By Bob Bennett
There were a number of famous traitors throughout history: Cassius conspired with Brutus to assassinate Caesar; both had been awarded high office by their victim; Judas Iscariot, vilest of traitors, betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver; Benedict Arnold plotted to give West Point to the British; Vidkun Quisling was Norway’s puppet governor under the Nazis; Marshal Philippe Pétain headed the Vichy Regime in wartime France, which collaborated with the Nazis, even rounding up Jews.
The first three betrayed their leaders; the second three, their countries. “Judas” and “Quisling” have entered the language, as synonyms for “betrayer.” Perhaps, one day the word “McConnell” may similarly find its way into the vernacular.
Mitch McConnell has betrayed his party and the United States Senate—both of which have become shams; he’s betrayed those who voted for him, breaking his campaign promises, and aligning with Obama. He’s betrayed America itself and its Constitution, which he could have defended against a dictatorial president who had repeatedly violated it. Instead, he funded that violation.
On May 7th, he betrayed not only America, but the entire civilized world, by pushing Republicans to join with Democrats in passing the Corker-Cardin “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.” It passed by a vote of 98-1; only Sen. Cotton (R-AR) voted against it.
It was a Harry Reid dream: a clean bill. Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) had purged the legislation of language that might displease Iran: a provision that the president must certify to Congress, every 90 days, that Iran had not been complicit in terrorism against Americans; if it had, that would trigger re-imposition of sanctions. That’s been changed; now, the president would periodically make reports on Iran’s terrorism, and its ballistic missile program—but a violation would not trigger a response.
McConnell had blocked consideration of such “extreme” amendments as limits on the president’s ability to lift sanctions on Iran or mandating “anytime, anywhere” inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Off the table, also was an amendment proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that would require Iran to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. No, no, no: that might’ve made Democrats balk or the bill might draw a presidential veto. They didn’t want to sabotage a bill that would purportedly grant Congress oversight of the nuclear agreement with Iran. But, of course, Congress already had that right, under the Constitution.
In reality, this bill takes it away.
Daniel Horowitz, Senior Editor of Conservative Review writes in “Last Hope to Stop Iran: #HouseConservatives” that:
“From beginning to end, the dishonest bipartisan oligarchy sold this bill as a way of securing congressional approval of any Iran deal.” Co-sponsor Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), “Obama’s point man in the Senate on the Iran appeasement,” as Horowitz called him, “made the following deceitful statement prior to voting on the bill:
“It was in the 1990’s that Congress started to impose sanctions against Iran for its Nuclear weapons program. Only congress can remove those Sanctions or permanently change it. (Congressional Record)”
In reality, the bill allows Obama to remove the sanctions:
“Instead of the default position being no sanctions relief unless a majority of Congress affirmatively approve of the deal,” wrote Horowitz, “this bill allows the president to remove sanctions after 30 days unless two-thirds of both houses override the president.”
Republicans have only 54 votes, and, verily, verily Democrats would never vote to override Obama. By unanimously voting for this bill, they’ve proven that, to them, serving Obama trumps protecting the Nation, for the bill prevents Congress from blocking any deal Obama comes up with. Moreover, Daniel Horowitz quotes Congressional Quarterly that House Democrats signal “they will never give Republicans the …two-thirds majority to override a veto under any circumstance.”
Uber-leftist Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL) “circulated a letter signed by 150 House Democrats cheering on Obama’s appeasement of Iran and urging him to stay the course.”
McConnell and Senate leaders now willingly serve up more of Congress’s powers to a president who had, only a few months before, legalized millions of illegal aliens without congressional approval. At least, they went through the motions of resisting, that time. After Senate Dems had filibustered and re-filibustered the House-passed DHS funding bill carrying amendments barring DHS funding of the unconstitutional amnesty, McConnell, citing Judge Andrew Hanen’s stay, blocking implementation of the amnesty, called upon Senate Democrats to cease their filibustering:
“This ruling underscores what the President has already acknowledged publicly 22 times: He doesn’t have the authority to take the kinds of actions he once referred to as ‘ignoring the law’ and ‘unwise and unfair.’ Senate Democrats–especially those who’ve voiced opposition to the President’s executive overreach—should end their partisan filibuster of Department of Homeland Security funding.”
