Victory Lap

There was Secretary of State John Kerry taking a much deserved Victory Lap as he announced that the administration had achieved the two thirds majority required to pass the treaty with Iran that the vast majority of Americans craved.  Oh wait, they only got 34 votes in the Senate out of 100.  According to the latest Q-Poll 55% of Americans oppose this agreement vs. 25% support.  We’re confused.  How does something like this happen?  Well the administration says it’s just an executive agreement, but aren’t really major agreements between the U.S. and other countries by definition treaties?  More importantly who gets to decide?  The President says he gets to decide just like he could tell the congress when it is in session or not.  That’s his opinion but that’s all it is.  The courts for instance held that congress not the President determines when it is in session.  So why didn’t Senate just tell the President that it is a treaty and he needs two thirds?  Surely they are on solid constitutional grounds.  As we read Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. it basically states

The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….

Could anyone imagine Wilson telling the Senate that he bound us to the League Nations because it wasn’t a treaty so he didn’t need their two thirds majority.  Reagan doing the same with Nuclear Arms deals with Russia.  How about Clinton and NAFTA?  Sure would’ve made a president’s job a lot easier.  The Senate had the right to demand the deal be presented as what they thought it was, a treaty.  We are told by our betters that couldn’t happen, but why not?

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