Obama can’t ‘ratify’ the Paris climate accords by himself unless Congress lets him

Wednesday, September 07, 2016 by

(Freedom.news) In what is either a compliant effort to spread propaganda or legitimate ignorance, the mainstream media is misreporting the story regarding President Obama’s “ratification” of the Paris climate accords during his trip to Beijing for the G-20 Summit over the weekend.

How? Because a president can’t “ratify” a treaty; that takes Senate approval. And that’s precisely what the Paris accords are, even if the administration doesn’t see it as one. Agreements between nations are treaties, not “deals.” So “ratification” is exactly the wrong term for the media to use. If the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a treaty that must be ratified by the Senate, so are the Paris accords.

But this issue goes deeper than just simple misrepresentation on the part of the White House and the media: It goes to the heart of just who Obama really is, what he really thinks of our form of government, and how he fundamentally believes a president should behave. His arrogance and hubris aside, this “constitutional law lecturer” believes that the presidency ought to be imperial, that the Oval Office should reign supreme over the other two branches of government, and that presidents – especially him – ought to be above the tedious machinations of representative government.

You have to give Obama some credit, however. Because he is so well-versed in the Constitution, he is been able to exploit its loopholes to get away with subverting it at every opportunity: Changing the implementation schedule for various parts of Obamacare; rewriting immigration law; and making “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board when Congress was still in session, to name a few instances. He has known all along that while there were enough votes in the House to impeach him, there was no such constitutional majority to actually convict in the Senate. Plus, he knows that the sycophants in the mainstream media would skewer Republicans as racist bigots if they did vote to impeach.

He has also known all along that Republican threats of defunding his edicts – utilizing Congress’ constitutional power of the purse – were empty, especially after the media roasted them for a short government shutdown during his first term, despite the fact that it was the Democrats’ fault for refusing to produce budgets.

In short, Obama has outmaneuvered Republican opposition at every turn, because he understands the limitations of holding imperial presidents accountable for violating the Constitution and their oaths of office. And in doing so, he has laid the groundwork for future abuses by future chief executives.

There are a couple of things Congress can do to thwart implementation of the Paris accords. One, lawmakers can simply refuse to fund its implementation provisions. For another, Congress can take the White House to court, though that route suggests that the Judicial Branch has more authority than the Legislative Branch in such matters, which is false.

One final thing that the next president can do is call the accord what they is – a treaty – and submit it to the Senate for legitimate ratification. A President Donald Trump may be inclined to do this, but a President Hillary Clinton, big government statist that she is, would likely let the accord stand as is and implement it whether Congress agreed or not.

The damage Obama has done to the Executive Branch is incalculable, but it is significant. The founders were fearful of an all-powerful president and built in constitutional provisions for Congress, and via Article V, the states, to check that power. But when you refuse to utilize the constitutional tools you’ve been given, that’s the same as not having them at all.

Let’s hope Congress and state legislatures find a backbone sometime soon and reassert their constitutional authority. Otherwise presidents from here on out truly will be ‘imperial.’

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