So what has been the blowback for Eric Cantor?
Huffington Post: In the past, Republicans have been sharply critical of Democratic trips abroad that could be seen as undermining the official foreign policies of the U.S. president. For example, in 2007, both the Bush White House and its Republican supporters lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) for visiting Syria, saying that she was trying to circumvent President Bush (never mind that Republican lawmakers were also in Syria and Pelosi didn't criticize the Bush administration).
"It has long been the established principle of this country that the president of the United States leads our foreign policy," said former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. "And if you don't like the president, then you change him. But you don't have the two parties each conducting foreign policy in the way they think it ought to be conducted."
John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, added, "I would simply hope that people would understand that, under the Constitution, the president conducts foreign policy, not the speaker of the House."
In 2006, conservatives went after former vice president Al Gore for criticizing "abuses" committed by the U.S. government against Arabs post-9/11 in a speech in Saudi Arabia, with the editorial page of Investor's Business Daily saying he demonstrated "supreme disloyalty to his country."
But in fact, in 1996, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) also tried to signal to a foreign country that it might have better luck working with Congress instead of the president, traveling to Colombia and telling military officials there to "bypass the U.S. executive branch and communicate directly with Congress."
In 2007 National Review op-ed, Cantor wrote, "Presenting Assad with 'a new Democratic alternative' -- code for making President Bush look feckless -- Mrs. Pelosi usurped the executive branch's time-honored foreign-policy authority. Her message to Assad was that congressional Democrats will forbid the president from increasing pressure on Damascus … Several leading legal authorities have made the case that her recent diplomatic overtures ran afoul of the Logan Act, which makes it a felony for any American 'without authority of the United States' to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government's behavior on any disputes with the United States."
Where are those same Republican critics now?
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday during a meeting in New York that the new GOP majority in the House will "serve as a check" on the Obama administration, a statement unusual for its blunt disagreement with U.S. policy delivered directly to a foreign leader.
Ron Kampeas from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news agency found Cantor's comments extremely surprising, writing, "I can't remember an opposition leader telling a foreign leader, in a personal meeting, that he would side, as a policy, with that leader against the president … to have-a-face to face and say, in general, we will take your side against the White House -- that sounds to me extraordinary."