18 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #452: UC #450 Follow-Up

A bill is under congressional consideration which is intended to assert (to some degree) the Senate’s right to reject or to ratify our de-facto treaty with Iran.  A news article reads (with some corrections):
Under the bill, Obama could unilaterally lift or ease any sanctions that were imposed on Iran through presidential executive means.  But the bill would prohibit him for 60 days from suspending, waiving, or otherwise easing any sanctions that Congress levied on Iran.  During that 60-day period, Congress could hold hearings and approve, disapprove, or take no action on any final nuclear agreement with Iran.  If Congress passed a joint resolution approving a final deal -- or took no action -- Obama could move ahead to ease sanctions levied by Congress.  But if Congress passed a joint resolution disapproving it, Obama would be blocked from providing Iran with any relief from congressional sanctions.
Theoretically, he would be blocked; but what would prevent Emperor Nerobama [see the list of domanisms] from simply disregarding this law, just as he disregards the already-existing constitutional provision to which I alluded in the first sentence of this posting?  (This demonstrates the hopelessness of again trying to use legislation to enforce the Legislature’s prerogatives against an overweening president, and it further reveals a basic flaw in our political system.  The authors of the US Constitution seem to have proceeded from the assumption that those whom the people elect as their leaders will have no much respect for the workings of the government that they will obey the rules laid down by its founders.  But what if they don’t have such respect?  What if they’re abusers of authority, like the man who has turned the Oval Office into the Evil Office?  There is, of course, the potentiality of impeachment, as I mentioned in UC #450; but, were a president convicted of impeachment charges, how would we respond if he simply refused to relinquish his power?  We don’t have a federal police force that we could send in to arrest him.  Would civil war break out?)