Oh the irony. From Jim Lobe:
[W]orried that her quest might actually gain momentum, administration hawks — in this case, led by Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams and Vice President Dick Cheney — accuse the speaker of undermining the president and, working through obliging editorial writers at the Washington Post, among other sympathetic media, including, of course, the Wall Street Journal, attack her for "substitut(ing) her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president."
That would be the same Elliot Abrams who was indicted for (and pled guilty to) lying to Congress (no wonder members of the Bush junta have no fear of doing so) and who, in the 80s, led a very similar campaing to discredit then-House Speaker Jim Wright and his regional peace-making efforts as the Reagan administration sought to overthrow the Sandanista government in Nicaragua:
It was then-House Speaker Jim Wright who, with the quiet encouragement of Republican realists, notably Reagan's White House chief of staff, Howard Baker, Secretary of State George Shultz and his special Central America envoy, Philip Habib, sought to promote Arias' plan.
Like today's Republican realists on the Iraq Study Group (ISG), who have urged the Bush administration to engage rather than continue to isolate Syria, they understood that popular and Congressional support for a "regime change" policy in Nicaragua was not sustainable and Washington should seek a regional settlement on the most favourable terms available.
But Abrams, then assistant secretary of state for Inter-American Affairs, worked assiduously with fellow hard-liners in the White House and the Pentagon — just as he works today with Cheney's office — to torpedo both the Arias plan and Wright's efforts to advance it throughout the latter half of 1987.
It's not only the exact same play, it's being run by the same players, including Jim Baker as the neutered family beagle nobody listens to and the ever-obliging ComPost:
This was not forward movement; this was screwing up the process," the "senior official" complained to the Post which, as in its criticism Friday of Pelosi's meeting with Assad, obligingly followed up with its own editorial, entitled "What is Jim Wright Doing?", charging the speaker with having acted "as though the actual conduct of diplomacy in this delicate passage were his responsibility."
The Journal's neo-conservative editorial writers swiftly joined in, accusing Wright of a "compulsion for running off-the-shelf foreign-policy operations," just as last week they charged Pelosi and Democrats of seeking "to conduct their own independent diplomacy".
The Democratic controlled Congress refused to fund the Contras and the rest, as they say, is history.
But Abrams isn't doing it alone. He's got help from the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is funding the ads attacking Pelosi (YouTube above). Think Progress reports that until January, the RJC was headed by Sam Fox, former Swift Boat bankroller, Lieberman BFF and recent imperial appointment to Belgium. The board is quite the rogues gallery and includes Ari Fleischer, David Frum, Sheldon Adelson, Lewis M. Eisenberg and Ken Mehlman. They also financed ads for Lieberman during his senate race, and has some lovely overlap with the Scooter Libby Defense Fund.
Of course all of this would be largely moot if intellectual mediocrities like Susanne Malveaux didn't mindlessly repeat this stuff like it was anything other than sheer nonsense, but unfortunately you don't go to war with the bobbleheads you want, you go to war with the bobblehteads you've got.
I think I need a shower.