News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Syrian trips attempt to fill void in policy

It is difficult for Americans to take President Bush seriously when he virtually accuses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of treason for meeting with the president of Syria while he ignores Republican House members doing the same thing.

The three Republicans included Robert Aderholt, who represents part of Decatur. Rep. Aderholt's delegation's mission was virtually the same as Speaker Pelosi's.

"We just wanted them to know that the lines of communication are open and if we can find some common ground on some issues we need to go forward," Rep. Aderholt said, after returning Wednesday.

The GOP group said it made clear its support for President Bush. Was that why the White House treated the trio so gently?

The United States is not a monarchy and the president heads one of the three branches of government. When he's wrong, the other branches have a constitutional duty to say so.

The previous Republican-controlled Congress allowed the president free rein in mismanaging the war on terrorism. Now they see that was a mistake.

"None of us in the Congress work for the president," Mr. Aderholt said upon his return.

The White House isolated itself from finding a diplomatic solution to problems in the Mideast by its bellicose language. Now, Congress is trying diplomacy to bring peace to the area.

These are extraordinary times in which the president is no longer speaking for a majority of the country on the war. The Syrian president knows that. He knows a majority in Congress also thinks Mr. Bush is wrong.

Sometimes a president loses his credibility and can't speak effectively for his country. That's obviously why both Democrats and Republicans made the trip.

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