ELDER PATRIOT - Donald Trump and the American people have swayed the policies of elected Republicans simply through the pulpit of his candidacy. One is left to wonder what he might accomplish with the full weight of the presidency behind him.
It’s clear that President Obama and Mitch McConnell had agreed that delivering Senate approval for any deal with Iran would be questionable and that their best chance for success lied with a convoluted series of procedures that would require House Speaker John Boehner’s help.
Terming the accord a “deal” is masking the fact that in every material way this is a treaty. And while the Constitution gives the President the power to negotiate treaties it also requires the President to receive two-thirds of a vote in the Senate for it to become law.
There was simply no way this could’ve passed as a treaty on a straight up and down vote. The political fallout would be too great for the Senators approving it to survive the next electoral cycle.
Only fourteen years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 we would be entering into a one-sided treaty with Iran giving them billions of dollars of the American people’s money in the short term and a path to nuclear weapons capability in the not too distant future. In return we receive…nothing. We didn’t even secure the return of the four U.S. hostages the Iranians are holding. This is the same Iran that George Bush identified as part of the Axis of Evil. This is the same Iran that has done nothing but continue funding terrorism throughout the Middle East and the world.
The only way McConnell and Obama could deliver enough votes in the Senate was to call it a “deal” which would then require only 50% of the vote to be approved. Going that route required Boehner to deliver the House.
Even by creating this ruse Obama, McConnell and Boehner knew that getting the now required 50% approval of each house would be difficult so they used parliamentary chicanery authorizing Obama to negotiate the deal first. By doing it this way any disapproval of the “deal” would require a new legislative initiative by both houses with a two-thirds vote of either house necessary to override Obama’s veto of that new initiative. This is how a post-Constitutional government works in total disregard of the people who elected it while pretending to be following the rules.
Then along came the political ascendancy of Donald Trump with his bombastic personality capturing the imagination of the American people. Trump rightly trashed the “deal” publicly.
First the Republican powerbrokers tried to destroy Trump politically in an attempt to protect their unholy fiefdom but that only strengthened and grew Trump’s support as the American people were growing increasingly discontented with the “deal” and with Congress in general.
Now comes an eleventh hour bid by House Republicans throwing up some procedural roadblocks of their own in an attempt to run out the 60-day clock on the approval process and to salvage what they can of the Republican brand and of their own careers.
If they are successful we will have Donald Trump to thank for it.