On the cover of its Tuesday edition, the New York Daily News featured a picture of four Republican Senators with the caption “Traitors” in huge bold letters underneath in response to the letter 47 GOP Senators sent to Iran undermining President Obama’s negotiations with the country. The four Senators represented in the picture were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). Paul and Cruz are 2016 Presidential candidates while Cotton is the freshman Senator who came up with the bright idea to write a letter to Iranian leadership informing them that any agreement reached with Obama could easily be revoked by either another President or Congress.
Accompanying the Daily News’ provocative headline was a scathing editorial calling all 47 Republicans who signed the letter “un-patriotic” and an “embarrassment to our nation.” The paper’s editorial board stated that while they aren’t in total agreement with the White House regarding the potential nuclear pact with Iran, they condemn the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution.
They are an embarrassment to the Senate and to the nation.
How the executive and legislative branches come to terms in the event that Obama presents his version of a done deal to America will be of grave national and international concern. There will be no place for juvenilia, and there should not have been at this expectant juncture.
Rather than offer objections domestically in robust debate, as is their obligation, ringleader Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and his band trespassed on presidential turf by patronizing Iran’s leaders with the suggestion “that you may not fully understand our constitutional system.”
The plain intent was to sabotage Obama by pushing the Iranians into balking at a deal out of fear that a turn of the U.S. political wheel could doom the pact in the not-so-distant future.
Late Monday evening, Vice President Joe Biden released a blistering statement through the White House attacking the Republicans who took part in this treasonous stunt. He took special umbrage with Cotton for authoring the letter, pointing out that if this sabotages talks with Iran, then the very real possibility of war is on the horizon.
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.
The President has committed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He has made clear that no deal is preferable to a bad deal that fails to achieve this objective, and he has made clear that all options remain on the table. The current negotiations offer the best prospect in many years to address the serious threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It would be a dangerous mistake to scuttle a peaceful resolution, especially while diplomacy is still underway.
Cotton appeared on Morning Joe Tuesday morning to address Biden’s statement and defend the letter he wrote to Iran. Of course, he personally attacked Biden, claiming he’s been wrong on “nearly every foreign policy and security decision in the last 40 years” and telling the Veep to “respect the dignity of the Senate” by telling POTUS to submit any deal with Iran to Congress for approval. Cotton also told the hosts that he would only agree to total nuclear disarmament of Iran — ummmm, they don’t have nuclear weapons yet — while stating Iran could not be negotiated with.
With those statements, Cotton was pressed by the panel that no diplomatic solutions or options would only leave military intervention. He finally copped to the fact that he would be completely fine with that, stating that Israel has done a good job with air strikes on facilities in Iran and America could join in with that.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
To Joe Scarborough’s credit, he pointed out during Tuesday’s broadcast that if he were still in Congress, he would not have signed on to this letter. Regardless of your personal feeling about the President or the philosophical disagreements you may have over foreign policy or tactics, you do not undercut the nation’s leader in their dealings with other countries. That is way beyond the pale and potentially in violation of federal law. Many have already pointed out that the 47 GOP Senators may very well have violated the Logan Act with their actions.
While I am not positive that is the case, one thing I do know is they violated the trust of the American people. They decided it was more important for them to act like petulant children in an attempt to embarrass the President of the United States than to allow him to find peaceful solutions to real-world issues.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).