…and attempt to rule as a dictator. And because of that fear, while I thought it was terrific that the GOP regained the Senate with room to spare and the 2014 elections were about as complete a repudiation of a president as you can find in modern American history I didn’t really have high hopes that anything would actually change until this president is gone.
Obama already had a history of ignoring the expressed wishes of Congress and governing as he pleased. Then there was executive amnesty, which was a pretty strong signal that he wouldn’t respect the legislative branch.
And today, we have evidence that this administration is going to steal the Senate’s power to approve or reject treaties.
Yep. You read that right.
Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the White House doesn’t view an agreement with Iran as a treaty that requires Senate approval, but a matter of “executive prerogative.”
Ever heard of a major diplomatic agreement that wasn’t subject to Senate advice and consent?
Jim Geraghty at National Review notes that yes, the Constitution actually has something to say about items like this…
Article II, Section 2, clause 2, U.S. Constitution:
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…
It’s just down the street in the National Archives, Mr. President, check it yourself.
Not only do we have a president who just ignores the Constitution, we have an administration full of people who go along with it.
This isn’t some sort of minor codocil on wheat supports. We’re negotiating with the Iranians over their nuclear program. The idea that Obama or his people would even think to craft a plan without having the Senate behind him is frankly, insane.
My American Spectator column asked the question whether it’s blithering incompetence that has set Obama against his fellow Democrat Bob Menendez on the question of a sanctions regime that kicks in if the current round of negotiations fails, or something else.
This would seem to hint at an answer to that question. It’s hard to imagine someone whose sole failing is that he doesn’t know what he’s doing being so confident in a strategy others are screaming is a bad one that he would attempt to parse the constitution in order to unilaterally commit America to it.
Think about the implications of Obama getting away with the position that an agreement with a foreign government isn’t a treaty. Another American president not of Obama’s party might decide on a treaty with, say, Trinidad and Tobago, banning the IRS or EPA or the U.S. Department of Education. And if the Senate doesn’t have to approve that agreement but the federal government is bound by it because of “executive prerogative,” there are going to be an awful lot of unhappy Democrats out there.