Larry Provost

Two weeks ago I warned that the President might sign legislation barring Iranian terrorists from the UN, but with caveats. Sadly, this is what happened.

Iran recently nominated a known terrorist to the UN and Senator Ted Cruz led a bipartisan bill to stop the terrorist from entering the US, even if the terrorist was a supposed “diplomat.” Cruz’s efforts paid off when the vote for his bill was unanimous in both houses of Congress.

Before the bill reached the President’s desk I wrote in the following article

“It remains to be seen if President Obama will sign this bill. If so, will he sign it willingly or with a whole bunch of caveats about how the right maneuvered into foreign policy, hijacked Congress, or any other of the proverbial yawns that lead Iran to have the audacity and hope that they could nominate a known terrorist to the United Nations and get away with it?”

The President did sign the bill and could have used the signing as an unambiguous opportunity to denounce this latest attempt by Iran to challenge the civilized world. Instead the President signed the bill, with little fanfare, and remarkably accused Congress of circumventing the Constitution. The President signed the law but only took it to be an “advisory” opinion meaning that the President retained the power to reject and approve ambassadors.

If the President had issue with Congress’ power surely he could have told the Congress in a different fashion and in a way that did not take away from sending the strongest message to Iran. Certainly he would not have distracted from the intent of the bill by saying he renders a law, that he just signed after unanimous approval from both houses of Congress, as merely advisory? Further, The President could also have used this as a bipartisan moment for unity, to deliver on his message of ushering in a better tone in politics.

Iran, a nation that has major unfinished business with the United States, nominates a terrorist to come to the UN and the President used a bill passed unanimously by both houses of Congress to accuse Congress of usurping his constitutional power.

The President, with his great communication skills, knows the news cycle and what it will pick up and emphasize. Sadly, so does Iran.

Larry Provost

Larry Provost currently works in Washington, D.C.