Fairy tales are simple lessons for children of good versus evil. The villain is easy to spot. Often it’s a big bad wolf.
This week, frustrated Republicans, anxious to prove they are in control of Congress, penned a fairy tale of a letter and sent it to one of the world’s big bad wolves, the country of Iran. Ostensively, the purpose of the letter was to put Iran’s leaders on notice that any deal they sign with President Barack Obama could expire the day he leaves office. The real purpose of the letter was to make us believe they are doing something.
It would be laughable if it were not so pathetic.
Make no mistake. I do not believe that a U.S. president has a right to make a major deal with Iran or any other country on his own. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution clearly states
He (the President) shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, make treaties, provided two-thirds of the senators present concur.
The Senate website has a detail explanation and history of the process.
“The Constitution’s framers gave the Senate a share of the treaty power in order to give the president the benefit of the Senate’s advice and counsel, check presidential power, and safeguard the sovereignty of the states by giving each state an equal vote in the treatymaking process.”
A few months ago, President Obama made it clear that he intends to go around Congress if Congress won’t go along with his plans. He is, in effect, flaunting the law. He did it on Obamacare and immigration and now he is doing it with Iran.
Obama maintains this nuclear deal with Iran is merely an “executive agreement” between heads-of-state and is not a treaty.
Executive agreements between nations are quite common and have increased in recent years, primarily because of the sheer volume of interactions that occur between countries on a daily basis. These agreements generally are of relatively minor importance and would needlessly overburden the Senate if each one was submitted as a treaty.
However, this is no minor agreement. A nuclear agreement is a very big deal. One nuclear bomb could wipe out an entire state or states. It would threaten our entire country. To pretend that the states, through the people’s representatives, have no say in this matter is ludicrous. A constitutional law professor like Obama knows better. In fact, any 5th grader studying U.S. government knows better.
The senators who signed that letter have proven they are powerless to stop this out-of-control president, not because they have no power, but because they are too timid to use it.
Those senators could have stopped Obamacare and Obama’s illegal immigration plan by refusing to fund them. Those senators could stop Obama from doing this agreement with Iran by taking away the funds for the State Department until he relents.
Instead, they are barking at the big, bad Iranian wolf, when the villain they should be confronting is in the White House. This letter not only sends the wrong message to Iran, it send the wrong message to five of the world’s superpowers: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia who are negotiating along with us. It also sends the wrong message to the countries in the Middle East whose cooperation we need if we are to eliminate ISIS.
Politics should stop at the water’s edge!
It is little wonder that seven Republicans refused to sign this letter: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (TN), Susan Collins (ME), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lamar Alexander (TN), Thad Cochran (MS), Dan Coats (IN) and Lisa Murkowski (AK).
It was written by Tom Cotton (AR) who has been a senator for all of two months. He’s an Iraqi/Afghanistan war veteran and a good man. I know he is frustrated, but he and the other like-minded senators should turn their attention to a matter they can do something about: ousting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell simply cannot or will not lead. You cannot fight an out-of-control president without ammunition. The Senate’s ammunition is the power of persuasion and the power of the purse. The majority leader has unlimited access to the media. He also has a huge war chest at his disposal which can be used to fund ads that challenge vulnerable Democrats to back up their rhetoric with their votes.
This is no time for fairy tales. If Iran gets the bomb we may not fare as well as the three little pigs or Little Red Riding Hood. This is for real!