The Democratic Party will not be traveling to Copenhagen to negotiate an international climate change treaty.
Surprised? Then you might not have as good an understanding of the Constitution of the United States as you thought. But don't feel bad - that puts you on par with Jake Sherman, and he's got a nice job as a reporter for Politico:
House Republicans are preparing for a trip to Copenhagen and looking to derail Democratic efforts to negotiate an international climate agreement.
There is no doubt that the Republicans are going to Copenhagen, and there is no doubt that they plan to try to derail President Obama's efforts to negotiate an agreement. But Sherman's statement is still insanely, dangerously wrong - and it's all because he used a single wrong word: Democratic.
The Democratic Party is not conducting negotiations in Copenhagen. The negotiations in Copenhagen are being conducted by the Government of the United States of America. At the moment, both Houses of Congress and the Presidency happen to be occupied by Democrats. That's because that is, for the moment, the will of the voters.
Elections have consequences.
To be fair, Sherman does note the minority status of the Republicans going to Copenhagen, but he still gets something seriously wrong:
Republicans are in the minority in both the House and Senate. So, their opposition to both legislation and treaties means little on the national stage, let alone the international stage. But their words could be a distraction for the Democratic president, who's attending the conference next week.
Talking about the "Democratic president" is just as stupid and wrongheaded as talking about the "Democratic efforts" to negotiate the agreement. This is an international treaty, being negotiated by the President of the United States. All of the United States, not just the parts that like him or voted for him. When the President travels overseas, he is not the representative of a political party, he is the representative of the United States of America.
When the President negotiates a treaty, he does so with the blessing of Article Two, Section Two of the United States Constitution
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
That's the same Constitution that Members of Congress swear an oath to support and defend against all enemies, foreign or domestic. That includes the Republican Congresscritters that are traveling to a foreign country with the avowed purpose of trying to undercut the President of the United States, as he engages in his Constitutional duties.
But I guess that's OK if you're a Republican.