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Krauthammer: GOP Should Have Sent Letter To Obama Instead Of Iranians

Fox's Charles Krauthammer thinks the only mistake the Republicans made with their letter on the Iranian negotiations is who they sent it to.
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Fox's Charles Krauthammer thinks the only mistake the Republicans made with their letter on the Iranian negotiations is who they sent it to. On this Tuesday's Special Report with Bret Baier, after their faux Democrat Juan Williams gave the letter some tepid criticism, Cheney stenographer Stephen Hayes saying they should have done it sooner, that the letter wasn't harsh enough and with more false equivalencies on Nancy Pelosi's 2007 trip to Syria, here's what Krauthammer suggested so the Republicans could have avoided all of those pesky accusations of treason that they've been hammered with from all sides.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, this is a tactical mistake because it's a total distraction from the content of the treaty, which if examined would fall apart. The administration is delighted that it can talk about process in the way it did with the Bibi speech.

The only mistake that I think the Senators made is in the address. It should not have been addressed to the Iranians. It should have been an open letter to the President saying you are about to agree or you're near agreeing to the most important treaty of the decade, surely of your presidency that is going to influence the world for a generation. This is historic. And you have said openly that you will not consult with Congress, you're not going to ask for its approval and you're going to veto a resolution that would require it.

We think that is a terrible mistake and we're going to let you know that if you don't include us in this, it will not last beyond your presidency. If they had done it that way then you wouldn't have all these accusations of treason, which are preposterous. There are all these examples as Steve indicates of Democrats acting in the same way.

Of course blowing up the negotiations and whether it might lead to the United States getting into another war in the Middle East is of no concern to Krauthammer, just whether the Republicans opened themselves up to some legitimate criticism. The neocons aren't going to be happy until the United States is in the middle of a couple of more ground wars over there.


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Simon Maloy at Salon has more on why Cotton and Krauthammer's assertions on the agreement not lasting beyond Obama's presidency are wrong:

The problem facing Cotton’s talking-point barrage is that he’s not quite right. There’s a good case to be made that the Obama administration should be doing more to include Congress in negotiations with Iran, and part of it does indeed rest on the idea that congressional buy-in would give any agreement added weight and legitimacy. (Cotton’s showboating and unnecessarily provocative letter, of course, only helps make the administration’s case that Republicans in Congress aren’t behaving in good faith.) But it’s silly to claim that a lack of congressional input will render this agreement null once a new (presumably Republican) president takes office.

As Dan Drezner points out, this isn’t a bilateral arrangement between the Obama administration and Iran – the White House is working with an international coalition. “If a deal is reached, it’s a deal that has the support of all the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany,” he writes. So if President Jeb Bush or Scott Walker comes into office and announces that they’re going to repeal and replace Obama’s nuclear pact with heavy sanctions and threats of force, he won’t just be sticking a thumb in Iran’s eye, he’ll also be repudiating some of the United States’ most valued European partners and NATO allies. Also, hypothetical President Republican Man would be rightfully accused of unilaterally abandoning an international framework in favor of a path to armed conflict in the Middle East. If the deal shows tangible signs of actual progress, the next president will under tremendous international pressure to, ahem, stay the course.

I suppose it’s possible that a new Republican president would make it his first order of business to alienate the international community for the sake of some saber rattling. War with Iran is, after all, the impossible dream for a great many Republicans and conservatives. But it seems pretty unlikely, no matter how many times Tom Cotton says it will happen.

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