Bipartisan buffoons and the 9/11 bill

This past Wednesday, Congress finally did something.  In a rare act of unity and getting something done, both the Senate and the House voted overwhelmingly to override President Obama’s veto of the The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), known as the “9/11 Bill.”  JASTA allows 9/11 victims’ families to sue the Saudi Arabian government for their alleged support of the terrorists that carried out the attacks.

Hooray Congress!  You proved that you were more than knuckle dragging elected chimps.  You actually did something – you took a stand and said, “Damn it, we’re going to pass this bill!”  And you handed Mr. Obama his first veto override.  In definitive fashion, no less!  The Senate voted 97 to 1, the House 348 to 77.  Now that’ll show him.

I appreciate this is a very sensitive topic.  Obama’s position was to protect American service members and diplomats abroad from retaliatory action.  Anyone remember the accidental bombing of a Doctors without Borders hospital in Afghanistan last October?  We certainly wouldn’t want a lawsuit on our heads as a result.  “Wait, wait…what do you mean we don’t have sovereign immunity?”  And yet, on the other hand, 9/11 is still a wound in our national consciousness, and we ought forever to show compassion to all those affected by that day and its aftermath.

But I’m not here to litigate whether the bill was a good one or not.  I mean, it passed.  In definitive fashion.

But then, not 24 hours later, Congress had a Brexit moment.  You remember….that moment of, “Oh crap, what have we done?  Did we really do this?”  Yup, you did.

Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

But here’s where it gets comical.  That esteemed senior Senator from Kentucky, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, went before the cameras and blamed Obama for not explaining the potential consequences of the bill to Congress.

Say what?

Yes, my friends, it’s true.  McConnell, Paul Ryan, and John Cornyn (one of the bill’s authors) all expressed their reservation about the bill and the need to have it reworked.  Cornyn actually told reporters, “What’s so remarkable to me is the detachment of this White House from anything to do with the legislative process.”  Haha, no, he actually said that.  I’m not making this up.

So I want to be clear about this.  You guys wanted the President to explain a bill to you…..that you authored?  And not only authored, but passed (both chambers), and then overwhelmingly overrode a presidential veto?  And now you’re mad that Obama didn’t read it to you to make sure you understood what you wrote, passed, and overrode?  Cookies and milk with that too?

Schoolhouse Rock!

I’m Just a Bill

Remember that animated short Schoolhouse Rock! from the 1980s?  Remember the one called “I’m Just a Bill” with that scrunched up, rolled up “Bill” that’s introduced as an idea in the House, is voted on, then goes to the Senate for a vote, then to the White House to be signed?  Of course you remember that.  We all remember that.  Who doesn’t remember that?  Oh….right.  I’m guessing the buffoons in Congress need a civics lesson.

Now, in fairness, Obama did write his concerns in his veto.  Very specifically.  He wrote about undermining ongoing terrorism investigations, upsetting international principles of sovereign immunity, and provoking reciprocal responses against the United States.  I mean, how much clearer can you get?

Moving right along – so now 28 senators wrote a letter to the JASTA sponsors suggesting that the bill be modified after the election.  Did you catch that?  After the election.  No one wants to be the insensitive jerk voting against 9/11 families this election.  So let’s get it through, let’s get ourselves re-elected, and then let’s fix this thing.

And that, my friends, are your Congressional buffoons at work.  This is the deplorable state of American politics today.

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