Answer: Nope — or rather, it doesn’t have to be. But just the thought of Orly Taitz reading this piece and hyperventilating makes it worth linking.
Actually, there’s an intriguing point here — well, two — but it’s not the one you think.
Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, the emolument clause, clearly stipulates: “And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.”…
This is at least the second time that Obama has run afoul of the emolument clause. On June 3, 2009, the day before he gave his speech in Cairo on relations with the Muslim world, he accepted (and even donned) the bejeweled Collar of the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, Saudi Arabia’s highest honor, from the hands of King Abdullah. (President Bush was awarded the Order in January last year.)
Aside from whether a president shows questionable judgment in accepting any preferment from the House of Saud named for its anti-Semitic modern founder, there is another issue: The Collar is clearly a chivalric “order” of the Saudi monarchy conferring a rank in that system of titled royalty and nobility. It is not a mere decoration or campaign ribbon. There does not seem to be any record of congressional permission asked for, much less granted, for the president to accept this bauble. Washington, Madison and Hamilton would have clearly understood that the Abdul Aziz Order falls under the same ban they had in mind for any public officials coveting awards made under the honors system of the British monarchy.
So all he needs to do is ask Congress to rubber-stamp it and he can keep the prize. Which brings us to that intriguing point: Why hasn’t he? This is a golden political opportunity for Democrats to make the GOP squirm. If they bring the issue to the floor, Republicans will either have to validate the prize by approving it or take the purist view that it’s an attempt to meddle in U.S. foreign policy and vote to block it, in which case the DNC will have a rich new vein of “party of no” material. You’d think Reid and Pelosi would leap at the chance so that they could use any GOP nay votes as proof that it’s pointless trying to negotiate with them on ObamaCare if they won’t even vote for the Nobel, and therefore reconciliation is the only way. What am I missing here?
Update: A good point from the comments. What’s the downside to Democrats? This:
The house floor debate on the substance of Obama’s accomplishments to date. The GOP would lose the debate but have endless reels of YouTube footage for the coming election of Dem’s trying to prop up their empty suit.