Blog Archive

Thursday, March 12, 2015


On the Cotton Letter.

If Democrats had done something similar to this in the run up to the Illegal and Immoral Invasion of Iraq, they would have been (rightly) Pilloried.
Foreign Policy is the purview of the Executive Branch, per the Vesting Clause in Article 2 of the US Constitution.
The role of Congress in such matters is limited. In some cases, such as ratifying Treaties, Congress has the responsibility to “Advise and Consent”. In hammering out the details of such Treaties, Congress sits in the back seat...they can bitch and moan, but they have no Constitutional Authority.

“...The (vesting-ED)clause also accords the President those foreign-affairs authorities not otherwise granted to Congress or shared with the Senate. Thus, the President can control the formation and communication of foreign policy and can direct America's diplomatic corps. Because the Constitution nowhere assigns or shares these foreign-affairs powers, they remain part of the executive power granted to the President by the Executive Vesting Clause.”- (!/articles/2/essays/76/executive-vesting-clause)
Seems pretty clear, to me.
The Supreme Court decided, definitively, that this was so in 1936:
“It is important to bear in mind that we are here dealing not alone with an authority vested in the President by an exertion of legislative power, but with such an authority plus the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations–a power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress, but which, of course, like every other governmental power, must be exercised in subordination to the applicable provisions of the Constitution.”-Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland, writing for the Majority in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 1936 (from the Wiki)
Of course, in Goptea-land, it depends on who sits in the Oval Office:
“"In the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate," Cheney recently told the Wall Street Journal, "there was a concerted effort to place limits and restrictions on presidential authority." There were "a series of decisions," he explained, "that were aimed at the time at trying to avoid a repeat of things like Vietnam or ... Watergate."

"I thought they were misguided then," he continued, and "given the world that we live in [today] that the president needs to have unimpaired executive authority." Cheney said the only restraint on the president should be "the Constitution." He did not say, however, as he has on other occasions, that it is the president who says what the Constitution means, as far as his own duties and responsibilities.”-the Dark Lord, Cheney.(

Put aside our almost total Ignorance of History, especially regarding our History with Iran/Persia, from World War 1, to the present.
Put aside the blatant Hypocrisy of such shenanigans as this letter, and the recent Netanyahoo(sp-2) speech to Congress.
Congress simply does not have the Authority to form and negotiate Foreign Policy.
For all of the love of the Constitution that the Right purports to have...for all of their admonitions that Liberals “read the Constitution”...
for all of the insinuation that this President is, somehow, “Lawless”, and a “dictator” turns out that, like everything else, it depends...
When Lil' George was trampling on the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, it was fine and dandy. How dare a Hippie in the Hills criticize our dear leader.
When St. Ronnie was doing secret deals with Iran, from before he was Inaugurated, it was fine and dandy.
How dare the Liberals take umbrage.
But let a Center Left, Democratic President with a funny name exercise his Constitutional Authority over the Foreign Policy of the USA, and the Right explodes into apoplexy.
Both “my” Senators saw fit to sign on to this idiotic and ill conceived letter, as they both also supported the recent meddling of Bibi in our governance and policy: The shameless corporate whore, Cornyn ,(,
and the shameless Messiah in Waiting Cruz, ( have pandered to their rabid and terrified and ahistorical “Base”...lying through their teeth about this President's “lawlessness” and “overreach”...
Now that the letter, and the Bibi hate-speech, have been pilloried and pooh-poohed by all and that such banal and ridiculous posturing have been so roundly the signers of that letter are saying it was “just a joke”.
Such irresponsible behaviour is likely funny in Cut-n-Shoot, Texas, and other such holes of superstition, ignorance and is to be condemned in more civilised places.

No comments: