As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

The Corker Cave-In

I keep reading today that the White House folded, caved, threw up the white flag, rolled over on its sword and died a humiliating death by accepting legislation by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., giving Congress “a role” in the Iran negotiations.

In this case, that’s a bit of spin that both the White House and Republicans want you to buy. Because Republicans want you to think they’ve etched out some kind of a victory over Obama, and finally stood up to one of his power grabs. While the White House wants to camouflage . . . its latest successful power grab.

“The Unified States Senate just capitulated to Obama,” radio host and Constitutional scholar Mark Levin said Tuesday night. “The Unified States Senate just rewrote the Treaty Provision of the Constitution.”

And he’s right. Because a treaty requires a two thirds vote by the Senate to be accepted as law. Corker’s bill turns that on its head, allowing Congress to vote down the treaty with Iran but giving Obama veto power, which must be overridden by a two thirds vote. MEANING THAT INSTEAD OF NEEDING TWO THIRDS OF THE SENATE FOR HIS TREATY, OBAMA ONLY NEEDS ONE THIRD.

And that’s a victory for Congress?

What Corker has done is legitimize Obama’s power grab. Congress could have instead voted this treaty down on its own and then passed legislation withholding funding for its implementation. Obama could also veto the measure withholding funds, which would require the same two-thirds override. But at least the point would have been made that he was acting unconstitutionally, and he would be on record as defying the Congress. As a practical matter, this would have made it far easier for a future president to discard the Iran deal.

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It’s true, international agreements have increasingly, over the decades, been done by executive action. But an agreement such as this – negotiated over the course of years and involving nuclear weapons for our most pernicious adversary and therefore the possible destruction of the United States – must by its nature qualify as a treaty under the Constitution, or there is no Constitution at all.

The Founders are very clear on the need for a co-equal role in such critical matters for the Senate, which was originally entrusted not just with approving treaties, but helping negotiate them too.

Levin points to Federalist No. 75 by Alexander Hamilton “The Treaty-Making Power of the Executive,” in which Hamilton asserts that no single man can be counted on as sufficiently morally pristine to be entrusted solely with such a vast power:

The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a President of the United States . . .

It must indeed be clear to a demonstration that the joint possession of the power in question, by the President and Senate, would afford a greater prospect of security, than the separate possession of it by either of them.

Hamilton raises an interesting example of how allowing just the president to make treaties can go wrong:

A man raised from the station of a private citizen to the rank of chief magistrate, possessed of a moderate or slender fortune, and looking forward to a period not very remote when he may probably be obliged to return to the station from which he was taken, might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice his duty to his interest, which it would require superlative virtue to withstand.

Hamilton’s concern here is with that a president, being only human, might be tempted to do something that would benefit him financially, since he is soon headed back to the private sector. And sure, Obama’s memoir will fetch millions and will certainly be enlivened by an Iranian nuclear arms deal.

But Hamilton could have just as easily used vainglory as he did venality as a choice of human weakness here. Obama has plenty of money, but a deficit of glory. Many believe Obama desperately wants an Iran deal to provide him with an illustrious legacy, particularly for a second term in which he has achieved nothing beyond making a mess of half the world.

With the Corker bill, he now has Congress in his pocket as he joins Iran in shredding the Constitution over a Swiss negotiating table. And in ten to 15 years, when Iran conducts its first nuclear test, Congress will have had a “role” in the tragedy.

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42 Responses to The Corker Cave-In

  1. “And in ten to 15 years, when Iran conducts its first nuclear test…” – Mr. Koffler

    I must respectfully disagree in some regards to this statement. One, I don’t think it will be that long, especially with help from North Korea, Russia, and also help from UMass by special demand of PC forces unleashed by The Angry Caliph himself?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/03/09/sen-vitter-asks-why-the-state-department-is-allowing-iranians-to-study-nuclear-engineering-in-the-u-s/

    Also, I suspect the nuclear test will be over Tel Aviv. At least, that’s what our Hopey would like. It would be WIN/WIN/WIN for HIM.

    In Obama’s fantasy, it breaks down like this;
    1) Iran nukes Israel. Obama is finally rid of those troublesome folks and the leader he most despises above all others, Benjamin Netanyahu – all without soiling his OWN hands!
    WIN!

    2) After much noise about how he was “betrayed” by the Iranians, probably because Republicans told them to, the Sunni-born Obama gets to nuke Shi’ite Iran in turn!
    WIN-WIN!

    3) What a crisis! No WAY we can have elections at a time like THIS!
    WIN-WIN-WIN!

    Of course, the Lord will prevent Obama’s dream from coming to fruition when he fulfills his promise to Israel, but I doubt Rev. Wright spent a lot of time on that part of the Bible…

    • Add Corker to the list of persons blackmailed or threatened into submission. Possibly visited by the FBI and NSA and IRS…..and suddenly he starts seeing things like a liberal.

  2. This is another reason the 17th Amendment of the Constitution needs to be repealed. If the esteemed members of this body were less concerned about the optics of standing up to Obama, and how it impacted their re-election chances, perhaps they would have the intestinal fortitude to halt this massive seizure of power.

