Thursday, September 10, 2015

Unchecked and Unbalanced

Truly we live in Bizarro World when the President celebrates the ability to get a controversial and major international agreement though Congress when he gets his 34th Senate vote.

We need to revise our civics textbooks, I'd say, if that mechanism stands.

Or make sure our actions match our theoretical framework. As I added in a post update a week ago, I think this writer is on to something.

I think Congress should declare this big effing deal (to steal a line from the vice president) a treaty, invoke the so-called "nuclear option" to kill the filibuster in the Senate, and then carry out a vote as if it is a treaty despite the Obama administration claim.

Amazingly, Congressional Republicans responded to the hashtag campaign #BringBackOurBallsPowers:

After first voting on the measure requiring full disclosure of the side agreements September 10, the House will vote on a resolution approving the nuclear deal, under the new gameplan. The second measure is certain to fail in light of unanimous opposition to the accord among the House's Republican majority, as well as opposition from at least 17 House Democrats.

A third vote would prevent President Barack Obama from lifting congressionally mandated sanctions on Iran, as planned under the agreement.

It will be interesting to see how much of the deal goes forward without Congressional approval, which would demonstrate how much contempt the administration has for our system of checks and balances.

UPDATE: More on bad aspects of the deal and the new Congressional strategy.

And while I'm at it, what's with Khamenei's view on Iran's parliament approving the deal?

Khamenei said lawmakers should decide on the deal.

"It is the representatives of the people who should decide. I have no advice regarding the method of review, approval or rejection," he said.

President Hassan Rouhani is opposed to letting parliament vote on the deal, which he insists is an understanding with world powers and not a treaty. Last week he warned that if parliament votes on the deal its provisions would be legally binding.

I understand clearly that Rouhani doesn't want the deal treated like a treaty lest the terms be binding (hey, now the so-called moderates of Iran have the same view as American opponents of the deal!).

But for Khamenei? Is any deal with the Great Satan so distasteful that even a victory over us can't be sanctified if it means formally dealing with us?