The Democratic Party Not Going To Copenhagen To Negotiate International Climate Treaty.

Dec 10 2009 Published by under Science and Politics

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.

10 responses so far

  • Greg Laden says:

    .... right. But then there is this bit: "provided two thirds of the Senators present concur" ... how is THAT going to work out?

  • Mike says:

    "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. "
    So if a President in engaging in any of his Constitutional duties, it is wrong for an American to criticize the way in which he or she is fulfilling those duties?
    I would hope that all Americans would think it right and proper for any American to criticize the way in which a President fulfills the Constitutional duties of that office.

  • I'm afraid I can't get worked up about this. If one had a Republican controlled congress pushing for some treaty I doubt that I would mind if someone referred to it as Republican efforts.
    While these are efforts by the President and the lawfully elected members of the Senate and Congress, the fact is that they are still acting out of their political and ideological commitments to their party and its beliefs.

  • Mike Dunford says:

    @Mike (#2):

    So if a President in engaging in any of his Constitutional duties, it is wrong for an American to criticize the way in which he or she is fulfilling those duties?

    Absolutely not. The problem I have with what the Republicans are doing is not that they are expressing their displeasure. It's that they are elected officials who are traveling to a foreign country where the President - their President, whether they like that fact or not - is attempting to negotiate an agreement with other sovereign nations.
    While there, on foreign territory, they are planning to tell other world leaders at the conference that Obama will not be able to make good on any promises he makes in Copenhagen.
    What would have happened if Democratic Members of Congress tried to do something like that?

  • QA's Mom says:

    "What would have happened if Democratic Members of Congress tried to do something like that? "
    Simple, they'd be denounced as traitors

  • magseast says:

    There are people here still operating under the delusion that this current president is operating as a "President of the United States" representing ALL citizens when that simply isn't the truth. The times we live in show us a man that has gained this office through con tactics and with the help of an MSM unwilling to do their job as a Free Press. We know now that he is owned and operated by the unions, special interest groups, and anyone that will promise him a big payoff in his pay to play political schemes. This president does not operate with honor, courage, or with the citizens of the United States in mind. It's all about him and, along with enemies foreign, we find ourselves having to protect ourselves and the future of this country from enemies domestic. Namely, Obama, his Czars, the traitors in Congress, and all those entities that back them.

  • Linda Berthoin says:

    Dear "The Questionable Auhthority" and readers,
    If you think that:
    "The Democratic Party Not Going To Copenhagen To Negotiate International Climate Treaty.", then you should read the following links (submitted to The Questionable Authority for their own News Release.
    > Please find out as to "WHY" Mr. Obama, Mr. David Axelrod, Mr. Rahm Emmanuel, Mr. Harry Reed, Ms. Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Sarkozy have not done anything to implement a posible solution that could lower Global Warming and and solve other global problems and as mentioned in the News Released by PR Newswirwe. The links follow:
    >
    > Press release:
    > "Billboard Message to Obama and Sarkozy Shows Indifference
    > to Proposal"
    >
    > http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/billboard-message-to-obama-and-sarkozy-shows-indifference-to-proposal-78324317.html
    >
    > http://prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=273566
    >
    > http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=273604
    >
    > Best regards,
    > Linda berthoin

  • llewelly says:

    Linda Berthoin | December 11, 2009 3:22 PM:

    Please find out as to "WHY" Mr. Obama, Mr. David Axelrod, Mr. Rahm Emmanuel, Mr. Harry Reed, Ms. Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Sarkozy have not done anything to implement a posible solution that could lower Global Warming and and solve other global problems and as mentioned in the News Released by PR Newswirwe.

    From the first link:

    When asked about the nature of the proposal, De Angelo replied that he has invented a technology that will allow consumers to travel for unlimited miles without the need to re-fuel at gasoline stations, diesel or ethanol nor at electric grid stations, and that fuel - less vehicles will be in high demand by most consumers, worldwide.

    There can be no such thing as "fuel - less vehicles". The energy to move a vehicle must come from somewhere. It could come from the sun, fusion (if we had the technology), fission (if it wasn't so expensive), fossil fuels (as it does now, despite the severe dangers), or many other places, but it must come from somewhere. Either the article has grievously mis-reported the issue, or De Angelo's device cannot exist. Since vehicles which require no fuel are a recurring scam, I recommend skepticism toward De Angelo's claims.

  • JakeS says:

    You're right. The Democrats aren't in Copenhagen to negotiate a climate treaty.
    But your emphasis is wrong. It's not that the Democrats aren't in Copenhagen to negotiate a climate treaty. It's that the Democrats aren't in Copenhagen to negotiate a climate treaty.
    They're there to sabotage it.
    Oh, they're better than Bush the Lesser. They are also better than Augusto Pinochet, but that's usually not considered a valid excuse.
    - Jake

  • mariana says:

    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.

    I've heard that phrase a number of times now, and not once did I clue in to that error (I'm Canadian, but still no excuse for not picking up on it). Thanks for pointing that out.