This is perhaps a pretty desperate way for MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to try to resonate with her liberal viewers.
On her Oct. 6 show, Maddow specifically targeted Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C. for pursuing foreign policy objectives that run counter to President Barack Obama's on the issues of global warming and Latin America relations.
First she set her sights on Inhofe, who recently announced he would be making a trip to Copenhagen to offer an opposing U.S. perspective on the issue of global warming. Inhofe, who is the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, has been one of the most outspoken critics of efforts to force the U.S. government to enact economy-wrecking policy by putting limits on carbon emissions.
"A little over two weeks ago, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma made an announcement," Maddow said. "He said that he was going to go rogue overseas himself. He says he plans on attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December and it's because he thinks that global warming is a hoax."
In Maddow's estimation, the very idea that he would even disagree on global warming with the Democratic president is wrong.
"What was interesting part of what he said - what he said was, ‘I'm going to go ahead and announce now, I'm going to go to Copenhagen. I think someone needs to be there as a one man truth squad.' A one man truth squad," Maddow said. "Sen. Inhofe says the mission of his little one man truth squad will be to tell other countries not to believe what the United States says when our government negotiates on climate change and carbon emissions."
She likened this to a trip made by Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who told the Chinese not to trust the American government when it comes to what this administration will say about U.S. government fiscal responsibility - a legitimate concern for the Chinese, who are a large financier of U.S. government debt.
"And, you know, when it was just [Rep.] Mark Kirk going to China to tell the Chinese not to trust us, that was weird," Maddow said. "Then when it turned out to be Mark Kirk plus Jim Inhofe, when it happened twice, sort of seemed like it might be a coincidence."
Ironically, Kirk had voted with the Democratic majority on the issue of cap-and-trade back in June.
However, Maddow did her viewers a disservice by not mentioning that other members of Congress have done exactly the same thing, but they were Democrats and George W. Bush was president. In 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made a trip to Syria, a nation that is considered a state sponsor of terrorism, against the wishes of the U.S. State Department.
Maddow should also have recalled the trip of three Democrat members of the House to Baghdad in the run-up to the Iraq war. Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California went to Iraq in 2002 to criticize the Bush Administration and undermine its argument for military action against Saddam Hussein's regime. The three later said they hadn't known that the trip was sponsored and funded by Saddam's intelligence service.
Maddow seemed to think Pelosi is some sort of back-bencher whose antics could be overlooked, and that giving aid to an avowed enemy of the United States on the eve of war isn't worth noting. It's just more appropriate to attack Republicans. The next GOP senator on her list was Jim DeMint, who traveled to Honduras.
"But when something like this happens three times, I think it's called a trend - which makes Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina officially the trend-maker," Maddow said. "Sen. DeMint is now back from meeting with the de facto government of Honduras, the government that the United States does not recognize. Mr. DeMint called the meeting with the military government that ousted their president there, quote, ‘very productive.' Adding, ‘We saw a government working hard to follow the rule of law, uphold its Constitution, and to protect democracy for the people of Honduras.'"
DeMint is on the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee and these fact-finding trips aren't that uncommon. As JINSA pointed out, House and Senate members spent 6,910 days on "official travel" overseas in the first three-quarters of 2009, according to Congressional records. These members spent an estimated $9.4 million and traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan, but also "those bastions of American security concern" Scotland, Morocco, Denmark and Sweden.
"Sen. DeMint is referring to a government that ushered its country's democratically-elected president out of the country in his pajamas, a government that until today allowed police and soldiers to break up public meetings, arrest people without warrants and restrict the news media," Maddow said.
But here once again, a little history would be a service for Maddow's audience - recent history. Back in April, members of the Congressional Black Caucus traveled to Cuba, a country with which is illegal for U.S. corporations to do business. They met with dictator Fidel Castro. However, these fact-finding missions are only "creepy" when Republicans do it.
"Then today, remarkably, three more Republican members of Congress went to Honduras and visited with this government that we, as a country, supposedly do not recognize. Thereby jumping on the ‘go abroad to undermine American foreign policy even though you're an American bandwagon' - this creepy, creepy bandwagon," she said.