In any other country, the kind of idiocy shown by the 47 GOP Senators who signed the Tom Cotton letter to Iranian leaders would be met with ridicule and possibly public flogging. And these are the people who claimed that Obama was not ready for Prime Time? These idiots aren’t even ready for the Saturday morning cartoons.
Look at the shameful facts:
- The document was crafted by a senator with two months of experience under his belt.
- Some members were rushing off the Senate floor to catch airplanes, ostensibly because they had worked their typical 20 hours for the week and wanted to get somewhere important….like a cocktail party or fundraiser for their next campaign, and had NO time for close analysis for what they were signing.
- Many of the 47 signatories reasoned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsement was vetting enough …way to think that through GOP!
- There was no caucus-wide debate about strategy, no consultation with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Republican Bob Corker, who has studiously followed the nuclear talks (and who thankfully refused to sign).
This was a foreign policy maneuver, in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation, with all the gravity and deliberation of a twelve year old’s Twitter post. In timing, tone and substance, it raises questions about the Republican majority’s capacity to govern and was a clear violation of the Logan Act, making the 47 goofballs that signed this atrocity felons. My guess is some of these “austere leaders” are former members of the SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma.
Talk about leading from behind…this was more like leading with their behinds because their heads were obviously stuck squarely up their own respective asses.
Major arms-control treaties have traditionally involved advice and consent by the Senate. These 47 Senators treated this embarrassment like a trip to Faux News to be interviewed with hard-hitting, substantive analysis with air-head Sean Hannity.
Within 24 hours, over a quarter of a million citizens signed a petition on the whitehouse.gov website calling for charging the Senators as felons. The petition was written by a petitioner who only signed his/her initials, C.H., but was probably George Washington’s ghost rolling over in his grave after seeing what these idiots are doing to his country.
But the half-baked Cotton letter was a poor instrument to express concern. First, the bleedingly obvious: If Republican senators want to make the point that an Iran deal requires a treaty, they should make that case to the American people, not to the Iranians. Congress simply has no business conducting foreign policy with a foreign government, especially an adversarial one. Every Republican who pictures his (or her) feet up on the Resolute Desk should fear this precedent.
No remember, these are the same “leaders” who proclaimed Vladimir Putin a “great leader” after he invaded the sovereign country, and possible future NATO ally, Ukraine. They were all goo-goo eyed over Putin’s “decisiveness”. These idiots, if left to their own volition, would have us all eating borsht, drinking “wodka” and under the thumb of a thug whose main contribution to the world of diplomacy is taking his shirt off on camera, second only in sheer number of times, as Matthew Mcconnaughey.
While the media is busy fretting over Hillary Clinton’s emails, the rest of the country is talking about the Iran letter. Republicans doing bad things has never interested the corporate, right-wing media, but they would be wise to listen to anger that is growing. Republicans have treated President Obama with disrespect from day one, and the message behind this petition is that hundreds of thousands of Americans aren’t going to take it anymore.
In this particular situation, paradoxically, the main result is not a weakened presidency but a weakened, and an obvious weekend legislature.
Corker has been toiling with the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Robert Menendez, to craft legislation that would require Senate approval of an Iran deal. Before the Cotton letter, Corker was two votes away from a veto-proof, bipartisan majority, but now Obama and Minority Leader Harry Reid are using the letter to argue that Republicans are only engaged in partisan games. Even peeling a few Democrats off the Corker-Menendez approach could prove decisive. If the Corker bill fails narrowly, Obama might have Cotton’s rookie epistle to thank.
A final objection to the Cotton letter concerns not institutional positioning but grand strategy. The alternative to a bad nuclear deal is not war; it is strong sanctions and covert actions to limit Iranian capacities until the regime falls (as it came close to doing in 2009) or demonstrates behavior change in a variety of areas. But this approach depends on the tightening of sanctions in cooperation with Europe, as well as Russia and China. And this effort can only be held together by the impression that America has negotiated with Iran in good faith. So negotiations are actually an important part of any attempt to isolate Iran.
The Cotton letter creates the impression that Senate Republicans are rooting for negotiations to fail — which would complicate our attempt to maintain strong sanctions if negotiations end up failing.
Recounting a history of bad ideas is a particularly bad way to conduct foreign policy. It is the crutch of a partisan, not the argument of a statesman.But these 47 GOP Senators have made the U.S. a global butt of a bad joke.
This is presumably the reason we have a Senate, not only a House. Senators enjoy six-year terms and, one would think, should ensure an extra 30 minutes to read a document and think through its implications. Not these ridiculous, knee-jerk, off-the-cuff, downright dumbass blunders of global proportions.
Even by congressional Republican standards, the naysaying letter to Iran sent Monday by 47 GOP senators was grossly irresponsible. Not only did it undercut President Obama’s ability to negotiate a diplomatic agreement, but it also undermined the aspect of the Iran nuclear deal that would potentially be most beneficial to the United States and Israel.
This latest GOP tactic of conveying skepticism about the accord directly to Tehran follows House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation last week to Netanyahu to, in effect, lobby against the deal from the floor of the U.S. Congress, which, ironically, has lead to Netanyahu’s poll numbers slipping even farther behind with mere days until the election in Israel. These actions may be seen by allies abroad not just as a gesture of contempt for Obama, but also for the broader P5+1 negotiating group that includes Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
The Obama administration surely isn’t going to take the 47 GOP Senators to court. But this latest gesture of congressional stupidity should make reasonable Republicans wonder whether their party’s foreign policy political propaganda has moved beyond being merely partisan stupidity to downright dangerous.