Limit on Reagan's Policy Moves

I found myself deeply disturbed after reading the opinion piece authored by Cheney and Fein. The "oscillating and aimless foreign policy" toward Nicaragua that Cheney blames Congress for is not only reflective of the "unremitting demands on members (of Congress) for tangible signs of success" but the very struggle of the American people with the search for the solution for a complicated set of problems in Central America.

The Boland Amendment did not develop out of a mood of congressional capriciousness but was created from citizen pressures at the grass roots of this country, out of a changing constituent sentiment against the use of violence to achieve supposedly democratic ends.

What Cheney and Fein appear to say is that we ought to let the President and his (unelected) National Security Council do anything they see fit to do in the name of their particular view of our national interest, unencumbered by the checks and balances of our constitutional system.

Once a President is elected, the people have little means of influencing that President except through citizen pressure on our congressional representatives who in our name promulgate legislation for the President to execute. To discount this is to remove the "representative" from this representative system.

This may indeed be a recipe for a more "consistent" foreign policy, but it is, more to the point, a prescription for lawlessness and despotism.


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