Since the last installment of "Republicans Sabotage Foreign Policy," there have been some interesting developments.
Like the front page of today's New York Daily News, excerpted above. The NYDN is hardly a liberal publication, but they went there anyway and called them traitors. As they should.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Senator Tom Cotton was showing himself to be the racist hater that he is. Here's his tweet:
In case the image attached to that tweet is hard to see, Cotton tweeted a copy of the "Iran 47" letter, translated into Farsi. I suppose no one mentioned to him that Foreign Minister Zarif received his bachelor's and master's degrees here in the United States, and that his English is excellent.
At any rate, Zarif answered Cotton in kind.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden stepped up with his own thoughts on the matter, calling Cotton on the carpet with specificity:
The author of this letter has been explicit that he is seeking to take any action that will end President Obama’s diplomatic negotiations with Iran. But to what end? If talks collapse because of Congressional intervention, the United States will be blamed, leaving us with the worst of all worlds. Iran’s nuclear program, currently frozen, would race forward again. We would lack the international unity necessary just to enforce existing sanctions, let alone put in place new ones. Without diplomacy or increased pressure, the need to resort to military force becomes much more likely—at a time when our forces are already engaged in the fight against ISIL.
That was the nice part, delivered after the initial spanking.
I served in the United States Senate for thirty-six years. I believe deeply in its traditions, in its value as an institution, and in its indispensable constitutional role in the conduct of our foreign policy. The letter sent on March 9th by forty-seven Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.
This letter, in the guise of a constitutional lesson, ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American President, whether Democrat or Republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States. Honorable people can disagree over policy. But this is no way to make America safer or stronger.
In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country—much less a longtime foreign adversary— that the President does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them. This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments—a message that is as false as it is dangerous.
The decision to undercut our President and circumvent our constitutional system offends me as a matter of principle. As a matter of policy, the letter and its authors have also offered no viable alternative to the diplomatic resolution with Iran that their letter seeks to undermine.
None of this will make any difference, but I did appreciate the President's take on the whole sordid mess. His short, brief, and descriptive remarks:
At about 45 seconds in, Obama says, "I think it's somewhat ironic to see certain members of Congress making common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It's an unusual coalition."
Your move, Senator Cotton.