The Inaction of Congress Makes It Complicit in Obama Abuses

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

President Barack Obama has earned a reputation as an accomplished liar. It appears to be a trait that he shares with his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I must say that Mr. Obama has been far more successful at covering his lies than has Ms. Clinton despite the fact that he has been subject to greater scrutiny – at least until now. Remember, Mr. Obama was able to bury the information that disclosed his lies about Obamacare for almost four years. In marked contrast, Ms. Clinton has had virtually every lie she tells discredited within days – at times hours.

Ms. Clinton told us that the reason she put all of her state department correspondence on her personal computer is that she didn’t want to carry around more than one communications device (one for her government correspondence and others for her personal use). Quickly videos were discovered showing her claiming to use multiple devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone and Blackberry) with ease. Then experts detailed that that you don’t need separate devices to access multiple email servers.

Then came the defenses of the indefensible Clinton Foundation. First Ms. Clinton said that all donors had been disclosed on IRS forms. Within hours evidence of donors not disclosed on the IRS forms was presented. Then Ms. Clinton said that is was a natural mistake involving only a handful of donors. And within days a list of over 1,000 donors that had not been disclosed was discovered. Then Ms. Clinton said that the IRS forms filed were a mistake but that all of the donors had been disclosed on the Clinton Foundation website. And now it appears that they have not been but rather that such contributions have been “bundled” with other undisclosed donors to hide the donor and the amount of the donation.

And that is just on the domestic front. On the international scene, Mr. Obama, with the assistance of Ms. Clinton, has earned a reputation as a feckless leader who buckles in the face of hostile governments and is willing to stab our allies in the back at the drop of a hat. Think Israel, the Ukraine, the victims of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Egypt as it revolted against the tyrannical regime of the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Jordan. So widely is Mr. Obama held in low repute that the leaders of two-thirds of the Arab leaders have rejected Mr. Obama’s request for an Arab summit to “deal” with Iran – not actually to deal with the evil that is Iran but rather to strong arm those leaders into accepting the agreement that will permit Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

But that isn’t the purpose of this column. Rather it is to express dismay that the Congress has not only been complicit by omission in regard to Mr. Obama’s and Ms. Clinton’s actions but that it has failed to act to reassert itself as a co-equal branch of government. Poll after poll demonstrates that the public does not trust Mr. Obama – and less so Ms. Clinton. In fact, it is fair to say that Mr. Obama’s support is down to the “yellow dog Democrats” – albeit these are mostly from the urban North rather than the Deep South.

Those same polls show that Congress is held in even lower repute although there has been some improvement in its standing. But the curious thing is that Mr. Obama’s decline is due to his actions – both foreign and domestic; while Congress’ repute is due to inaction. They, the members of Congress, don’t do anything – they DON’T do ANYTHING.

The founding fathers produced a constitution that was designed to create three equal branches of government – each to serve as a check on the others. In its simplest terms, the Constitution set the responsibility for determining the laws with the Congress, set the responsibility for executing the laws with the Executive Branch, and set the responsibility for determining the interpretation and constitutionality of the law with the Judicial Branch. The primary system of checks and balances inherent in that structure was to assure that one branch could not operate independently from the others. Forced collaboration ensured that America did not revert to a monarchy or dictatorship.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when Congress began to cede its authority to the Executive Branch but you can certainly find instances of it during the New Deal administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Over time, and under Republican and Democrat presidents alike, Congress has moved more and more towards “target” legislation – a statement of goals with a cession of particulars to the Executive Branch. Cynics such as me would conclude that the members of Congress – never the sharpest tools in the bag – have found “target” legislation to be the easiest means of proceeding. After all they can espouse wonderful ideas about how the world should be at the same time they shed responsibility for how those ideas are implemented. A prime example has been the current immigration laws that Mr. Obama has openly flouted through a series of executive orders granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

But nowhere is the danger of a self-impotent Congress greater than in international affairs – particularly with a president who has repeatedly proven his analysis, strategies, solutions and implementations to be so consistently wrong. The most recent instance involves Mr. Obama’s negotiations with Iran.

