None dare call it treason? A group of Senators has sent a letter to the government of Iran claiming that any agreement reached between Iran and the White House is likely to only last as long as the Obama presidency. Under the guise of “enriching the knowledge” of the government in Tehran, the letter lays out the Senators’ view of the severe limitations of President Obama’s authority related to any deal he reaches on Iran’s nuclear program.
The message of the letter is clear – the hawks in Congress plan on sabotaging any deal any way they can and are willing to break basic protocol and well delineated separation of powers to do so.
The letter was reportedly organized by neoconservative Senator Tom Cotton with signatures from all the Republican leadership as well as 2016 presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. The decision to send the letter to Tehran marks a severe escalation in a battle between pro-Israel hawks in Congress and the White House – a battle that seemingly reached crescendo with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress where he was given prime Washington real estate to bash President Obama to raucous applause.
Organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton and signed by the chamber’s entire party leadership as well as potential 2016 presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process.
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system … Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” the senators wrote. “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.”
Has foreign policy moved out of the executive branch? What would have happened had Democrats in Congress tried to sabotage President Bush like this?
On the one hand it’s interesting to see the imperial presidency challenged like this, on the other this kind of knee capping during a negotiation to prevent a war and stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons is straight up reckless. Is this the new normal or just the latest episode of Obama derangement syndrome?