Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reminded us last week that the Obama Administration had promised "full consultation — with the real meaning of the word consultation," in regard to any changes in Cuba policy then weeks later went right ahead and announced normalization of relations without ANY consultation with the Senate. Rubio and others on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including Democrat Robert Menendez(NJ) are concerned the Administration will ignore their responsibility to consult again in any dealings with Iran.
In a hearing with Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken Rubio reviewed the problem:
Does anyone really believe that the Obama Administration will fully consult with the U.S. Senate, even Democrats on any deal on Iranian nuclear development?
Senator Rubio: “Secretary Blinken, much of this debate here today has been about the role of Congress and our need to trust in the ability of the administration to craft a good deal, and in the fact that we are going to be consulted. That was the question that you asked. So I want to take you back to the last time you were before this committee, and I asked you a question at that time, during your nomination, about whether there would be any unilateral changes or changes in Cuba policy.
“And your answer, and I want to quote it for you. It said, quote, ‘Anything that in the future might be done on Cuba would be done in full consultation, with the real meaning of the word consultation that I just alluded to, with this committee.’ You told me that the last time you were before this committee. Who did it consult with on this committee? Or who did the administration consult with on this committee before it announced the changes on the 17th of December?”
Secretary Blinken: “Senator, I regret that I did not live up to the standard I set during that hearing and in the remarks that you just quoted. I think that I could have done a better job in engaging with you and consulting with you in advance. And I regret that.”
Yet Obama and his aides get quite indignant if any of their prerogatives get stepped on. Witness the outpouring of bile when Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted an invitation to speak to a Joint Session of Congress:
“He spat in our face publicly, and that’s no way to behave,” one Obama aide told an Israeli newspaper. “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”To paraphrase New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin, Obama is one to talk:
It is pointless to say petty threats do not become the Oval Office. Trying to instruct this White House on manners recalls what Mark Twain said about trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig.Obama's deliberate snubs and petty slights to our ally Israel and it's Prime Minister are numerous. Going back to a White House meeting in 2010 where Obama abruptly left the meeting to have dinner with Michelle while Netanyahu was forced to wait. In 2011 there was the open mic conversation between French President Sarkozy and Obama with Obama complaining about Netanyahu.
Still, the fury is telling. It reminds, as if we could forget, that everything is always about Obama.
How dare Israel be more concerned with the existential threat of Iranian nukes than with Obama’s feelings? And what do members of Congress think they are, a separate branch of government or something?
Yes, the presidency deserves respect, even when the president doesn’t. Although Obama routinely ignores lawmakers and their role in our constitutional system of checks and balances, there is an argument afoot that Congress should have taken the high road and consulted him before inviting Netanyahu.
The argument has a point — but not a compelling one. To give Obama veto power over the visit would be to put protocol and his pride before the most important issue in the world.
For Obama to be indignant at what he perceives as a breach in protocol when he regularly disregards his own constitutional responsibilities would be laughable if the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons was not such a dangerous threat to world peace. Sadly, Obama seems to be taking the side of the Iranians and again ignores the concerns of our ally Israel!