Thursday, December 28, 2006

Senators Skip President Ford's Funeral

Hugh Hewitt's post yesterday, entitled "Turn. The. Plane. Around." linked to this AP story, also from yesterday. The AP reports:

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will miss the state funeral for former President Gerald Ford at the Capitol Rotunda on Saturday night, opting instead to lead a delegation to South America with an expected stop at the Machu Picchu Inca ruins.

Reid, D-Nev., left Wednesday afternoon from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland with a bipartisan group of five other senators, including Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the incoming assistant majority leader, for what has been described as a weeklong visit to Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

Manley said the senators opted to skip Ford-related ceremonies over the next few days because of the long-scheduled meetings with the South American presidents, noting that U.S. relations with some of the countries are in need of improvement.

Since when did it become the Senate's job to improve relations with foreign countries? Foreign policy belongs to the Executive branch. The Senate reacts, as in ratifying treaties.

What arrogance to believe that America's relations with Bolivia are resting on a razor's edge that only these six senators can negotiate and only at this time.

Gerald Ford was a president, and as such he (or his former office) deserves the honor of the Senate leadership's presence.

I can just imagine how the Democrats would howl if the Republican leadership were to blow off Carter's funeral, when it comes, to go do some sightseeing and president-schmoozing in South America. But of course, that would be different somehow.

The senators on this junket are: Reid, Durbin, Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Judd Gregg, R-N.H., Robert Bennett, R-Utah, and Ken Salazar, D-Colo. If you're in their states, you might want to let them know how pleased you are with their important trip.

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