Senate Republican conference chairman John Thune, quoted by Breitbart, declared:
“The U.S. District Court judge in Texas is raising the same legal concerns the president himself raised 22 times: he does not have the authority to take this immigration executive action, Senate Democrats have a responsibility to drop their filibuster of the House-passed DHS funding bill.”
Brent Bozell, Chairman of ForAmerica emphatically summed up the feelings of conservatives:
“Now 26 states have come together against executive amnesty and a judge has temporarily blocked the president’s illegal actions. Senator McConnell, what are you waiting for? No more dithering, no more lame excuses. It’s time for the Senate to act. The courts agree the President overstepped his authority. So does the House. So do the American people, overwhelmingly. It would be not just irresponsible but disgraceful for the Senate to fund his unconstitutional actions.
“Senator McConnell, you and your fellow Republicans pledged, over and over, that you would stop President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. Republicans proclaimed it from the rooftops by running more than 10,000 television ads against amnesty from October 1st through Election Day. The public rewarded you with an emphatic victory. Enough said.”
Democrats filibustered the House bill four times. Did McConnell invoke reconciliation, which would bar a filibuster and would allow a simple majority vote? Republicans have that majority. Did he not recall how Democrats improperly used the same rule to pass ObamaCare? The procedure is only for budget bills, which ObamaCare definitely was not. The DHS funding bill was a budget bill.
No, he did not use reconciliation. He could’ve suspended the filibuster rule. He did not. He gave up trying to move the House bill forward, took out the amendments barring funding of the amnesty, and sent the bill back to the House, which passed it, fearing to shut down DHS—even though its essential functions would not have been shut down.
Now, McConnell has given up raising even a tepid resistance to Obama and has graduated to open partnership with him. Or should I say “comradeship”?
Clearly, McConnell has fallen for the mantra the complicit media has chanted, over and over: Can Republicans govern? He was unable to contain his infantile desire to prove that they could. What the media really meant was: “Will they agree with the Democrats, in all things?” better still: “Will they collaborate”; “Will they sell out America, by helping Obama?”
And this is not a minor matter. Bloomberg reports that, since 2013 the Administration has estimated Iran was “at most three months away from enriching enough nuclear fuel for an atomic bomb.” [Emphasis mine.] The piece says:
“Speaking to reporters and editors at our Washington bureau on Monday [April 20th], Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged that the U.S. has assessed for several years that Iran has been two to three months away from producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.”
If the House passes this bill as written, Obama’s Iran deal will carry Congress’s bipartisan imprimatur, and there will be no way for Congress to reject the deal. Horowitz writes, the only way to make the bill’s text match the talking points would be to add the Cruz amendment, “which would require Congress to affirmatively approve of the deal.”
This bill gives the president the power to lift sanctions within 30 days after Obama submits his deal to Congress—which they can’t override. But a deal to do what—with 2 to 3 months to breakout?
Why did Senate Conservatives go along with this? First, we must give credit to six Senators who voted against cloture on this devastating bill: Sens. Cruz, Cotton, Grassley, Lee, Moran, and Sullivan.
Talk radio host Mark Levin said, on May 7th: He “uses his power, behind the scenes where you can’t see him, to threaten freshman Republicans, Tea Party Republicans, conservative Republicans with cutting off their funding in the next campaign, if they do not bend to his will.”
Levin’s opinion on McConnell’s motives?
“He’s now taken the tack that it is the objective of the majority Republican-controlled Senate—a significant majority, that you put there—to accommodate Obama; to demonstrate to the world that we can govern.”
Daniel Horowitz declares that only House Republicans can stop this appeasement bill by insisting the addition of the Cruz amendment requiring “Congress to affirmatively approve of the deal.”
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.