Mr. Obama, shadowed by Secretary of State John Kerry, reported with wide-eyed enthusiasm that they had reached a structure for an agreement with Iran over its ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons. He noted all of the safeguards, including monitoring, that had been agreed to as the foundation. Mr. Obama’s assurances were overshadowed almost immediately by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran and the only voice that counts, who declared Mr. Obama to be a liar and dismissed virtually every element of Mr. Obama’s assurances, as never included in the negotiations.

It is at this moment that the United States Senate – in fulfillment of its constitutional duties relating to approval of treaties with foreign governments – should have driven a stake through the heart of this charade. There was a great deal of sound and fury as various senators (Republican and Democrats alike) rushed to the microphones to condemn “the deal” and Mr. Obama’s negotiating skills. But when it came to doing something concrete to protect the country and its allies, the Senate (Republican and Democrat alike) punted. They sacrificed their authority to approve treaties and instead allowed Mr. Obama to proceed towards his disaster. As reported by The Guardian:

“The US Senate on Thursday advanced legislation that would allow Congress to review a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, clearing a major hurdle after weeks of Republican infighting threatened the bill’s passage.

“Senators overwhelmingly voted 98-1 in favor of the bill, with only Tom Cotton against its passage. Under the compromise, Congress would have 30 days to both review any nuclear accord with Iran and pass a resolution of disapproval. In the event that lawmakers passed such a resolution, Barack Obama would be unable to lift some of the congressional sanctions on Tehran.” [Emphasis supplied]

Look there is a difference. Under proper protocols a treaty with a foreign nation CANNOT take effect unless approved by the Senate. Under this resolution the treaty takes effect unless it is disapproved by the Congress within thirty days. Of late Congress has demonstrated they cannot even find the toilet paper in thirty days. And more importantly if the regular order of business continues in the Senate, a minority of its members can keep the issue from even coming to the floor for a vote –let alone come to the floor within thirty days. (Tuesday vote on closure for “fast track trade authority” reminded us of how impotent the Senate has become.)

And even if the Congress can muster the votes to reject the treaty within the prescribed thirty days, the only penalty is that certain sanctions imposed against Iran by the Congress cannot be lifted by Mr. Obama. That’s no penalty; that is the current law (and it’s being violated by Mr. Obama already).

The net effect of this act is that the Congress has abetted Mr. Obama’s dangerous policy towards Iran. Iran will get virtually all of its frozen assets and money back immediately. It will continue unabated to complete its nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles. It will violate every term of the agreement including the monitoring requirements. And the world will do nothing to stop it because the “big dog” in the fight has already rolled over and surrendered.

I have never been very supportive of term limits because it transfers the power of “institutional knowledge” from congressional members to the bureaucrats. But given the fact that we continue to send ninety percent of these “four flushers” back election after election, something has to be done to instill pursuit of the commonweal instead of job protection in our Congress. Term limits may be the only choice left.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Congress, Hillary Clinton, Leadership, President Obama | 13 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jack Lord God

    Somehow early on Obama figured out that he was Billy Mumy in the Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life”. That no matter what he said or did, people tended to fawn over him and never call him on his obvious failings. Even now, the frothing mouthed cannot admit a single error the man has ever made, unless it is to point out he didn’t comport with liberal orthodoxy enough. You have a man who has decimated our standing in the world, supported our enemies and alienated our allies. A man who blundered against every recommendation on Iraq withdrawal laying down soft bedding and warm meals for ISIS to incubate. The worst recovery in peoples lifetime with just about zero small business growth. And he spent more than all before him combined to get us here. You would think congress would stand up to him. Nope, not gonna happen. Frankly I don’t know which is worse. Is a megalomaniac really to blame if everyone surrounding him lets him get away with it every time?

    • thevillageidiot

      history in the repeating.

