The Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight
The news today, to the delight of the news media and to the shame of all Americans, was the childish behavior of 47 Republican Senators. These Senators wrote a letter to the Iranian Government questioning whether the Iranians understood that any deal they cut with President Obama was just that unless Congress enshrined the agreement into law. The implicit message was unless this agreement fits what the GOP members in Congress think satisfactory, the US will walk away with the next GOP President or next veto proof GOP Congress.
So what were these GOP Senators really trying to say?
Inviting the Israeli Prime Minister to speak before Congress without even informing the President was dysfunctional at the least. Netanyahu, however, laid bare the quandary those opposed to negotiations with the Iranians have. Netanyahu said “Iran cannot be trusted” and therefore any deal will doomed to being broken. Maybe so, but what would alternatives look like?
Forget for a minute what a better deal looks like, why should the US try if “Iran cannot be trusted”? The spin masters have said, however, the US should seek “a better deal” avoiding the obvious conclusion of military action if the other party cannot be trusted. Hmmm.
Now the GOP has stepped into the same contradiction as Netanyahu, and raised the ante implying “only Congress knows best”. If the President cannot be trusted to negotiate on behalf of the US, how can anyone speak for the US? Why would a new Congress, maybe one that is Democrat controlled, not try to overturn the policies of a GOP President?
Congress has an important “advice and consent” role as laid out in the Constitution. They do not have a role in executing foreign policy for very practical reasons… how could a country conduct foreign affairs with 535 legislators?
The Senate letter and Netanyahu’s invitation are really the result of something else. The GOP majority has been frustrated with President Obama’s executive actions and have been unable to reverse the President’s actions. Activist Congress members have decided to lay aside historic precedents and simply find new ways to “say no”.
As the GOP continues to take dysfunctional public positions (like the willingness to shut down the Government or parts of it), the public record gains weight that GOP cannot govern.
There might not ever be an Iran deal for unrelated reasons. And even if there is a deal, Iran may cheat on key aspects. But what are the alternatives?
Americans should wake up that “no deal” either means Iran gets nuclear weapons or the West must go to war. Why in the world would the US seek another war? And just which countries would side with our foreign policy view?
A more practical question might be “what type of example would a war with Iran be for Russian or Chinese expansionist wishes”?
If the GOP is so concerned about President Obama’s health care or immigration reform policies, why don’t they propose comprehensive policies to replace them and let Americans decide? Hmmm.