Despite all his cajoling and fearmongery, President Obama lost his veto-override virginity today... and is not happy. Speaking at a CNN town hall this evening, the president said that Congress "made a mistake," and, as The Hill reports, trotted out the tired old excuse that despte their noble intentions, this elimination of sovereign immunity could have unintended consequences.
As The Hill reports, the override, the first of Obama’s tenure, is a major blow to the president and raises questions about his diminishing sway over Capitol Hill and foreign policy four months before he leaves office. While more stoic than his press spokesperson Josh Earnest's earlier outrage, Obama's calm demeanour during tonight's CNN townhall hid his bitterness which was exposed by his carefully chosen - and well-rehearsed - words...
the measure sets a "dangerous precedent" in international law that could have negative consequences for the U.S.
"It's an example of why sometimes you have to do what's hard," he added. "And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what's hard."
But, he conceded, “I understand why it happened. Obviously, all of us still carry the scars and trauma of 9/11.”
Obama reiterated his longstanding argument that the measure carries serious unintended consequences, despite the noble intentions of its supporters.
The president said the measure could erode the concept of sovereign immunity, leaving American citizens and assets abroad vulnerable to lawsuits if foreign countries pass reciprocal laws.
“The concern that I've had is -- has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia per se, or my sympathy for 9/11 families,” Obama said.
“It has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we're suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we're doing all around the world.”
As usual his words articulately obscure what he is really saying... between the lines... How dare Americans make me accountable for my actions?!