#47Traitors: Backlash Grows After Senators Attempt To Sabotage Iran Deal
Backlash is growing after 47 Republican senators took the unprecedented move of trying to sabotage negotiations between the US and Iran. In a letter to the Iranian government the 47 senators claimed that any deal reached between the US and Iran would not be a real agreement but an executive action that could easily be reversed.
The intention of the letter was lost on no one – to sabotage attempts by the Obama Administration to reach a peaceful settlement to the Iranian nuclear issue. Many of the signatories to the letter believe in bombing Iran such as Senator John McCain who once went so far as to sing about it.
Bashing the president to foreign leaders is bad enough, but questions remain as to whether the senators violated the Logan Act which prohibits “unauthorized United States citizens from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.” The intention of the senators was clearly to interfere and obstruct relations between the United States and Iran though it is an open question as to whether the wording of the letter to “enrich the knowledge” of Iran and their position as senators protects them from criminal prosecution.
In thirty-six 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. This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments—a message that is as false as it is dangerous.
The decision to undercut our President and circumvent our constitutional system offends me as a matter of principle. As a matter of policy, the letter and its authors have also offered no viable alternative to the diplomatic resolution with Iran that their letter seeks to undermine.
The White House was not the only one to respond to the letter. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif posted a response on Twitter and elsewhere to the senators saying that would, likewise, “enrich the knowledge” of the senators by telling them that inter-state relations are governed by international law not them.
The organizer of the letter, Senator Tom Cotton, has faced a personal backlash with many noting he has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from neoconservatives. Cotton also has a history of not understanding the Constitution and tried to pass bills prohibiting free speech including the jailing of journalists.
The response to the letter both in the news media and on social media has also been considerably negative. The hashtag #47Traitors was trending Tuesday morning citing the 47 senators that signed the letter as committing treason and undermining the Constitution and American security.
The neocons may have, once again, overplayed their hand.