Thanks to Tom Cotton and his paranoid style of tomfoolery, Iran now has more leverage than they did the day before he tried to tank the talks altogether.
Washington Post reports:
Iranian negotiators meeting with U.S. officials Monday expressed concern over a letter from Senate Republicans warning that a nuclear deal with President Obama might not outlast his time in office.
A senior administration official said the Iranians broached the subject in the almost five hours of discussions led by Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The letter also was raised in meetings Sunday between political and technical experts, the official said.
Iranian and U.S. officials have been critical of the open letter addressed to Iran’s leaders. It was written by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and signed by 46 other Republican senators. Kerry has said its claims that Congress can modify an executive agreement are inaccurate. He also has said that its predictions of a short shelf life for a nuclear deal with Iran undermine his diplomatic efforts.
Rolling Stone underscores why I and thousands of others believe we need a more robust response than a scolding.
The Iran-Contra affair was ultimately a vastly more explicitly illegal enterprise at every stage than Nixon's clownish burglary, campaign ratfuckery and slush funds – and yet the response to it, from a nation still disgusted by the post-Watergate bummer process of honest self-evaluation, was bipartisan compartmentalization and hyper-partisan pardon. (In the latter case, quite literally, as George H.W. Bush pardoned multiple Reagan administration conspirators and saved the nation from accountability.) The response to Iran-Contra codified the Nixon paraphrasis of If the president does it, it's not illegal into something between best practices and standard operating procedure. Everything between Bush and the neocon crowd's "noble lies" about Iraq, to Obama's refusal to indict them, to Obama's technocratic insistence that he and his team think really hard about the Kill List before turning Yemeni kids booking down the street into hamburger flows from this concession made by Americans to government malfeasance. So go ahead, yell at Iran's government, lick the Supreme Ayatollah's cheek and whisper te quiero, hombre, call the president a pussy. Do whatever the fuck you want.
This is the world Tom Cotton lives in – where you can undermine a president legally or illegally, and it won't matter. The record will be interpreted as needed by believers. You can even do something illegal with the same Iran that in your next breath you claim endangers us all. A crime enumerated in black and white will be forgiven by 50 percent of the voting audience just on sheer mistrust of the other 50 percent, and as for the rest, appealing to America's "vital national security interests" will do most of the work.
Tehran Tom and his Gang of 47 may have thought they were just being smartasses, but this wasn't a college prank and the world stage isn't just one giant fraternity, inviting pranks at every turn.
Let's see what the response to the petition is first, but if I were you, I'd start tuning up those pitchforks.