      • Eric Blair

        Wellll… history doesn’t repeat itself. It may appear to, but that’s only when you look for similarities and ignore the differences.
        But, exactly which part of history is being repeated?

        • guest

          U EB, pe’er a bong guru gong afar of the snuff married jayne assured assures US ’tis off your smoking morass.

    • 96leroy

      Good post.

      I would say that, from early on, he was TOLD he could say/do whatever and if any pushback came his way, play the racist card. His mom told him how special he was to make up for his father leaving them. She built up his father in his mind because she was a radical herself and they stick together, damn it!

      And yes, a megalomaniac CAN still be blamed but so should all those who surround him – equally.

    • Eric Blair

      “And he spent more than all before him combined to get us here.

      No. In fact, to date, he has not outspent George W. Bush (but will by the end of this year.). Obama has spent 20.3 trillion to date. George W. Bush spent 20.88 trillion in his eight years.

      What was the source for your numbers?

      • Jack Lord God

        Obama deficits have topped Bush’s every year, and you are claiming Bush spent more? Nice try.

        • Eric Blair

          What I’m saying, is that your statement that Obama has spent more than all before him combined was wrong. Are you saying that statement by you was correct?
          I also noted that was of 2014, and that by the end of this year, Obama will have spent more. But, my statement was correct. By the end of 2014, Bush had spent more money than Obama. And even by the end of 2016, it seems unlikely that Obama will have spent more than all other presidents before him combined.
          Deficits aren’t just a based on spending, but are also based on receipts as well. From 2009 – 2012 Federal receipts were below that of the Bush years. In 2013 receipts were 2.61 trillion which was comparable to the receipts in 2007 of 2.65 trillion.
          Nice try yourself. 😉

          • Jack Lord God

            Obama is prettymuch our biggest spending president since LBJ. You may not like that, but when your first year is a deficit over a trillion and you start the biggest entitlement in fifty years that’s pretty much the case. You might not want to face that, but like I have said in the past, the frothing mouthed are incapable of ever admitting when their guy was wrong, that’s why they can never learn.

          • Eric Blair

            LOL.. you can’t admit you were wrong, can you? I thought you always admitted when you were wrong?

            Want a good definition of frothing mouth? Someone who makes an outrageous claim that is completely wrong, and rather than admit they are wrong, try and redirect the conversation. You are frothing mouthed Jack. You can’t admit you were wrong, and you just make shit up. 🙂 Sadly, you’re not even good at writing fiction.

            You have become so crazed about Obama being President that you can’t even use real facts, you have to make them up.

        • .

          Lice try EB fallows hexed twit his own acumen of twitter pated mess.

  • Eric Blair

    “So widely is Mr. Obama held in low repute… “

    As compared to whom? Certainly not his predecessor. What is the source of Larry’s belief? Frequently it appears to be an assumption on his part, based only upon his hatred of Obama. Speaking of the frothing mouthed. 😉

    “All this said, however much disappointment global publics may have in Barack Obama, they still prefer him to his predecessor George W. Bush. In 2008, the year he left office, a median of just 19 percent in 20 nations had confidence in Bush’s handling of world affairs, compared with 57 percent that still have confidence in Obama in those same countries.

    Of course, with two and a half years remaining in office, the Obama legacy has yet to be written. But one thing is clear: He restored faith in the U.S. presidency in the eyes of many around the world. And while that impact is waning, it still remains a strong American asset abroad.”


    Nor is it just popularity among the citizens of different countries, evidently Obama is trusted more by Europeans than Bush was. Certainly Netanyahu, and some of the leaders of Gulf monarchies don’t like Obama as much, but for much of the rest of the world, Obama is an improvement over George W. Bush.

    The Atlantic

    It actually seems like Larry is just regurgitating Cheney’s talking points. What a surprise.

    • guest

      D’oh…Eric B 2 slanted: Fore hiss,n boom blah moist of this ‘artings pumping weird Potland Creepolotgy, token for grunted gyrate, better scent into a Dem skunk tank.

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