The Combination of Pork Barrel and Partisan Politics Produces an Ugly Result
Foreign policy is conducted by the President and his administration, not by the Senate. But the arcane and ridiculous rules of the Senate allow a single Senator to block the appointment of a person to a position in the administration, so a single Senator can exercise a huge amount of power if he or she is craven enough to do so.
Earlier the Obama Administration decided to upgrade fighter jets that are used by
for its defense, rather than sell them new jets. Sen. John Cronyn was offended, probably not so much about Taiwan as about the fact that had new planes been authorized they would have been built in his political backyard. This would have resulted in Sen. Cronyn being able to gain political points, which as everyone knows is the real purpose of holding public office. Taiwan
So Sen. Cronyn is going to block the appointment of a defense department official.
|Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) speaks|
at the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) in Washington, Feb. 11, 2012.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Last fall, the Obama administration informed Congress of plans to upgrade
’s existing fleet of F-16 fighters, instead of selling brand-new models. That move angered some lawmakers, and Sen. Cornyn responded Friday by placing a hold on the nomination of Mark Lippertto be assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security affairs. Taiwan
That makes good on a threat Sen. Cornyn made in a November letter to PresidentBarack Obama requesting a plan to address what he called “
’s looming fighter shortfall.” Taiwan
U.S., Sen. Cornyn wrote, “should not give in to intimidation and threats from , nor should we cede regional leadership there,” he wrote. China
Even the Wall Street Journal recognizes this for what it is.
Arms sales to
Taiwan are a longstanding point of friction between the U.S. and China, and Sen. Cornyn has been a persistent backer of the sale of new F-16s, which are built in . Fort Worth, Texas
The interesting thing is that while Sen. Cornyn does not want the
U. S. to give in to intimidation and threats from , he expects the Obama Administration to give in to threats and intimidation from Sen. Cornyn. China
For most of us this is just another example of blatant political obstructionism. For the
Senate and for elected officials, it is just business as usual. U. S.