Yesterday I watched the entire live stream of the D.C. rally against the Iran deal that took place in front of the U.S. Capitol. There were many speakers. Senator Ted Cruz, talk-radio and author Mark Levin, Sarah Palin and talk-radio host Glenn Beck to name a few. While I was moved by what both Levin and Beck had to say, it is Cruz and Trump I want to focus on here.
It is first Important to stress the purpose of the rally. It was to publicly stand and be counted in the ranks of the opposition to the pending deal with Iran. That was the sole purpose of the rally…to hopefully influence both Congressman and Senators to vote against it.
While Senator Cruz and Donald Trump are both seeking the Republican Presidential nomination only one of them used the occasion to tout his greatness and stump for votes. I doubt I need identify which of the two that was.
While Senator Cruz spoke eloquently, passionately and factually about the dangers of the deal and why it is in the national and world interest to not enter into the Agreement as negotiated, Donald Trump made but a brief reference to the harm to Israel on his way to aggrandizing himself, his prowess and his assurances to everyone listening that a Trump presidency would soon have us “tired of winning” on the world stage. His hubris truly knows no bounds. He was unable, even for this critical issue, to put his ego second to the moment. Today, following yesterday’s event, the contrast continued. While Donald Trump had the audacity to say that Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was “too ugly to be President,” Senator Cruz had a letter delivered to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner outlining the legal approach which will prevent the release to jihadists of $150B in now frozen Iranian assets which will surely be used to attack the U.S. and Israel as blatantly reiterated as recently as this week by the Supreme Leader of Iran.
Sen. Cruz’s three-step process includes:
1) “Both of you should formally determine that, under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, also known as Corker-Cardin, because President Obama has not submitted to Congress the widely reported side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the President has not yet submitted the Iran agreement as required by Corker-Cardin. Therefore, the 60-day clock for congressional review has not yet begun to run. And, critically, as a result, federal law prohibits the Obama Administration from lifting sanctions.
2) Leader McConnell should introduce a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that, if the agreement had been introduced as a treaty, it should not be ratified. This will put everyone on record and will make clear that there is insufficient support in the Senate for approving the agreement as a treaty.
3) We can assume, based on his past practice, that President Obama will simply ignore the law and declare that he is lifting sanctions under the agreement anyway. On that assumption, we should make clear to the CEOs of banks holding frozen Iranian funds that their misplaced reliance on the President’s lawlessness would not necessarily excuse them from the obligation to comply with existing federal sanctions laws. And if they release billions in funds to Khamenei, they risk billions in civil (and possibly even criminal) liability once President Obama leaves office. Having spent years advising major corporations in private practice, I can tell you that their general counsels will likely tell them their legal exposure is real, which could well result in the banks deciding not to release the funds to Iran, the President’s lawless waivers notwithstanding.”
My point is this: if you want to be rid of a lawless President with an out-of-control ego who believes the Constitution does not pertain to him, Donald Trump is not your replacement. He is your next nightmare. He is used to calling the shots with no opposition…and if and when opposition appears, Trump is in the life-long habit of steamrolling over it.
If you want a President who understands the Constitution and the law that it spawns…if you want a President who respects you and this country enough to set aside his campaign and put front and center the framework for denying Iran the means to harm us…if you want a President who is not afraid to go up against the leaders of his own Party for the best interest of the United States and its citizens, then Ted Cruz is your candidate. He is acting Presidential even before he gets there.
I had quite enough of “Hope and Change” and parting of the seas with Barack Obama. Donald Trump offers more of the same. “Make America Great Again” and “I’ll make Mexico pay for the wall” is just an updated version. Been there, done that.
Michael Douglas, playing U.S. President Andrew Shepard in the movie “The American President” makes a moving speech at the end of the film. Shepard is addressing his opponent during a bitter re-election campaign. Two great lines from that speech are: “We’ve got serious problems, and we need serious people. This a time for serious people and your fifteen minutes are up.”
It’s what I think we need to say to Donald Trump. His fifteen minutes are up. You still want him in public office? Fine. Make him Secretary of Commerce. It’s what he knows best.
In the meantime, the serious Presidential candidate for this serious time is Ted Cruz.