Sunday, March 15, 2015

Round-up of opinions on the Iran letter

My opinion on the open letter from 47 senators to Iran is that it's an immature poke-in-the-eye to the president, like inviting Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of Congress. It's yet another sign that the GOP puts bombastic rhetoric above careful policy decisions, which is an incredibly bad choice for people who aspire to be leaders. Luckily, it probably won't affect the negotiations (for reasons stated below).

Here are some other opinions:
  • Kathleen Parker, a mild conservative columnist, writes that the letter was a "bad but not apocalyptic idea and illustrates one of the more dangerous aspects of Washington’s indigenous narcissistic disorder."
  • Another WaPo columnist writes that Tom Cotton just projected his name to great heights among the Tea Party types. That certainly is a good point. He came up with a way to punk Obama that isn't likely to be topped anytime soon.
  • Quotes from GOP senators and aides who didn't support this letter, including Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Not... going to be constructive" and "cheeky."
  • A somewhat whiny criticism that nonetheless contains insight about the tone and tactical cluelessness of the letter. 
  • Finally, Jonathan Chait shows how neocon thinking, tactics, and fingerprints are all over this letter. 
I sincerely hope that this letter has no effect on the negotiations. It might not because it doesn't convey any information we didn't already know. Anyone who thought about it knew that a treaty wouldn't be approved by the Senate. Anyone with eyes, ears, brain, and access to American news knows that the GOP disrespects the president. So nothing new here.
It is terribly sad that American politics has sunk quite this low. This is a critically important issue, so it deserves critical thinking, not partisan foolery.

Tom Cotton undeterred by unintended consequences

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