davidbeem

Our Republican Congress

In Politics on March 10, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Imagine a Tom Cotton letter during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Imagine a Tom Cotton letter going to Gorbachev.

This really honks me.

Is it treason? Maybe if words meant things. Hyperbole notwithstanding, treason is the crime of betraying one’s country. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) admits undermining the President’s negotiations are a “feature, not a bug.” Looks clear to me.

I’ll grant you, betraying the President isn’t necessarily the same thing as betraying the country. But, like it or not, we elected Obama, his administration is charged with crafting our nation’s foreign policy, serving on the United Nations, negotiating (or not) with Iran.

Tom Cotton isn’t.

In fact, there is a Foreign Relations Committee, led by Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). Sen. Corker is trying to cut a deal too, a bi-partisan bill ensuring Congress has the chance to approve the President’s deal (really the United Nations’ deal) with Iran before it is approved. If Sen. Cotton was serious, he’d work with his own government (and/or his own party) before moving on to Tehran’s.

Much has been written about Obama’s so-called “Imperial Presidency,” but perhaps little as revealing to the GOP mentality as this, Sen. Cotton’s short-sighted undermining of the executive branch as a whole:

…the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators 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.

What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatolla Khamenei. 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.

Most senators stay on for decades. Sadly, this is just one of the incontrovertible failures we Americans have chosen to live with, the Kardashianization of our campaign financing; but the real power isn’t the scarecrow they hold up to call “dictator,” the real power is the loony minority fringe that keeps taking the country hostage, because drama.

On the world stage, this weakens, no—betrays—our country’s best interest. By Sen. Cotton’s logic, any foreign nation negotiating with a sitting president is doing so at their own peril, nothing from the United States of America can be trusted. Or, short of that, it can be trusted only as far as you can trust the craziest person in Congress.

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