I forgot one name on the list of people willing to stand up to Obama and give him what for: Tom Cotton.
BOB SCHIEFFER, FACE THE NATION: You heard what the secretary said, unprecedented, inappropriate, unthought-out, unconstitutionally wrong.
What were you trying to accomplish, Senator?
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): Bob, I and 46 other senators are focused on stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
And we wanted to be crystal clear that Iran’s leaders got the message that, in our constitutional system, while the president negotiates deals, Congress has to approve them for them to be lasting and binding. And I have to say, I’m surprised by the secretary’s comments this morning, because just a few days ago, he testified before the Senate to say that any deal would not be legally binding.
And now he says that future Congresses can’t change a mere executive agreement if we disagree with them or if a future president disagrees with them? That’s not the way our constitutional system works. And it’s certainly not the way we should be negotiating with Iran.
But John Kerry’s got his fingers in his ears:
MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS: So, how do you clear the air? Are you going to apologize for this letter?
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Not on your life. I’m not going to apologize for the — for an unconstitutional and unthought-out action by somebody who has been in the United States Senate for 60-some days.
That’s just inappropriate. I will explain very clearly that Congress does not have the right to change an executive agreement. Another president may have a different view about it. But, if we do our job correctly, all of these nations, they all have an interest in making sure this is in fact a proven peaceful program.
And it would be derelict if we allow some gaping hole in this program that doesn’t do so. But let’s see what it is first. And I think this applies to everybody, incidentally, who has been trying to judge this before, in fact, the deal, if it can be sealed, is sealed.
Executive agreement? Executive action? Obama can relieve himself in the Oval Office urinal, and that’s an executive action. Since when is a treaty with a hostile foreign power an “executive agreement”?
Can we get a little help here?
It is no secret that Barack Obama does not have much use for the United States Constitution. It is a governing plan for a free, self-determining people. Hence, it is littered with roadblocks against schemes to rule the people against their will. When it comes to our imperious president’s scheme to enable our enemy, Iran, to become a nuclear-weapons power — a scheme that falls somewhere between delusional and despicable, depending on your sense of Obama’s good faith — the salient barrier is that only Congress can make real law.
“Real law”, as opposed to the kind Obama makes up to suit his fanatical fancies.
This week, 47 perspicuous Republican senators suspected that the subject of congressional power just might have gotten short shrift in Team Obama’s negotiations with the mullahs. So they penned a letter on the subject to the regime in Tehran. The effort was led by Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), who, after Harvard Law School, passed up community organizing for the life of a Bronze Star–awarded combat commander. As one might imagine, Cotton and Obama don’t see this Iran thing quite the same way.
Cheap shot. I thoroughly approve.
Evidently, writing the letter was not as noble as, say, Ted Kennedy’s canoodling with the Soviets, Nancy Pelosi’s dalliance with Assad, the Democratic party’s Bush-deranged jihad against the war in Iraq, or Senator Barack Obama’s own back-channel outreach to Iran during the 2008 campaign. Gone, like a deleted e-mail, were the good old days when dissent was patriotic.
Yet, as John Yoo observes, the Cotton letter was more akin to mailing Ayatollah Khamenei a copy of the Constitution. The senators explained that our Constitution requires congressional assent for international agreements to be legally binding. Thus, any “executive agreement” on nukes that they manage to strike with the appeaser-in-chief is unenforceable and likely to be revoked when he leaves office in 22 months.
By appealing to the Constitution, Cotton and the 46 other Republicans guaranteed that Obama and the ayatollahs would be united in opposition. Very clever, and prescient. Oh yes, add one more spoke to the Axis of Evil:
Clearly, Obama and the mullahs figure they can run the following stunt: We do not need another treaty approved by Congress because the United States has already ratified the U.N. charter and thus agreed to honor Security Council resolutions. We do not need new statutes because the Congress, in enacting Iran-sanctions legislation, explicitly gave the president the power to waive those sanctions. All we need is to have the Security Council issue a resolution that codifies Congress’s existing sanctions laws with Obama’s waiver. Other countries involved in the negotiations — including Germany, Russia, and China, which have increasingly lucrative trade with Iran — will then very publicly rely on the completed deal. The U.N. and its army of transnational-progressive bureaucrats and lawyers will deduce from this reliance a level of global consensus that incorporates the agreement into the hocus-pocus corpus of customary law. Maybe they’ll even get Justice Ginsburg to cite it glowingly in a Supreme Court ruling. Voila, we have a binding agreement — without any congressional input — that the United States is powerless to alter under international law.
The United States Senate is the bush leagues, the New York-Penn League of deliberative bodies, compared to the United Nations—which we do not elect, which no one elects (even the most criminal of states is an equal member). No wonder Obama appeals to them, and they to him.
His rampant lawlessness would be funny if it were just about naming the national songbird or changing the national anthem to “Never Going to Give You Up”. But it’s about stuff that matters: nationalized health care; betraying Israel; amnesty, work permits, and welfare benefits for illegal immigrants; and Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. We need heroes like Cotton and Netanyahu to do their duties to their various constituencies.