When you've lost Fox News
[T]wo prominent Fox News hosts, Chris Wallace and Shepherd Smith, harshly criticized Boehner and Netanyahu on Friday for secretly arranging a Netanyahu speech to Congress that is transparently aimed at undermining President Obama, and set up without the White House's knowledge.
The White House, State Department, and many foreign policy observers, including prominent former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, expressed outrage over the move. And, in a sign of just how many lines Boehner and Netanyahu crossed, so did the two Fox News hosts.
There's apparently a limit to just how obnoxious House Republicans (and the ever-obnoxious Netanyahu) can be toward the sitting president before those that consider themselves foreign policy wonks get queasy. Now we know where that line is, and "setting up a speech by a foreign leader for the purpose of undermining an American administration's foreign policy" steps over it. Also, people who are not House Speaker John Boehner have an inkling that staging such an overt propaganda effort is pretty damn insulting to the intended audience, which is to say us.
Smith said, "it seems like [Netanyahu's government] think[s] we don't pay attention and that we're just a bunch of complete morons, the United States citizens, as if we wouldn't pick up on what's happening here."
Well, yes, that would be the premise. Though a more pressing question for American audiences would be why John Boehner et. al are presuming the exact same thing. After all, the sight of Rep. John Boehner and a few hundred House Republicans standing up to applaud statements by foreign leader Benjamin Netanyahu after sitting on their hands during the most recent appearance of their own president is going to make for some enduring visuals on all the nightly news programs. I wonder what the public will think about that, and whether John Boehner has fully thought these things through.
The rationale for inviting Netanyahu is most specifically to undermine American diplomatic efforts in shutting down Iranian nuclear efforts, shifting momentum back toward potential American military action against Iran. Many in the Republican Party are keenly eager to see that happen (primarily the same neoconservatives that were keen to see action against Iraq, and isn't that a comforting thought), and it's informative to see the political risks those individuals are willing to take in order to nudge American policy closer to that preferred military confrontation. They'll have their bombing, damn it, even if it means being seen as publicly aligning themselves with foreign leaders rather than their president.