Remember all the folderol about New Math? How about the New Majority? As has become the rule rather than the exception, Barack Obama has now combined the best of these two abhorrent notions and given us something new and shiny.
News organizations ran banner headlines today that 34 Democrat senators have agreed to support the Obama-Kerry "Let's Make Iran A Nuclear Power" initiative and it will soon become a core tenet of American policy.
This is truly an incredible development. Back in the day, we used to have this antiquated notion in this country that was known as a "majority". What's a majority, you millennials say? Well, kids, a majority was a concept whereby more than 50% of a governing body that was charged with determining the outcome of a particular question was required for a contentious issue to be passed by a legislative body.
And you know what? We also used to have an antiquated concept called a "treaty". Never heard of it? No surprise there. A treaty used to be known as a formal agreement between two or more states in reference to peace, alliance or commerce or other international relations.
Our Constitution (that's an archaic, analog document that was written on parchment [a stiff, off white paper] likely with quills [the hard part of a bird feather formed into a pen for writing]) which is a system of fundamental principles according to which a nation is governed, stipulated in Article 2, Section 2 that "The President...shall have Power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...." Not too complicated, right? Don't need a poli sci degree to figure that one out.
But what has just occurred with Obama and Kerry and the democrat party? They have coined an interesting euphemism for their giveaway to the Islamic Republic: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). No, I am not kidding; that's really what it's called. And they have attempted to short circuit the requirements of the Constitution in three ways:
1) by referring to this as anything but a "treaty", they claim it is not subject to the provisions of Article 2, Section 2;
2) because they knew a treaty with the Islamic Republic - particularly a treaty that failed to achieve the goals they themselves had established, like "anytime/anywhere" inspections - would fail to be approved by two thirds of the Senate, they crafted a "concession" with spineless Republucans anxious to appear bipartisan. Both houses would be permitted to review and debate the agreement, and vote to approve or disapprove it. But it also gave the President the option to veto a negative vote. Then, a two third vote would be required to override his veto, thus reversing the Constitution's treaty requirements;
3) since the JCPOA has already been signed by Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, and many sanctions and violations by the Islamic Republic involve the UN, Obama and Kerry first took the agreement to the Security Council which approved it unanimously.
So, where are we now? The JCPOA will go into effect because 34 Democrat Senators will support it. That means a veto cannot be overridden. Obama and Kerry now want to get 41 Democrats on board because with that number, the bill can be filibustered and not come to the floor for a vote! So - just like Obamacare - this critical and dangerous strategic shift will go into effect without a single vote from the opposition. This, my friends, is then the new definition of Bipartisanship which Obama claims is his unceasing quest.
But for Obama, bipartisanship has always meant: agreeing with me!
Many people, here in the U.S. and in Israel, were critical of Bibi Netanyahu's "interference" in domestic political affairs here. But in retrospect that guy's a lot sharper than many think. I believe he knew from the outset that there was never a chance that no agreement would emerge from discussions with Iran. I believe he anticipated far more accurately than our own expert pundits that Obama and Kerry would do literally anything to come away with an agreement. That would be bad for Israel under any circumstance. Like Paul Revere, he tried to sound the alarm.
He was right. They did. And the Senate, which had the power to exert greater influence over the outcome, gave it away in the name of bipartisanship. Only Sen. Tom Cotton understood this and he was the sole Senator who tried to protect the Senate from itself in a 98 - 1 vote.
The hearings that will take place over the next few weeks on JCPOA are a sham. They mean nothing. It's a show they'll be putting on for their own benefit. This agreement goes forward, the consequences unknowable.