Tag Archives: barack obama
Forty-seven Republican Tea Party (GOTP) members of the United States Senate have written an open letter to the leadership of Iran.
To undermine the legitimacy of the President of the United States and his Constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy for, and in behalf of, the United States.
The 47 GOTP Senators – aka the Gang of 47 – are led by a very freshman senator from Arkansas, Senator Tom Cotton, who is so new to the Senate he probably has to still ask directions to the men’s room. Like other brash junior GOTP senators – think Cruz, Rubio and Paul – Cotton is walking around shooting from the political hip and shooting himself in the foot, and a whole lot of his associates in the majority party. He has not taken the time to learn what the Senate does, nor what its role and responsivities are under Article I of the Constitution. It appears doubtful the freshman senator has ever read the Constitution, and if he has he certainly does not understand it. The Senate, for example, does not have purview over foreign relations except when the Executive sends it a treaty – after it has been negotiated – to ratify. Utilizing its Constitutional power of “advice and consent” it may debate and wrangle with the President concerning the treaty, but it may not negotiate with foreign countries. In fact, it is against federal law for the Senate to contact foreign countries and discuss foreign policy in any way, shape of form.
In 1798, a state legislator – George Logan – from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took it upon himself to privately negotiate with France during a period of United States history known as the “Quasi War.” The Federalist members of Congress were so angered by Logan’s self-appointed mission, they passed the Logan Act in January of 1799.
The Act simply states, “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Not only have the Gang of 47 committed a huge act of overreach of its authority, it is also clearly in violation of the Logan Act. The little group has committed one of the greatest political acts of stupidity possibly in the annals of the United States Senate.
Although it should be abundantly clear to anyone the Senators in question had no authority to send any kind of correspondence to the leaders of another country, just in case anyone still thinks the Congress has the right to interfere, let us remove all lingering doubt.
The Supreme Court in 1936 ruled in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936), “[T]he President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it.” The Senate “cannot intrude” and the Congress “is powerless.”
Technically, the President could ask the Justice Department to investigate whether the Gang of 47 committed any crime with its letter and could seek prosecution. Probably not something the President will do. The real problem for these GOTP members of the Senate is they look like rank amateurs and fools and have made their country look foolish as well.
Additionally, there is a very real political problem will be for those members of the Gang of 47 who have Presidential aspirations. Senators Ted Cruz (who can never be president), Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have all just proven – beyond a shadow of a doubt – their foreign affairs experience is somewhere between pre-K and Second Grade. One day these very junior senators will have to debate some adults, and when they do this letter will come back and bite them very deservedly in their political buttocks.
One last bit of reality for the Gang of 47 – and its groupies. The ongoing negotiations with Iran are not bilateral – meaning between the United States and Iran – but are multilateral. The United States is one of half a dozen nations negotiating Iran’s nuclear future. Currently involved in the discussions – besides the United States – are Great Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany, under the auspices of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or NPT, and as such any agreement could only be changed, or nullified, if all the signatories agreed to do so, not simply if the United States Congress, or some future GOTP President decided to so. The NPT became part of international law in 1970, being extended indefinitely in 1995. Any agreement reached through the negotiations would be a United Nations’ Security Council Resolution, and not something any future U.S. President or any member of the Congress has the authority to undo.
Maybe next time Senator Cotton thinks he needs to write a letter – along with his buddies – to another country’s leaders he’ll ask a responsible adult if it’s OK first.
There has been a lot of bantering, pontificating and general bloviating on the right since the mid-term elections, and chief among the spewing of words has been the word “impeachment.” Every Tea Partier is foaming at the mouth, rabidly wanting to see the President removed from office in disgrace.
Sorry to break it to you, but it is never going to happen.
First, in order to remove the President of the United States through impeachment he or she must have committed an act of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as clearly outlined in Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States – a document the talking heads and politicians on the right would be well served to read from time-to-time. There are no provisions for removing the President because you do not like his policies, his party affiliation or the color of his skin.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines “Treason” as, “attempting to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance; or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power.” The President has not attempted to overthrow the government, nor has he betrayed the country into the hands of a foreign power.
Bribery is defined as, “The receiving or offering any undue reward by or to any person whomsoever, whose ordinary profession or business relates to the administration of public justice, in order to influence his behavior, and to incline him to act contrary to his duty and the known rules of honesty and integrity.” Gee, once again, the President has not committed any such offense.
Black’s further defines “High crimes and misdemeanors” as being “such immoral and unlawful acts as are nearly allied and equal in guilt to felony, yet, owing to some technical circumstance, do not fall within that definition.” As much as the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., would like to claim, think and propose, the President has yet to commit any such crimes.
So, besides the fact there is no “cause” for Republican Tea Party (GOTP) controlled Congress to attempt to remove the President, that will not stop them from trying to do so. There is just one small problem, while the House can “impeach” the President with a simple majority vote, Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution is very clear as to how many votes are needed to convict.
“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”
Dream on Tea Partiers, your long sought for victory over President Obama will never come to pass because you and your minions lack the 2/3s majority needed to convict him of whatever trumped up charge the House deems to throw at him. In order to convict the President the GOTP would need 67 votes, meaning at least 14 Democrats would need to side with them, which is never going to happen.
In short, do not waste the time and energy to try to impeach the President, you will be wasting millions of dollars and in the end, you will look incredibly stupid.