    The Senate was originally to represent the individual states, as direct representatives of each state, while the House was designed to represent the citizenry. Now both Houses are totally at the mercy of the political fund raising machines of the parties, and neither does what they were intended to do.

      • Further proof, as if any were needed, of how grossly successive generations have perverted the Founders’ genius that crafted the Constitution, one nation under God, unalienable rights endowed by the Creator, not govt!

        • Reading recently that the US tax code is 74,608 pages long, I see how Govt can foul a simple but powerful document. Our Constitution

  3. Worthless! The Repub’s are worthless… with few exceptions.
    I’m just furious over this capitulation.
    Did I mention worthless?

    • We need to starve them of the one element they require,….money.
      Give the money to the ones that will fix this Country and not one dime to the ones that broke it.

  4. I have no faith in Congress anymore. This was a capitulation from the moment it was announced. They’ve even provided cover for most of the Dems to “vote against” the treaty, and then a few can switch back to sustain Obama’s “veto” of the Senate’s rejection!

    By what wizardry do these morons get to simply wipe away their Constitutional powers and responsibilities. This is about Obama grabbing power, but it’s also about a Congress inhabited by ninnies who freely give up the responsibilities they swore by oath to uphold.

    Unlike Moosh, who was never proud of this country before King Barry was coronated, I have never been so ashamed of the men and women who have been elected to “lead” us.

  5. That assessment is not right. The bill Corker presented dealt with Sanctions only.. over which the President has historically exercised executive authority independently and through the UN National Security Council, and which is challenged by this legislation. The White House concession on this legislation is a historic check on this power. I would argue that other aspects of the Iranian deal to the extent they address weaponization capabilities, etc. are still subject to the 2/3’s Senate ratification requirement.

    • The sanctions was the only thing keeping Obama from the executive agreement.only congress could end the sanctions. No end to sanctions no agreement. There will not be a vote on treaty cuz it’s executive agreement.Senate gave Obama what he needed

  6. you vote and hope that the ones you put in will stand up for what’s right.they get there and like stooges they cave and give this tyrant what he wants.well the only place I know to turn to is the good lord and pray that there’s still a chance we will survive.GOD BLESS THE USA

  7. This situation is disgusting. I just hope Israel strikes first and the mullahs are vaporized. What we have in Congress and in the W.H. are worthless folks.

  8. This is treason, and anyone who promotes it or votes for it is a traitor. Keep the list of names and never forget it.

    What are these Republicans selling us out for? What are they gaining in return?

    It looks like we’ve lost our Republic, just like the Romans before us. The principal question, then, is, “What course now?”

    Violent rebellion is not the answer. Non-violent non-cooperation is. No tyranny can endure if its subjects withhold their approval and support. The tyrant has many tools at his disposal to encourage us to give him that approval and support; but if enough of us are committed, he must fall.

    There are dark days ahead of us. But victory over the tyrant is inevitable. It’s only a matter of time and will.

  9. Is this thing even a “treaty” at all? “We” have some meetings with a bunch of people claiming to represent their countries. Everybody issues their perspective on the “agreement” each of which is completely different–like Roshomon!
    Then everyone goes home.
    The whole thing is like a Kabuki dance. What just happened? Nothing! It was a play–theatre.

  10. R leadership stabbed America in the back, AGAIN. Some kind of special deal or are R’s leadership scared o’s shadow? A cave in like this could have catastrophic results if the rads in Iran take out the globe.

  11. Do we not have anyone in Congress who Knows the Constitution inside and out to realize what is being negotiated with Iran goes against the Constitution but favors the enemy?…..Our country as a result is not safe nor are our allies. THIS IS A DISGRACE AND HUMILIATING…….

  12. Obama also won a major concession, with the removal of a requirement that approval would hinge in part on Iran ceasing its support of terrorism. The agreement also does not include a provision that Iran must recognize Israel’s right to exist.

  13. […] The Corker Cave-in . . . A treaty requires a two thirds vote by the Senate to be accepted as law. Corker’s bill turns that on its head, allowing Congress to vote down the treaty with Iran but giving Obama veto power, which must be overridden by a two thirds vote. MEANING THAT INSTEAD NEEDING TWO THIRDS OF THE SENATE FOR HIS TREATY, OBAMA ONLY NEEDS ONE THIRD. White House Dossier​ […]

  14. Hamilton was naive: he was concerned about a chief magistrate enriching himself. It never occurred to him that the chief magistrate might actually be working to harm the US

  15. […] It’s true, international agreements have increasingly, over the decades, been done by executive action. But an agreement such as this – negotiated over the course of years and involving nuclear weapons for our most pernicious adversary and therefore the possible destruction of the United States – must by its nature qualify as a treaty under the Constitution, or there is no Constitution at all. The Founders are very clear on the need for a co-equal role in such critical matters for the Senate, which was originally entrusted not just with approving treaties, but helping negotiate them too.3 […]