Thursday, September 29, 2016
Politically Gutless Congress Overrides President's Veto
On Wednesday, most members of Congress displayed their political cowardice for all to see.
President Obama had vetoed a bill that would allow 9/11 victims (who have already been compensated by our government) to sue the government of Saudi Arabia in an American court. There was good reason for the veto. The bill would set a very bad precedent in allowing law suits against other countries, and open the door to other countries and/or their citizens to file the same kind of suit against the United States government or its citizens.
The bill basically opens a Pandora's box of craziness, and would be devastating to U.S. diplomatic efforts. Supporters of the silly bill have said the bill just applies to Saudi Arabia for this one incident. That is rather disingenuous. It sets a precedent that could be extended to other nations or any nation. Why should any country believe we won't do the same thing to them? Why should they hesitate to file their own suits against the U.S.?
This same line of thought could justify law suits by the governments or citizens of Afghanistan or Iraq against the U.S. government or its soldiers. Actually, the list is endless.
Why did these lawmakers override the president's veto? One reason -- political cowardice. This is an election year, and they know that a lot of voters won't understand the dangers of this bill (but just feel sorry for the 9/11 victims). Those representatives and senators who voted to override were really voting their own electoral self-interests -- putting their own job above what's good for the country.
These politicians (and voters) supporting the override are going to be shocked and angry when this boomerangs back to hurt this country (and it will) -- but they will have only themselves to blame.
The Senate vote 97 to 1 to override. Senator Harry Reid was the only senator to vote NO. Senators Bernie Sanders and Tim Kaine dodged the vote by hitting the campaign trail. All other senators, both Republican and Democratic, voted to override.
The House voted 348 to 77 to override. Voting NO were 59 Democrats and18 Republicans. I applaud all of them for voting for what's right instead of what's politically expedient.
NOTE -- The photo above is from C-SPAN.