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Trashing the Constitution: Call Treaties Something Else And Forget All About What The Constitution Requires

Posted on November 22 2010 6:00 pm
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James P. Rubin, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs during the Clinton administration, wrote an op-ed article on November 22nd in the New York Times entitled “Farewell to the Age of the Treaty.”

Rubin complains that it is too difficult to get treaties ratified under our constitutional process, which requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate. Like all devoted progressives, his answer is to forget about the Constitution altogether.

Rubin would prefer to pretend that START and other treaties are not treaties at all. Just call them something else and they’ll slide through. Enact them through a simple legislative majority as if they were domestic laws, he suggests. And if that does not work, just end-run Congress altogether and use “executive agreements.” This essentially is the same suggestion that the left-wing Center for American Progress is making to end-run Congress in order to push through the rest of the domestic progressive agenda.

Rubin makes the perverse argument that following the ratification process required by Article II (Section 2) of the Constitution, which gives the President the power to make treaties “provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur,” is somehow antithetical to the contents of the START treaty:

Ratification, in short, creates a platform for partisan grandstanding wholly at odds with the treaty itself

Isn’t the reason for requiring a two-thirds vote to make sure that the contents of the treaty before the Senate is not “wholly at odds” with the security and national interest of the American people?

Never mind such pesky details, Rubin declares. We can now trust that the Russians will provide us with a “freer flow of information” than during the bad old days of the Cold War Soviet Union .

And besides, treaties are so old-fashioned, says Rubin:

For reasons that go beyond the Senate, the era of treaty-making may largely be over.

Rubin  is so taken with Obama’s disastrous foreign policies that he will urge any action – no matter how unconstitutional – to see these policies continue.  He even wrote a fantasy piece in the Wall Street Journal last June in which he said:

the Obama administration has restored strained alliances and friendships around the world, while weakening the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela

How is that “restored” relationship with our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, working out, Mr. Rubin?

Or just how weak is Ahmadinejad as he brushes off the sanctions and marches his country unimpeded towards achieving a nuclear arms capability?

And as for Chavez, he and Ahamadinejad just can’t get enough of each other. Chavez continues to use his oil money to export his brand of revolution to other parts of Latin America and to obtain his own nuclear materials and technology from Iran and other sources.

Poor James Rubin. His delusions are probably fed by too much pillow talk about foreign affairs with his wife, Christiane Amanpour, former  chief international correspondent for CNN and currently the anchor of  ABC’s “This Week.” Amanpour’s anti-Israel bias and blame-America-first mentality are well known to those who have had the unpleasant experience of listening to her over the years.

This past Sunday, Amanpour had on as a guest Ed Luce, the London Financial Times’ Washington Bureau Chief and former Clinton administration operative, as part of her roundtable discussion. Luce charged that Republican opposition to START shows

there’s a greater hatred of Obama than there is a love of American national security.

Amanpour herself joined the chorus:

It’s the verification which is a huge issue and, vitally, American credibility. Here we have this story from North Korea today. How does America stand up and say, you guys can’t proliferate if we’re not going to do this? How can we lead?

We lead by adhering to the ratification process that our Constitution requires, no matter whether the Rubin-Amanpour couple is impatient or disagrees with the outcome.

I would rather trust what the Constitution says about treaties and continue following its requirements than rely on the progressive thinking of this dynamic duo.

Joseph Klein is the author of a new book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.


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