This week, President Obama got his first veto override when he vetoed the 9/11 Victims bill, which allows American families to sue the Saudi Arabian government for the loved ones who were lost in the attack.
Obama vetoed the bill on the grounds of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign immunity, the safety of Americans in Saudi Arabia, and a vague reference to our standing in the world. Poor defense of a good decision. He did not mention:
- A lawsuit is a gamble. If the families should lose or the Saudis refuse to pay, wouldn’t that be rubbing salt in the wounds?
- Most wars are about money. It could start an avalanche of these kind of lawsuits worldwide, which would naturally escalate tensions. Another war is not what the families want.
- A financial penalty is a mockery of the reckoning that those complicit will face in the next life.
The president could have probably gained public support if he focused more on the safety of the troops. But instead he went with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign immunity, which America collectively does not give a damn about. All the senators in both parties united to override Obama’s veto, with the lone exception of Harry Reid, who just enjoys acting like a jerk.
This story is littered with ironies. As the Obama presidency winds down, I am confronted with the Law of Polarity. Yin and yang. And the bright side and dark side of every aspect of this story.
I’m excited to finally agree with President Obama on anything (yin), but the only other supporter is Harry Reid. If there is one thing that makes me seriously question anything, it’s finding out Harry Reid holds the same belief (yang).
Barack Obama finally gets a veto override (yin). It was the best decision of his presidency (yang).
The president knew his veto would be overridden but he did it anyway, which is pretty punk rock (yin). You have to respect anyone who champions a great losing cause. But it would have been cool if he did stuff like this 7 years and 9 months ago (yang).
Congress finally unifies and overrides an Obama veto (yin). But… they picked Obama’s best decision to insist on passing an extremely bad piece of legislation (yang).
If the U.S. has bad karma, it’s a cruel joke for Barack Obama to start making great decisions just as he’s leaving office, and Hillary and Donald are sniffing at the door.