Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Degrading of America: GOP's Iran Ploy Blows Up in Their Faces

Oh, I wish was in the mind of Cotton...!

(Updated below)

The absurd ploy by the Tom-Cotton-led GOP -- who lets first-term junior senators from Arkansas take the lead on something this gargantuan? -- is blowing up. Not only has the "open letter" to "the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran" been rejected as farcical by Iran's American-educated foreign minister, but it also is gets low marks from journalists across the spectrum, even the Wall St. Journal.

Read Fred Kaplan's take in Slate:
The letter—which encourages Iran’s leaders to dismiss the ongoing nuclear talks with the United States and five other nations—is as brazen, gratuitous, and plainly stupid an act as any committed by the Senate in recent times, and that says a lot. It may also be illegal.
The banalities begin with the greeting: “An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” By custom, a serious letter to foreign leaders would address them by name. Who is it that the senators are seeking to influence: the supreme leader, the Parliament, the Revolutionary Guards? Clearly none of the above, otherwise it wouldn’t be an open letter. Nor, if this were a serious attempt of some sort, would Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who was among the missive’s signatories) leave the task of organizing it to the likes of Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, an otherwise unknown freshman. As usual, the Republicans’ goal is simple: to embarrass and undermine President Barack Obama.
The idiocies begin with the first sentence: “It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system.”
First, I’m curious: How has this come to their attention? Second, the letter writers reveal that they don’t understand our constitutional system either. They point out to the Iranians, in the tone of a teacher addressing third-graders, that treaties must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate, agreements need majority approval by both houses of Congress, and executive agreements can be overturned by Obama’s successor “with the stroke of a pen.”
Cotton and the signatories are wrong on so many levels it isn't funny. I mean it would be funny if the letter weren't so against America's self-interests.

NPR points out today that this egregious act of near-treason is clearly coupled with House Speaker John Boehner's unprecedented invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress against any agreement with the Iranians just last week.

Not to be outdone, NBC expressed shock about the letter as well.

Even GOP Congressman Peter King of New York didn't feel good about it.

It's one of the lowest blows I've ever seen issued by a politician or politicians in my lifetime, although I admit to living -- as a young boy more into spiders and snakes than politics -- through the McCarthy era. McCarthy would be proud of this Republican bunch.

Joesph McCarthy, left, with Roy Cohn: Tom Cotton would fit in nicely.

Update. Plum Line's Greg Sargent has a nice summary of the mostly cold reactions to the GOPer letter to Iran, noting that the key backfire may be that enough Dems can't no longer be corralled into any veto-proof vote to scuttle the deal. That's a pretty big fail indeed.

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