Sen. Tom Cotton wasn’t satisfied with mangling the Constitution on CBS’s Face The Nation. Cotton revealed how little he knows by also not appearing to be aware that Tehran is the capital of Iran.
Sen. Cotton (R-AR) first claimed that Constitution states that the Senate has to vote on any agreement with Iran in order for it to last, “It’s — well, as a simple fact that our Constitution that, if Congress doesn’t approve that deal, then it may not last.”
The Constitution says nothing of the sort. Via Article II Sec. 2, “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”
The Constitution does not cover executive agreements like the one that is being negotiated with Iran. The president has the power to suspend the sanctions unilaterally, but that suspension would expire once he left office. It is true that the Senate may get to vote on the sanctions, but it is possible that if Democrats keep the White House, the next Democratic president will keep the sanctions suspended as long as Iran continues to comply with the agreement. Unless the president wants to go to Congress to ask for permanent removal of the sanctions, there is no guarantee that Congress will ever get a vote on the matter.
Cotton’s biggest gaffe was that he appeared not to know that Tehran is the capital of Iran. Cotton said, “The Iranians frequently bluff to walk away from the table. If they bluff this week, call their bluff. But Congress stands ready to impose much more severe sanctions. Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran. Increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad, and now Sanaa as well.”
Look out, the Iranians control their own capital.
Cotton revealed himself to be another reckless neocon who is an embarrassment to the body that he is serving in. Sen. Cotton’s lack of basic knowledge should disqualify him from ever being taken seriously in any national discussion. However, the lack of pushback from CBS’s Bob Schieffer revealed that the mainstream press is likely to keep giving Republicans airtime as they turn a blind eye to obvious distortions of fact.
Tom Cotton is making up his own Constitution while failing at basic geography, which is why he should not be trusted to evaluate any deal with Iran.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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