“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Saturday, August 29, 2015
NY Post Sees That The GOP’s Efforts to Undermine The US Presidency Will Fail on Iran Deal
Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal in Congress admit they can no longer kill the accord. Their focus now is making sure there will be a vote on the agreement at all, and salvaging some political benefit from their well-funded bid to stop it.
Lawmakers, congressional staffers and lobbyists opposed to the deal reached in Vienna last month tell us they are now fighting to get more than 60 votes in the Senate for a resolution of disapproval to avoid a filibuster by Democrats supporting President Obama.
That is a far cry from the 67 votes in the Senate needed, along with two thirds of the House, to overturn an expected presidential veto of that resolution.
Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday it was “very unlikely” there would be 67 votes against the deal in the Senate, but there would be a “bipartisan majority” voting to disapprove of the deal. As of now, only two Senate Democrats and 14 House Democrats have come out against the pact.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is threatening to filibuster the bill, and unless at least four more Democrats promise to vote against the deal, Reid may succeed. Critics of the deal are outraged at the idea that Congress’ only chance at oversight of the initiative might not even get a hearing on the Senate floor.
The White House is also reportedly pushing for the deal to be filibustered, so that Obama won’t have to veto a resolution disapproving the signature foreign-policy accomplishment of his presidency. ___________________
Senate Democrats climb closer to votes needed to back up Obama on Iran nuclear deal
Associated Press+ More
ERICA WERNER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware on Friday became the 30th senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum for the White House-backed agreement grows.
If Senate Democrats can amass 41 votes in favor of the deal, they could block passage of a congressional resolution to disapprove of the deal.
If that doesn't happen and the GOP-led Senate votes to disapprove of the deal, President Barack Obama has vowed to veto it. Democrats then would need 34 votes — four more than they have now — to prevent a congressional override of the presidential veto.
A vote on the nuclear deal the U.S. and other world powers negotiated with Iran is scheduled for early September.
"This next week or 10 days will be critical because those that have really been thinking over long and hard about where they're going to end up many of them are likely to announce something before we return from the Labor Day recess," Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
He wouldn't predict the success of getting to 34 or 41 votes, but said some of the 14 undecided Democrats likely would announce their decision before Congress returns from its August recess.
"We're in active communication with all of the remaining who have not announced," Durbin said. "I would say that most I've spoken to are inclined to do something sooner rather than later and I take that to mean possibly before we return."
In an opinion piece in The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, Carper said the deal was good for America and allies including Israel.
"The stakes surrounding this deal couldn't be higher," Carper wrote. "Current estimates assess Iran's nuclear program to be as close as two months away from a bomb. Without a deal, that time will only shrink. That's a stark comparison to what the deal would yield - an Iranian nuclear program that is at least a year away from a bomb for each of the next 15 years and, possibly, longer."
Republicans are unanimously against the deal which provides sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for constraints on its nuclear program. Two Senate Democrats also have announced their opposition.
Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.