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January 21, 2014

Obama: Hey, Maybe I'll Just Unilaterally Suspend the Law with Respect to Sanctions on Iran While I'm At It

He's got a pen, a phone, and a pathological hatred of the American system of democratically-informed, check-and-balance governance.

Itís not that Oís going to somehow unilaterally repeal the sanctions in effect. A la the employer mandate, heíll simply refuse to enforce existing law, using executive orders and waivers to make sure that funds that Congress wants choked off will somehow find their way to Iran if the mullahs play ball. The counterargument here, I guess, is that presidents always have some latitude in how they enforce sanctions. Right, but this isnít a quibble about how best to carry out a mutually agree-upon policy; itís a case of the executive and legislature being seemingly at loggerheads on the core question of whether U.S. policy should involve more pressure on an enemy or less ó at a sensitive moment of international diplomacy to boot. Against that backdrop, systematically relaxing sanctions would amount to O substituting the policy he favors for the one favored by Congress. Thatís actually bolder than his decision not to enforce the mandate, which Democrats were happy to see him do (even though they had passed the mandate in the first place) since it averted an extra ObamaCare-related political headache for them this year. By relaxing Iran sanctions, heíd potentially be defying his own party too.

After the Soviet Union fell, Russia implemented a system of limited government (well, limited as regards the Russian experience of government, anyway). Yeltsin -- and then Putin -- found that the limited government didn't suit them, and thus the early nineties were marked by this sort of headline, every single month:

Yeltsin Declares Sweeping New Powers

or:

Putin's Party Votes Him Sweeping New Powers

Well, Putin is now officially a tyrant.

It can't happen here?

Why can it not happen here? It happens, literally, everywhere else.


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posted by Ace at 04:27 PM

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