as there are larger considerations behind Boehner’s assuming the Presidency by subverting Obama to interfere with foreign policy. And those considerations have not fallen on deaf ears.
A nationwide poll released by CNN and ORC International today shows that the country as a whole isn’t too happy with President Boehner’s electing himself to national office. And yes, that includes a lot of Republicans.
- 63% say Boehner overstepped his bounds, and did the wrong thing by inviting Netanyahu to Congress.
- 66% say the United States shouldn’t take sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict
And it gets even more pointed when you break those results down into demographics. Predictably, Democrats Against President Boehner number 81%, and liberals 78% total. But even 49% of conservatives say Boehner overstepped, including 45% of Republicans. Worse still, Independent voters (who make up the single fastest-growing voter bloc in America) were against Boehner by a whopping 61 percent.
Just as predictably, it was mostly younger people who were against Netanyahu’s invite, or getting involved at all. A crushing 75% of people under 50 want the United States to remain neutral, and say Boehner overstepped.
But surely, Boehner’s won some fans among the Republicans’ prime demographic: angry, rich, old white men living in the woods. Or, angry, upper-middle-class white men in the suburbs. Surely, he’s got them on his side. Right? Nope. The percentages of people who disagreed with President Boehner’s call by demographic:
- 58% of men
- 59% of whites
- 56 to 68 percent of people over 50
- 63% of people making over $50K a year
- 62% of rural people
- 59% of suburbanites
- 63% in the South
- 61% in the Midwest
Of course, there will be those who point out that about a third of the country is with him. At least, strictly on the basis that Obama is an illegitimate president who’s also a Kenyan Muslim Communist Nazi. So…yeah. Whatever. But elections aren’t typically won by one-third of the population (at least when people bother to vote). And even Boehner’s colleagues in Washington are making that known.
Only 52% of Boehner’s fellow Republicans backed his power grab, while 14% of Democrats said they’d like to hear The Rocket Man’s case. But more still, and a growing number, have simply decided they won’t be there to hear it if he does show up. No Republicans as yet have release statements saying they’re ducking out of Netanyahu’s PowerPoint to Armageddon. Don’t be surprised if they begin to soon, though.
Be even less surprised if the PM himself ultimately decides to cancel his appearance before Congress. With his audience quickly winnowing down to people who already want to #ChrisKyle anyone holding a Quran, Netanyahu may decide his time is better spent preaching to choirs elsewhere.
That may prove to be the stone that trips President Boehner on his way around the Constitution. The public is against him, and so is most of his own demographic voter base.
Then again, everyone knows that if you didn’t vote for a President, he’s not really the President anyway.
Maybe Boehner will get that new office after all.