Obama on the Wrong Side of History

Barack Obama has decided to align our nation’s foreign policy with its enemies. It should come as no surprise to those of us who have paid attention to him, but it is sad nonetheless.  On the matter of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, our national policy puts us on the same side as Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and a host of South American drug cartels.

The Hondurans are so concerned about Latin America’s history of despots, they wrote their constitution to ensure no despots could grow there.  Article 239 of their constitution states that any President who proposes extending his term in office is automatically removed from office.  Article 313 of the Honduran constitution allows their Supreme Court to deputize the Honduran military to carry out its orders, including removing politicians from office who seek to extend a President’s term.

Undeterred by their constitution, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya sought a constitutional referendum to keep himself in office.  The Honduran Constitution is clear — only the Congress can take such an act. The Honduran Supreme Court reiterated that and denied Zelaya his actions. That did not stop him.  He ordered the military to help him carry out the referendum.

As Sen. Jim DeMint recently noted, “For weeks leading to his arrest, Zelaya flouted the constitutional authority of the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court, and claimed for himself extra-constitutional control of his nation’s military and political institutions. Every institution from the Electoral Tribunal to the Supreme Court ruled that his actions were unjustified and illegal. Zelaya’s open defiance of democratic norms has set Honduras on a path toward violence, instability, and tyranny.”
Honduras has no impeachment process as we know it.  The Supreme Court, pursuant to the laws of Honduras, deputized the nation’s military to oust Zelaya for his actions.  In a letter last week from  DeMint and over a dozen other senators to Secretary of State Clinton, the senators noted that Honduras has very clearly spelled out that Zelaya’s ouster was handled constitutionally and the Obama administration has yet to cite any evidence refuting the Honduran government’s claims.

Nonetheless, Barack Obama declared the Honduran government’s actions a coup — never mind the government was preserving its democracy instead of overthrowing it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all.”  She called on Hondurans to uphold their constitutional processes, the very thing they were doing by ousting Zelaya.

The Hondurans have acted according to their constitution. Sources in the State Department tell me that, privately, even Hillary Clinton thinks the administration got this wrong. What’s more, Barack Obama has now publicly taken a position putting him on the side of men, not laws.  Though a foreign policy decision, Obama siding with men, instead of laws — something he also did siding with the Blank Panthers against the Justice Department — has startling implications in this country.