The war of words over the letter to Iran, signed by 47 Republican members of the Senate, is heating up. “Traitors,” screams the headline from the New York Daily News. The story is accompanied by photos of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Canadian born Rafael “Ted” Cruz, and the ring leader of the group, freshman Arkansas senator Tom Cotton.
Yesterday, in a scathing commentary, Vice President Joe Biden said that the letter was “expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations.” Biden, who was first elected to the Senate before he was even old enough to serve (he turned 30 before he was sworn in), said that the Iran letter “is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.”
Traitor-in-Chief, Tom Cotton, who was the primary author of the letter, fired back at Biden, saying that Biden “has been wrong about nearly every foreign policy and national security decision in the last 40 years.” Cotton made the comment, based on remarks by former Bush/Obama defense secretary Robert Gates, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Of course, Cotton is wrong about that, too. For example, Biden accurately predicted the sectarian violence that would erupt in Iraq following the U.S. led invasion. Of course, neither Cotton nor Gates would want to talk about that.
According to Politico, Biden said,
In 36 years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country — much less a longtime foreign adversary — that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them.
To which Cotton replied that the senators who signed the letter are “simply speaking for the American people.” But who are the “American people” Cotton is talking about? A University of Maryland poll, released on March 3, found that 61 percent of people surveyed favor allowing Iran to continue to do limited enrichment of uranium, as opposed to increasing sanctions. Majorities of Independents, Democrats, and Republicans all held that same opinion.
Cotton, and the other GOP traitors, are off base when it comes to their demand that President Obama must consult with the Senate over the deal. The deal is part of a multilateral negotiation, of which the United States is just one party. As the Wall Street Journal explains, executive agreements, such as the Iran deal, are far more common than treaties, and they do not require the advice and consent of the Senate.
Did the 47 traitors violate the Logan Act?
It may be a good thing that we are no longer engaged in the Cold War, with a Soviet Union capable of and willing to take advantage of perceived American weaknesses. Can you imagine if these senators had been around, and had done something similar when President Kennedy was negotiating with Krushchev during the Cuban missile crisis?
There is good reason to believe that this group violated the Logan Act, which forbids American citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. The Logan Act reads:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
To Republicans, one day Obama is a weak, ineffective president. The next day, he is a “tyrant,” or a “dictator.” Tom Cotton and his traitorous buddies must not be too concerned about President Obama being a dictator, despite what they have been telling their Fox News watching “base” for the past several years. If any of them know anything about history at all, they know that, in response to a stunt such as the letter to Iran, a real dictator would have them all taken out and shot.
Here is what Democratic leader Harry Reid, and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, had to say about the letter, on the floor of the Senate, via C-SPAN: