Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How the GOP pretends not to authorize Obama’s agenda

Never before has a president negotiated a deal with a sworn enemy of the United States, yet that’s exactly what President Obama is doing with support from virtually every Democrat in the Senate. None of this would have been possible without the Corker bill, which gave Obama all the power he needed. Now all that stands between stopping the arming of Iran with nuclear warheads are the Republicans. They can suspend the filibuster for just this vote, but Mitch McConnell and company won’t step up. The American people reject the Iran deal but Washington politicians could care less... ~ ML, 9/8/15
Levin's fervor in exposing the games played by the incestuous go-along Washington elites, particularly that of the GOP leadership's incessant promotion of Obama's agenda when pretending to be 'against it' while appearing to 'govern' (but not fooling anyone with either instance of deceit), is further described in this excellent piece by Andy McCarthy...
NRO: In my weekend column I offered a concrete plan to undermine President Obama’s atrocious Iran deal. It is an easy one, because all that the Republican-controlled Congress has to do, if it really wants to derail this thing, is follow the law that they wrote and Obama signed, the Corker law — the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, sometimes also known as “Corker-Cardin,” after Senate sponsors Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D., Md.).

Sadly, in another iteration of the anger that is the wind beneath Donald Trump’s wings, many readers insist that GOP leadership has no intention to block Obama on Iran. If that is so, it is passing strange. The national-security threat here is grave. Plus, how much credibility can Republicans have (maybe I should just end the sentence there) in complaining about Obama’s disregard of federal law if they won’t even follow the law they themselves enacted just four months ago?

In my column I demonstrate that Obama has failed to comply with the crystal-clear conditions spelled out in the Corker law. This is indisputable. “Side deals” that the statute explicitly requires to be disclosed to Congress — involving, for example, IAEA inspection terms and Iran’s prior nuclear work — have been withheld. Moreover, not addressed in my column is yet another alarming side deal Obama has refused to disclose: one that shows the president is deceiving the public when he preposterously claims that sanctions will “snap back” if Iran is caught cheating.

Under the Corker statute, in order to get the benefit of the review process that enables him to “win” approval of his Iran deal with the support of only one-third (plus one) of one house of Congress, Obama had to provide the entirety of the Iran deal, including all relevant side deals between any parties, by July 19. He has failed to do this. Thus, Congress must not go forward with the review, because (a) that is what the law says, (b) forcing full disclosure is the solemn political commitment Republicans made to voters in justifying the wayward Corker review process, and (c) if they go through with the review process, they will be deemed to have forgiven Obama’s default.
But there was never any intention of Obama following this law either. The Corker agreement was merely to find a way out for Republicans taking on any responsibility or decision-making in the direction of Obama's agenda. However in doing so, they've done everything to secure it, and Democrats, starting with the top one in the White House, will continue to castigate them to his audience, while placing the responsibility for the deals advancement firmly on the shoulders of the GOP before its already-pissed-at-them constituency. Win-win for him, lose-lose for them...and this is what McCarthy refers to as the 'Surrender...Then Play-Fight' scheme...
“Surrender . . . Then Play-Fight ” is Republican leadership’s shameful approach to “governing.” The quotes around “governing” are intentional. After voters, having trusted the GOP’s 2014 campaign promises to block Obama’s agenda, gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) notoriously said that the party’s primary objective was to show the public that it could “govern.” As I countered at the time, this was gibberish. Governing is principally an executive exercise. Presidents govern, while legislators prescribe. Prescribing law and monitoring the administration’s execution of it are crucial functions, but they are not governing, because lawmakers are powerless to carry out policy.

Worse, the “show we can govern” tripe is just a rationalization for capitulating to Obama. GOP leaders said they must prove they can overcome legislative gridlock and (all together now) “get things done.” Perforce, the way a legislature “gets things done” is by helping the president do the things he wants to do.

Since the president is currently Obama, the people who elected Republicans obviously wanted them to stop things from getting done. The resulting rage of its increasingly estranged base puts the GOP in a quandary: Republicans must avoid being seen as supporting the things they are getting done — i.e., the Obama agenda. So some sleight-of-hand is in order, some schemes to grease the wheels for Obama while posing as staunch Obama opponents.

Among the most pernicious is “Surrender . . . Then Play-Fight.”

It is a legislative template for obscuring the GOP’s enabling of Obama, a ruse designed to make it appear that the president is getting his way with only minority support (i.e., his hardcore Democratic supporters), while Republicans stridently condemn what they have actually voted to allow. Obama is delighted to play along, because he gets what he wants.
And it's precisely what was choreographed in the Corker legislation. McCarthy goes on to explain that deal, as well as how Obama can be undermined. But that would depend on two things: 1.) If he fails to comply with the conditions (which he has), and 2.) Republicans call him on it (which they won't).

McCarthy concludes that in lieu of the Corker law undermining the Constitution's treaty clause, there's really only one rational thing to do...
Consequently, Republicans must abandon the Corker disapproval process and pass a resolution explaining that Obama has failed to comply with the condition that would trigger that rigged process — the duty to provide the entire Iran deal to Congress by July 19. If Republicans fail to do this, they may get their high-profile opportunity to express futile political opposition to Obama’s appeasement of Iran. But they will very likely have forfeited their only legally meaningful way to preserve the anti-nuke sanctions Obama is desperate to repeal.

Surrender . . . Then Play-Fight is political gamesmanship. But this is not a game. This is a call for statesmanship to preserve legal restrictions that impede terror-promoting enemies of the United States from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
But rational doesn't seem to be in the vocabulary of supposed leadership in either party these days. And because of that, we and our allies are certain to suffer. It's time for the damn games to END!

Related links: Obama’s Iran Deal Is Still Far from Settled
Iran Is Already Gloating
The Corker Bill Isn’t a Victory — It’s a Constitutional Perversion
Before Dems nuke up Iran, there's one last effort for Congress to treat this like the TREATY it is...if they'll ACT!

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