WASHINGTON: The Democrat-aligned mainstream media, in conjunction with the Left-wing pundit class, are hailing Army Lt. Colonel Vindman. Vindman claims that he was “concerned” about the manner in which President Trump was conducting foreign policy.
According to the Washington Post, Alexander Vindman “was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy.”
This from the article: “he was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy…” There is a huge fallacy in this. Anyone know what it is? https://t.co/L1Jfgck6G2
— Brit Hume (@brithume) November 2, 2019
Let’s be clear: Lt. Col. Vindman does not have a say in how President Trump — or any president — conducts foreign policy. Period.
It’s not even an argument.
Well, it wasn’t an argument when the president wasn’t Donald Trump.
Democrats holding an “impeachment inquiry” into alleged improper behavior by the President in dealing with Ukraine know that staffers are not the tail that wags the dog. The mainstream media and their pundit class know this.
But because the deep state’s objective remains to change the results of the 2016 election. Toward this goal, liberals are pretending that the rules of foreign policy engagement do not apply to President Trump.
Where the Executive Branch doesn’t have complete authority over foreign policy, the Legislative Branch plays a role.
Congress is responsible for declaring war and funding the various departments of government responsible for carrying out foreign policy, such as the State Department.
Very often in the past, Congress has either decided to fund certain initiatives or withhold funding from them in order to put their stamp on an administration’s foreign policy.
But in terms of direct relations between the U.S. and foreign governments, this falls to a president’s prerogative.
A Council on Foreign Relations backgrounder on the issue notes:
The periodic tug-of-war between the president and Congress over foreign policy is not a by-product of the Constitution, but rather, one of its core aims. The drafters distributed political power and imposed checks and balances to ward off monarchical tyranny embodied by Britain’s King George III. They also sought to remedy the failings of the Articles of Confederation, the national charter adopted in 1777, which many regarded as a form of legislative tyranny.
“If there is a principle in our Constitution, indeed in any free Constitution, more sacred than any other, it is that which separates the legislative, executive, and judicial powers,” wrote James Madison in the Federalist papers.
Nowhere in the Constitution does the conduct of foreign policy default to members of a president’s administration.
There are times, of course, when a president empowers a subordinate to handle certain aspects of foreign policy. However, those policies are not devised by the subordinate. Nor is that subordinate to question them. They are crafted by the President.
There is a remedy for subordinates who disagree with a president’s foreign policy decision. They can bring their disagreements to the president’s attention (if their pay grade is high enough) or they can resign.
Crying out for the fourth estate
It’s a disgusting abdication of journalistic integrity and ethics for the Washington press corps or any other media to even entertain the notion that a mid-level Army officer, regardless of his military achievements and experience, would under any circumstances have a right or obligation to question a president’s foreign policy decisions and objectives.
Not only is the president the head of the Executive Branch — roughly one-half of the constitutional foreign policy apparatus in our republic — he is commander-in-chief of all armed forces.
In the past, a military officer who attempted to undermine a president’s foreign and military policies would pay for it with his or her career.
So, too, should Lt. Col. Vindman.
Jon Dougherty has 30 years’ worth of experience reporting on domestic politics and foreign policy. He holds a BA in political science and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis. Dougherty is also the editor of The National Sentinel.