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Best Way To Sum Up 47 Republican Senators Who Undermined American Interests

March 10, 2015

As a reader of history I have never known another act so partisan, short-sighted, and dangerous when it comes to foreign policy as the one taken by 47 Republican senators writing to Iran with a warning against making a nuclear talks deal with the Obama White House.

Party politics must have limits.  But when it comes to the anger and resentment felt by some Republicans who still chafe at losing the White House not once but twice to an African-American they once again prove there is no level to which they will not sink.

It is disgusting and shameful when our differences do not end at the shores of this country.   Republicans wished to be elected last fall to show what they could do with power and leadership.  They now have the power and are  demonstrating for all to see what their  intentions are, and it is a most unsettling picture to view.

NY_DN

11 Comments
  1. Tom permalink
    March 13, 2015 11:29 AM

    I don’t dispute that the Republicans shouldn’t have done this, I just think its less serious than I originally thought. I guess 47 Senators does tend to say “no deal.”

    As for “searing” hate, Obama could always ask Bush, Walker, or any other conservative about how to deal with it. It is kind sad that this is the way things are, but hate is a two-way street.

  2. March 13, 2015 9:07 AM

    There is a huge difference in that 47 Republicans have deliberately worked to sabotage ongoing negotiations fro partisan reason! The formalized manner of the letter to a government is far different than a letter to an Op-Ed page of a paper. One person writing vs. 47—-a number that seems to trouble the GOP–and also the sheer hatred that some Republicans have for our president paints a far different picture than the one Helms did for himself. There is no way getting around the fact this is just not how things are done when it comes to foreign policy. I will not even venture here into the political fallout this causes for the GOP..

  3. Tom permalink
    March 13, 2015 7:21 AM

    I read the comment: ““But that was on such a smaller scale,” Ornstein said. “Really, it’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.” But what I don’t understand–given the actual content of the letter–why this is more serious, for example, than the instance in the post or the letter to Izvestia. Can you explain?

  4. March 12, 2015 2:31 PM

    Let us put this into even further perspective.

    Norm Ornstein, a longtime observer of the U.S. Congress and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said Monday’s letter was unprecedented in the body’s history. He said the only similar episodes came in 1968, when the presidential campaign of Richard Nixon attempted to scuttle peace talks to end the Vietnam War, and in 1979, when Sen. Jesse Helms dispatched top aides to London to try undermine the talks that eventually turned Rhodesia into Zimbabwe.

    “But that was on such a smaller scale,” Ornstein said. “Really, it’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.”

  5. Tom permalink
    March 12, 2015 12:25 PM

    05 June 2000

    Byliner: Senator Jesse Helms on National Missile Defense

    (Op-ed column from Izvestia 06/05/00) (1,250)

    (This column by U.S. Senator Jesse Helms first appeared in Izvestia
    June 5 and is in the public domain. No republication restrictions.)

    MISSILE DEFENSE WILL BE DECIDED BY THE NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT
    by Senator Jesse Helms

    [The author is chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
    Relations.]

    WASHINGTON, DC — President Clinton wants, in his final months in
    office, to strike a major arms control deal with Russia, including a
    new ABM Treaty that would limit the United States’ ability to defend
    itself against ballistic missile attack.

  6. Tom permalink
    March 12, 2015 12:18 PM

    During Clinton administration Jesse Helme (SP? a republican) apparently published an editorial in Investia–a prominent Russian daily–stating that the Senate would have noting to do with treaties regarding missle defense, or whatever. I would argue that that is a far stronger gesture than “to instruct Iranian leaders about how the U.S. Constitution works. They wrote that the deal currently being negotiated with their government by the U.S. and western allies, to limit Iran’s nuclear expansion could be undone by Congress.”

    It certainly points out how claims that this amounts to “treason” is hyperbole of the worse sort from a bunch of idiots. It certainly reminds me why I can never take things reported in the general media at face value. What could wrong with reminding the Iranians of the nature of the Constitution? I know the left dislikes the document, but come on.

  7. March 12, 2015 10:19 AM

    Tom,

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/03/10/259257/precedent-for-gops-iran-letter.html

    The U.S. Senate Historian’s Office has so far been unable to find another example in the chamber’s history where one political party openly tried to deal with a foreign power against a presidential policy, as Republicans have attempted in their open letter to Iran this week

    The letter sent by 47 Republican senators sets out to instruct Iranian leaders about how the U.S. Constitution works. They wrote that the deal currently being negotiated with their government by the U.S. and western allies, to limit Iran’s nuclear expansion could be undone by Congress.

    “We haven’t found a precedent,” said Senate Historian Donald Ritchie. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t a precedent. After 200 years. It’s hard to find anything that unprecedented.”

    In the past, Ritchie said, “what usually happened is a senator would sign a ‘round robin’ letter or a sense of the Senate resolution, or write a letter to the president or secretary of State voicing objections to some particular policy.

    Individual senators have also on occasion met with the foreign leaders on policy issues, Ritchie said. In this case, he said his office conducted a general search on disarmament issues to see if an episode similar to the Iran letter could be found.

    “We really didn’t find anything,” Ritchie said.

    Alan K. Henrikson, director of Diplomatic Studies and a professor

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/03/10/259257/precedent-for-gops-iran-letter.html#storylink=cpy

  8. Tom permalink
    March 12, 2015 9:33 AM

    Actually, it turns out Helms (r) and Biden (d) have done much the same thing in the past during the Clinton administration. I imagine there are plenty of other examples. Personally, I thing Congress should stay out of the picture. their job is to ratify treaties, not negotiate them. Just as we are deeply upset by this executive’s unconstitutional uses of power, so too must we be upset when Republicans involve themselves in issues which the Constitution gives to other branches of government. I also realize that simply claiming someone on the other side has done the same thing is not much of an argument, but I know it is one Liberals value.

  9. March 11, 2015 11:43 PM

    It is just amazing that this president continues to believe he is above the Constitution and that he can ignore Congress in order to supply evil people with weapons of mass destruction. Why Obama supporters continue to believe he has the best interest of America in is dealings is shocking and sad.

  10. March 10, 2015 8:27 PM

    I too am perplexed and disturbed by this move. Even disappointed. As for Republicans being upset about “African American” in Whitehouse…lets remember that as those demonstrators crossed the bridge in Selma who was waiting for them.

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