Newspapers all across the country are ripping the 47 Senate Republicans who attempted to sabotage President Obama by writing a letter to Iran. Here is a sampling of the criticism from no less than 22 newspaper editorial boards.
The Concord Monitor in New Hampshire took Sen. Kelly Ayotte to task for signing the letter, “Ayotte and the rest of the gang of 47 would like nothing more than for the American people to view the letter as a necessary defense against misguided negotiations and flawed policies, a comeuppance for an arrogant commander in chief who flaunts his contempt for the Constitution. They want you to know, America, that they wrote the letter for you because Obama must be stopped. In reality, they are playing a political game dangerously out of bounds.”
The editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote that the senators who signed the letter should be ashamed, “America’s partners in the talks are among the world’s most important nations — China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. They can only be appalled at seeing Secretary of State John Kerry and the president, who are charged with making the nation’s foreign policy, hit from behind by one house of the federal legislature. The senators who signed the letter should be ashamed.”
The Sacramento Bee wrote that Senate Republicans need a civics lesson, “It’s the Republican senators who signed the letter – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and potential presidential candidates Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida – who could use a remedial civics class. The Constitution gives the president broad authority to conduct foreign policy. The Senate’s “advise and consent” role covers formal treaties. The potential deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is not a treaty. It is a multinational agreement that involves Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, as well as the United States and Iran.”
The Baltimore Sun pulled no punches, “The poison pen note was a shocking example of just how far President Barack Obama’s GOP critics in Congress are willing to go in an effort to undercut his foreign policy goals…The GOP senators might just as well have put up a big sign over their chamber warning the mullahs in Tehran to prepare for war because that’s the practical import of rejecting any possibility of a negotiated resolution of the two countries’ differences. Republican lawmakers in effect have adopted the hard-line agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who offered a similarly uncompromising view of Iranian intentions when he addressed a joint meeting of Congress last week.”
The Boston Globe accused Senate Republicans of winning sympathy for Iran, “WINNING SYMPATHY for the renegade Islamic Republic of Iran is no easy trick. But Republicans in the US Senate seem to be accomplishing it with their breathtakingly reckless intrusion into international diplomacy….The letter not only undercuts the president’s traditional authority to oversee the shaping of foreign policy but badly undermines America’s credibility in the international community.”
The Kansas City Star wondered if it was the Iran letter, or the Republican senators who were treacherous, “Given the Republicans’ pure hatred of Obama, it also seemed extra personal, yet another politically motivated attempt to stop him from doing anything that might be perceived as a victory for his administration.”
The Salt Lake City Tribune referred to Utah’s two Republican senators as foolish for joining the campaign, “It will be up to history to judge whether the latest partisan stunt joined by Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch amounts to an act of End Times warmongering or merely another bit of cringe-worthy buffoonery on the global stage. Chances are that the foolish, dangerous and arguably felonious attempt by the Obama Derangement Caucus of the Senate will soon be forgotten. Unless, as President Obama himself muttered the other day, the Senate Republicans make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran to push the region, and the world, that much closer to nuclear war.”
The quotes above from editorial boards around the country are a small taste of the backlash that is growing against the Senate Republicans. Anger is growing from coast to coast.
It is not an understatement to suggest that the outrage over the Senate Republican letter is national. In this time of great partisan divide, Republicans managed to unify the country with an act that was as blatantly unpatriotic as it was blindingly stupid. The tea partiers who turned the House of Representatives into a three ring circus have invaded the Senate, and the letter to Iran is their most high profile bit of handiwork.
Republicans are desperately trying to convert Hillary Clinton’s emails into a 2016 campaign story, but the irony is that with their Iran letter, the Senate GOP might have just handed Democrats a powerful issue that could put an end to their fragile Senate majority.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association