What the Republican Party is doing these days with regard to foreign policy is nothing short of disgusting, and it is, dare I say, “un-American.” I know, many people hate that term, and I’m one of them, but sometimes it fits. The federal government is supposed to protect the people from foreign powers, yet the actions of the current Congress are actually putting us in greater danger.
Look, I think most Americans have to agree that the concept of partisanship has jumped the shark when most members of a major political party in this country actually side with the Supreme Leader of Iran over the President of the United States.
I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. We have people like John McCain saying things like, “I think you’re going to find out that they had never agreed to the things that John Kerry claimed that they had,” in response to Ayatollah Khamenei’s suggestion that the United States had “misinterpreted” Iran’s intentions during the talks. We also have Lindsey Graham saying something similar, when he said, “The Ayatollah and President Obama appear to be talking about two separate agreements and unfortunately, I can’t say I’m surprised.”
What the hell? These same Republicans, who have spent many months insisting that the Iranians are too untrustworthy to deal with are now essentially saying that Iranian leaders are more trustworthy than Kerry and Obama? They’re actually saying that we should take the word of Iranian Ayatollah/Dictator over the word of an elected U.S. President and a U.S. Secretary of State who has served Americans pretty much his entire adult life. Why do we tolerate that kind of shit?
President Obama said it best the other day, when he noted at a press conference:
“When I hear some, like Senator McCain recently, suggest that our Secretary of State, John Kerry, who served in the United States Senate, a Vietnam veteran, who’s provided exemplary service to this nation, is somehow less trustworthy in the interpretation of what’s in a political agreement than the Supreme Leader of Iran – that’s an indication of the degree to which partisanship has crossed all boundaries. And we’re seeing this again and again. We saw it with the letter by the 47 senators who communicated directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran – the person that they say can’t be trusted at all – warning him not to trust the United States government.
“We have Mitch McConnell trying to tell the world, ‘Oh, don’t have confidence in the U.S. government’s abilities to fulfill any climate change pledge that we might make.’ And now we have a senator suggesting that our Secretary of State is purposely misinterpreting the deal and giving the Supreme Leader of Iran the benefit of the doubt in the interpretations.”
This all started when the 47 Republican Senators alluded to above sent an extremely unwise and very unpopular letter to the Iranian Mullahs, in a vain attempt to derail peace talks. Say what you will, but really, in the history of our nation, when has the Legislative Branch ever sought to derail a peace agreement with a foreign government; especially one Republicans claim to see as hostile?
It’s time we put out foot down. This kind of thing is not acceptable. It’s not even constitutional. According to the Constitution Republicans usually hold up reverently, the Executive Branch makes decisions regarding foreign policy and Congress is limited to “advice and consent.” That’s it.
None of this makes any sense, except through a prism of extreme partisanship, in which nothing this President or his administration do can be seen as legitimate. What is happening right now with the current Republican Party is unprecedented, and it’s unprecedented for a reason. This country’s government cannot work if Congress is constantly trying to undermine the Executive Branch on matters of foreign policy. Our country cannot be seen as having two heads; that’s how you get other countries to feel as if it’s okay to go after the United States, because we don’t know which way we’re going.
This has to stop, and it needs to stop now. If Republicans don’t like what President Obama is doing, their recourse is to replace him at the next available election, or to vote down the Iranian agreement when it comes up for a vote. It is not, and cannot be, an option to place our country at risk by undermining American foreign policy.