Avi says: My take is simple. If a Government official (elected or otherwise) takes an action to aid a foreign power that simultaneously harms his own country, he is betraying his country.
I agree. If, e.g., Senator Schumer knows in his heart that the Iran deal is a win for the USA but chooses to vote against it because he also knows in his heart that the Iran deal will hurt Israel he is betraying his office.
I may have unsuccessfully conveyed that in the earlier post, because I was more focused on a related, and no less important point, which I shall attempt to reiterate now:
If, e.g., Senator Schumer knows in his heart that the Iran deal is a win for the USA but chooses to vote against it because he also knows in his heart that the Iran deal will hurt Israel he is betraying his office.... HOWEVER, that is not a formal betrayal. A vote for Israel is not a crime, nor is it an act of treason. He hasn't violated the constitution and he hasn't (necessarily) violated any compact with his constituents. Perhaps the constiuents also want to put Israel first? (In the past, Irish politicians have been accused of e.g. siding with the IRA, often to the delight of the people in their districts.)
The Constitution affords senators and representatives a great deal of latitude. They are 100 percent free to vote their conscious. The Constitution does not demand that a Senator vote according to opinion polling, or that he provide the People with explanations or justifications. So long as he hasn't been bribed, he can vote any way he wishes - or skip every vote - and the People have just two remedies: They can vote him out or they can encourage his colleagues to impeach him*
*I belong to the school of thought that says, while it should be a last resort, you can impeach the president or a congressman simply because you want his office. The original Constitution prevents impeachment from becoming a politicized offense by calling for a trial in (what they imagined would be) the politically independent Senate. Unfortunately, following the ratification of the 17th amendment the Senate lost its (relative) independence from politics, yet Senators continue to try impeachments.
Now you may say that I'm hanging my hat on a technicality when I absolve a Senator who knowingly casts a vote that helps another country at the expense of our own. But to do anything else is to engage in politics - which is certainly a fun and worthwhile endeavor, but at this particular moment I'm trying to be non-political. If we want to be non-political, we have no choice but to hang our hats on such technicalities, thanks to the power of interpretation. If no law has been broken, and the Senator hasn't openly declared that he made his vote for the purpose of hurting America, what do you have other than interpretations? You think he's putting Israel first, he says he's actually putting America first, she says whats the deference, we're allies... and on and on it goes.
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