February 4, 2017 4:37 am -

How often is this going to have to happen?


Congress is already in diplomatic damage control.

Senators are huddling in meetings or on embarrassing phone calls with ambassadors of major allies, assuring them that, yes, America is still their friend.

They are cobbling together visits to other nations, something that members of Congress regularly do, but this time with the goal of assuring world leaders that powerful lawmakers do not walk in lock step with Mr. Trump.

Others are drafting legislation to blunt the force of Russia, with which the Trump administration has been uncharacteristically aligned.

They are also trying to discern some kind of consistency from the White House, which was made far more difficult when the administration seemed on Thursday to essentially be embracing President Barack Obama’s positions by demanding that Russia withdraw from Crimea, that Israel curb settlement construction and that Iran face more sanctions for ballistic missile tests.

“Congress will have to take a much more active role than usual in foreign policy,” said Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “In part, to try and move the Trump administration to support more traditional American values abroad and to counter some of the damage he has done. It’s going to be necessary and it’s going to be bipartisan.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan had to make a call to Australia’s prime minister, and

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released a remarkable public statement Thursday noting that he had called Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey, to express his “unwavering support for the U.S.-Australia alliance,” after a contentious phone call between Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull concerning the status of refugees from an Australian detention center.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.