No Senator John Hoeven Is Not A Traitor

john hoeven

A group of U.S. Senators, including North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, recently signed a letter to the Iranian government warning the country that any diplomatic agreement with President Barack Obama must be approved by Congress.

Now theĀ New York Daily News has branded these Senators “traitors,” and a petition is calling for their arrest.

It’s a remarkable development. Somehow, a group of Senators pointing out that Congress is a separate and co-equal branch of government is the act of traitors?

Let’s get serious.

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey provides historical context for this sort of congressional foray into international diplomacy, but even beyond that I think we should all appreciate these Senators being direct about their stance on the deal-making Obama is engaged with on Iran.

Because, again, Congress is separate from the executive branch and a co-equal partner in governing the country. Any deal Obama strikes with Iran must, by law, be approved by Congress.

The President is not a monarch. The executive branch does not have a monopoly on foreign policy. To the extent that the Obama administration feels undermined by the U.S. Senate, perhaps that is because Obama has pledged to be dismissive of Congress since it was taken over by Republicans.

Remember all the hoopla when President Obama made it clear that he intended to bypass Congress with more executive orders in his second term? That sort of dismissive attitude has consequences. Obama is reaping them now on Iran.

I’d argue that what prompted the letter signed by Senator Hoeven and others was President Obama’s poor relationship with Congress. If he had a more conciliatory approach, this moment of disunity might not have happened.