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If The Shoe Were On The Other Foot…

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Hypocrisy Meter

Lost in the media circus this week is a little covered story that I found interesting as well as indicative of the double standard rampant in today’s politics.

Let’s first travel back in time, long, long ago to April 2009:

At a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, Republican lawmakers criticized members of the liberal Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for meeting with Cuban dictators Raul and Fidel Castro during a junket to Cuba last week, and for failing to condemn the totalitarian regime’s human rights violations.

The lawmakers also dismissed President Barack Obama’s recent criticism of the Bush administration’s policies towards Cuba, and said that Obama must demand the release of Cuban political prisoners before making any concessions to the Communist regime.

“They left Cuba gushing with praise of the Castros and their regime,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R- N.J.), a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in reference to the CBC members who met with the Castros. “Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, they did nothing publicly to show any concern for the myriad gross human rights abuses perpetrated by the Cuban government [or] to the tragic fate of hundreds of Cuban democracy and human rights activists.”

Remember that? The Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba back in April and Republicans went batshit crazy. They decried the Caucus, accusing them of cozying up to an evil regime and lending credibility to the government with their presence. The gripes were understandable. Human rights is a big deal, and their position was that the U.S. should not thaw relations or lift sanctions against Cuba due to their lack of respect for human rights and gross miscarriages of democratic ideals.

Again, it’s their prerogative to take that position.

So, naturally, after the army of Honduras illegally staged a coup d’état which left democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya ousted from power, the GOP’s position would remain static. Right?

Ha, yeah right:

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduras’ coup-installed president told a U.S. congressional delegation Friday that full civil liberties would be restored within days, a spokesman for one of the lawmakers said following a meeting that challenged Washington’s attempts to isolate the interim government.

Interim President Roberto Micheletti said an emergency decree limiting civil liberties, including freedom of the press and assembly, would be lifted no later than Monday, said Wesley Denton, a spokesman for South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

The four Republican lawmakers received the assurances in a private meeting with Micheletti earlier at the presidential palace, said Denton, who spoke to the senator as he was changing planes in Miami aftere the meeting.

“DeMint and the delegation pushed him very hard on that issue … and stressed that it was very important that civil liberties be restored,” the spokesman told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Washington.

The brief, amicable visit with the leaders of the coup highlighted a divide in Washington, where the Obama administration considers the interim government illegitimate and is working to reinstate Zelaya. Many conservatives, however, side with the government installed after soldiers arrested the president in his pajamas and flew him into exile.

DeMint said before the trip that even calling Zelaya’s overthrow a coup is “ill-informed and baseless.”

Huh, does this dolt understand the definition of a coup? To be clear, these Republicans are supporting a de facto government that came to be through a takeover of the democratically elected executive branch. What I’m gathering from this is that it was wrong for the CBC to visit the U.S.-recognized Cuban government, but it’s okay for the GOP to visit the illegitimate leader of Honduras, who assumed power through an internationally condemned military coup.

This is pathetic. Another move to undermine the current administration. What happened to not meeting with governments that don’t uphold the fundamental principles of democracy? If you’re going to apply a set of principles to one scenario, how does it make sense to forgo its application to a different, arguably more serious scenario?

At the worst, this is treason. Think Progress points out that DeMint and the rest of his unauthorized delegation are in direct violation of the Logan Act, a federal statute “making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.”

The language is clear. Unambiguous. And that Republican delegation are traitors is in direct violation.

At the very least, this further proves the GOP to be the party of blind opposition and serial undermining. The Obama Administration takes a position that favors ousted president Manual Zelaya, so Republicans scramble to take the antithesis of that policy decision. This is like Republicans opposing President Obama speaking to school children (even though there is precedent–by a Republican president), except much, much more serious.

GOP Fail.

GOP Fail.

Gross and disgusting.

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