Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fait Accompli President

President Obama has an effective technique for getting what he wants on controversial issues.

This technique is to hold the draft on the text of the deal or the negotiation being conducted until it is irreversibly done or settled by the time critics know about it.

This was what was done or is being done with ObamaCare, the opening of Cuba, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and the Iran Nuclear Deal. These presidential agenda items it is argued, are too important and sensitive for non-Presidential eyes.

The proceedings leading up to their announcement are a closely held secret behind closed doors. Even members of Congress, particularly those on the other side of the issue, can see, or hear, or read what’s going on if they agree not to talk about or leave their pens, phones, recorders, and staffer at the door. We may catch a glimpse at what’s evolving through leaks. but not the details. This approach is justified as executive privilege.

With ObamaCare, Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House Leader famously disclaimed, “We’ll have to passed it to find what’s in it.” The Cuban negotiations took place in secret. The Pacific trade pact, which had 30 chapters, with a draft chapter on intellectual property ran 77 single-spaced pages.

The Iran deal is dealth with by the President and his foreign negotiating team in 159 pages. The Congress has 60 days to read it and approve it. The conventional wisdom is that all Republicans and a handful of Democrats, most with heavy Jewish constituents, will oppose it.

But in the eyes of the President, it is a done deal. Obama is confident that its opponents will not have votes to override his veto if the agreement does not pass Congressional muster.

The Congress has 60 days to read it and approve it. The conventional wisdom is that all Republicans and a handful of Democrats, most with heavy Jewish constituents, will oppose it. In the eyes of the President, it is a done deal. Obama is confident that its opponents will not have votes to override his veto if the agreement does not pass Congressional muster.

As the Wall Street Journal says in its lead editorial today, "Obama's U.N. First Gambit," the President has deployed two masterful touches to make sure the deal was approved. One, "He constructed the negotiation as an executive agreement." rather than a treaty, that would have required a two-thirds vote of approval in the Senate." Two, he rushes the agreement to the United Nation's Security Council for an unanimous agreement before Congress has its its 60 days to consider the agreement. This Presidential gambit is obvious - to shame the Congress before the world if it decides to disapprove the Iran deal.

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