It is ironic that the GOP attempts to sabotage negotiations with Iran — first by inviting the Israeli Prime Minister to give a political campaign speech in Congress, then blatantly stating that they are indeed trying to sabotage the negotiations, and finally by sending an open letter to the Iranian government that was so condescending and full of misinformation that it is laughable — will probably have the opposite effect.
By throwing their temper tantrum, like a child trying to get attention at any cost, Republicans prove that they have no idea what the negotiations are about, and don’t even care. They have already shown that they will be against anything Obama supports (even if it was their idea in the first place), but in this case they are even more jealous because Obama is giving attention to someone else.
Remember the last time the Republicans tried the “ticking time bomb” argument? It was against Iraq and Saddam Hussein, and we all know how that turned out. Do they think the American people are so stupid that they can cry wolf any time they want and we will march off to (yet another) stupid endless war?
What makes this even more foolish and petty is that they can’t even wait until there is a proposal from the negotiations. No need to be confused by facts. They want to sabotage any negotiations with Iran. These are negotiations designed to remove the threat of an Iran with nuclear weapons. The alternative is for Iran to go back to developing those weapons. Is that what the GOP wants?
To be honest, I doubt they have even thought that far ahead.
UPDATE: Slate explains in detail why “The letter 47 Republican senators sent to Iran is one of the most plainly stupid things a group of senators has ever done.” This new article agrees that the letter is having quite the opposite effect it was intended and that the drafters of the letter have absolutely no understanding of our constitutional system. You know, the system they are purporting to school the Iranians about.
For example, they state (“in the tone of a teacher addressing third-graders”) that treaties and formal agreements need ratification by Congress, ignoring the fact that the diplomatic negotiations with Iran relieve international sanctions are not one of those. “In other words, contrary to the letter writers, Congress has no legal or constitutional role in the drafting, approval, or modification of this deal.”
The article also points out the hypocrisy of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have repeatedly defended the president’s constitutional right to wage war, yet sign this letter claiming that the president has no right to wage diplomacy.
Finally, Slate points out that US law (passed by Congress) specifically makes “Private Correspondence with Foreign Governments”, to “influence” that government “in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the Unites States” a felony subject to fines and prison terms. The article ends by suggesting that “the 47 Senate Republicans [should] bone up on the American legal system before lecturing others on its meaning.”
UPDATE 2: An official petition urging charges be filed against the letter signers for violating US law has passed the 100,000 signature threshold, which means that it should get an official response from the White House.