The Republicans are such comedians. Hahahahaha they’re sabotaging an agreement that could avert Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, in order to say yaboosucks to Obama. So so funny!
Amy Davidson at the New Yorker has one opinion piece of the many many opinion pieces out there.
Forty-seven senators, all of them Republicans, have sent a letter to Tehranthat might be summarized this way: Dear Iran, Please don’t agree to halt your nuclear-weapons program, because we don’t like Barack Obama and, anyway, he’ll be gone soon.
That may be shorthand, but it is not an exaggeration of either the tone or the intent of the letter, which was signed by the Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, as well as John McCain, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul. The signature drive was organized by Senator Tom Cotton. He is a thirty-seven-year-old Republican, who entered the Senate two months ago, from the state of Arkansas. Senators, as the letter helpfully informs the Iranians—this is an actual quote—“may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.”
Or perhaps not. Presidents have term limits and Senators don’t. That doesn’t mean Senators will necessarily get re-elected over and over again. It also doesn’t mean they can’t be charged with treason. There are a lot of things the absence of term limits doesn’t mean.
The letter opens, “It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system.” As the letter writers tell it, “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen, and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.” It is a bit more complicated than that: Presidents can make commitments that are difficult to get out of (unless one wants to provoke a crisis), and Congress, instead of just being able to merrily modify, has to deal with things like vetoes. What is more extraordinary is the intent behind this tinny civics lesson—to tell a foreign power, one with which the United States is at odds, not to listen to the American President.
In the hope, perhaps, that Iran will develop nukes and a phalanx of Republican Senators will then vote to nuke the whole country into radioactive rubble. Is that the thinking? Or is it not as long-term as that? Is it really just “Hey, ayatollahs, don’t listen to that uppity guy in the White House, we hate him and you don’t want to piss us off”?
The prospect of Iran getting a nuclear bomb is a grave threat to world peace. The Obama Administration, which is trying to stop that from happening, has only a certain number of cards to play, and yet the Republicans are doing whatever they can to weaken its hand. (Their rationale is that key provisions of the deal on the table would reportedly last for only ten or fifteen years—even though a decade is a lot longer than the possible alternative of no years between now and an Iranian drive to build a bomb.) As with the invitation that John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, extended to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, to speak before Congress, it is not clear whether the primary impetus has to do with foreign policy or with partisan theatrics. Is the intention to scuttle the nuclear negotiations, without regard for the ugliness that it brings to our politics? Or is it to humiliate and insult President Obama, no matter the cost to the goal of nuclear nonproliferation—even if it means another bomb in the world?
Another bomb in the world in the hands of fanatical theocratic clerics, which is absolutely the last place you want such bombs.
Here’s an odd thing – this scenario is basically the same as the plot of the latest episode of the network tv show “Madam Secretary,” in which a rogue diplomat murders the previous Secretary of State and does other bad things in aid of backing a coup in Iran, and it comes to light just as the President has signed a treaty with Iran. It was written well before this letter was sent. Maybe the Senators got their ideas from the tv show.