Quote of the Day:
Thus, it may well be that for the first time in American history, a president will simply impose a treaty on the country without even the pretense of seeking and obtaining the advice and consent of the Congress.
—John Podhoretz in a column headlined "Spitting on the Constitution to Pass the Iran Deal"
The Iran nuclear deal is clearly an existential threat to Israel, but former vice president Dick Cheney in a no holds barred speech at the American Enterprise Institute proposed that it is equally the same kind of threat to the United States.
Cheney claimed that with the deal the country is about "to guarantee that the means of its own destruction will be in the hands of another nation." The White House released a barrage of social media attacks on Cheney while he was speaking.
It was an extremely blunt speech:
Cheney suggested it might the first national suicide attempt in world history, but at least as compelling was his assertion that while the U.S. trusts terrorist Tehran, Americans cannot trust their current president.
"We are asked to rely on the word of a country that has cheated on every nuclear agreement to which they have been a party, that once they have the means in place to become a nuclear power, they won't do it," Cheney noted.
Like many critics of the deal, Cheney foresees a nuclear arms race:
Iran and the rest of the 190 signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have no right to enrich uranium. Therefore, the concession to Iran by the U.S. "guts the fundamental principle at the heart of the NPT and makes it much more difficult for the international community to deny such a right to any other state."
In other words, it invites a nuclear arms race.
Under normal rules, President Obama could never get this deal, which is in reality a treaty, requiring the vote of sixty-seven senators to gain approval. He has forty-one votes but he would never get to sixty-seven. But of course he doesn't have to.
When it became obvious that the president never planned to call his treaty a treaty and submit it to the Congress, Senators Bob Corker, a Republican, and Ben Cardin, a Democrat, came up with a bill that would require only that the president get the votes to override a veto of a vote of disapproval from the Congress.
I guess Congress just wanted some feeble pretense that it has retained its constitutional prerogatives under President Obama. Of course, it hasn't.
But the president can be quite the stickler for rules whenever it suits his purpose. Thus, with forty-one votes, the White House has the ability to ask Democrats to invoke the Senate's cloture rule to prevent even debate on the deal.
So, with the Iran deal, we face two kinds of threats: the threat of a nuclear Iran and the treat to our system of government.
In his "spitting on the Constitution" column, Podhoretz concludes:
To call this a scandal doesn’t even begin to do justice to what it is. It really does suggest we are fast turning into a banana republic, whose leaders feel free to spit on a Constitution whose central purpose is to restrain the ambitions of strongmen and their shameful toadies.
I've been disappointed that the GOP candidates have not talked much about the destruction of our constitutional system of government.
They talk about prosperity, regulation, and America's role in the world–but how about a frank discussion of the banafication of the republic?
It may be that some of the anger that animates voters just now is the anger of Americans who sense the republic slipping away from us.