On 10 March, 47 Republican US Senators sent a letter to Iran that has the potential to seriously complicate the Obama Administration negotiations and possibly even kill any potential agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear program. In my view this was a terrible and immature overreaction to President Obama’s recent arguably illegal and definitely improper actions that impinge on Congressional prerogatives. Have we begun a destructive game of “you step on my prerogative and I’ll step on yours” between Obama and the Republican led Congress?
One of the most egregious examples of the President’s impingement on Congressional prerogatives was his using his “pen and phone” to issue his Immigration Executive Order granting amnesty to about 6 million illegal aliens. This gives illegal aliens social security numbers that will enable them to compete for jobs with legal Americans and even raid the US Treasury for $15,000 each by filing for three years worth of tax refunds for years they worked “off the books” and didn’t even pay taxes!
Like in football when it’s always the player that reacts to an illegal hit that draws the penalty, for some reason Republicans always get the blame when they react to Democrat provocations. I suspect a great deal of the reason the Republicans are normally blamed is how the stories are reported by the naturally left-leaning mainstream press. Examples:
Obama impinges on Republican prerogatives by issuing his “Amnesty for Illegal Aliens” and Republicans react by impinging on Executive prerogatives by inviting Israeli Prime Mister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress and now this letter to Iran. The Republican lame excuse for sending the letter was to “instruct the Iranians that the President does not have the Constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them” and that any executive agreement “could be undone or modified by Congress or that a future President could revoke it with a stroke of a pen.” I seriously doubt Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei needed the Republican’s gratuitous civics lesson on the limits of Presidential power but the Press never made the connection between the Democrat’s provocation and the Republican reaction. Result: penalty Republicans for “Unsportsman-like Conduct!”
Obama becomes the first presidential candidate in a generation to reject public financing for his 2008 campaign after pledging to accept it and instead accepts unlimited corporate and “fat cat” donations and Republicans get blamed for later out raising Democrats with “fat cats” and for the Supreme Court “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” decision. Result: penalty Republicans for “Unsportsman-like Conduct!”
The Senate Democrats filibuster a motion to even debate the recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Bill sent over by the House despite “regular order” would have allowed them to offer amendments and send the bill back to conference with the House to hammer out differences before a final vote. Remember, appropriation bills MUST originate in the House under the Constitution and it was the Senate Democrats that halted “regular order” action on it yet the Liberal press shifted the blame to Republicans. Result: penalty Republicans for “Unsportsman-like Conduct!”
I could cite several more examples but bottom line, when the Liberal press acts more like NFL Referees than impartial reporters of the facts and have a natural Liberal bent to blame Republicans regardless of whose really at fault, then when they call out an actual foul like this ill-advised letter to Iran, many Republicans just see it as another example of a press overreaction to Republicans reacting to Democrat provocation. If the mainstream press were more “fair and balanced,” then maybe Republicans would be more apt to take them seriously and react when there is a real “penalty” called on them like this one.
The real question is when will this destructive game of “you step on my prerogative and I’ll step on yours” between Obama and the Republican led Congress end? I would suggest that a good starting point might be halting what started this latest round of pissing contests, Obama’s Immigration Executive Order. Even the Washington Post has come out in opposition to that executive order and questioned it legality and a Federal Judge has found sufficient reason to order it stopped until a challenge can be heard in May. The President should let the Immigration issue play out in the Courts and ultimately I suspect the Supreme Court will decide it. Unless one of the parties calls a truce, I suspect we will see repeated incidents of destructive behavior by both sides for the remainder of Obama’s term of office. This could permanently damage the country and set a precedent for future Presidents and Congresses that they can get away with obviating each others prerogatives without limits.