Shall We Discuss The Tom Cotton Letter?

By now you’ve noticed the Democrats are busy accusing Cotton, and the 46 other Republican Senators who signed his letter to the Iranian mullahs cautioning them that no agreement they make with Valerie Jarrett Barack Obama is legally binding without Congressional approval, of treason.

This is, of course, nothing more than taking the ball Obama gave them and running with it. Ace of Spades summed up how this works perfectly…

But just to note it, once again, here is what the Demagogue Obama does when he wants to make a demagogic attack, but he wants to wear the Mask of Mr. Above the Fray:

Obama puts out an Attack Command. This attack command is the Weak Form of the actual attack he wants made. He wanted GOPers to be called traitors; he didn’t quite say that.

He merely hinted the living shit out of it. He said of the GOPers signing Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran that some in our country “make common cause with the hardliners in Iran.”

“Common cause” means “make an alliance with.” So he’s accusing the GOP of making an alliance with the terrorist theocrats of Iran.

Note that this Bruised Pussy of a man was just whining three weeks ago that Giuliani doubted his “love of country.”

Now that Obama has laid out the Parameters of the Attack, all of his Lesser Minions and Media Agents begin repeating the attack, but this time they make explicit what Obama (dishonestly) hid as implicit: Now they expressly call Tom Cotton a “traitor.”

So Obama lays out the structure, the skeleton, the shape of the demagogic attack, and his toadies, let us say, add “fullness” to it, texture. They put the sails to Obama’s mast and jib.


There were two interesting developments on this score today. First came the State Department, which defended the work its Secretary is doing with the Iranians and the suggestion that he doesn’t need the by-your-leave of the Senate to make an agreement because what he’s negotiating is not legally binding.

Which is precisely what Cotton’s letter said. Not only can another president void all or part of whatever agreement Kerry makes with Iran on Jarrett’s Obama’s behalf, Congress isn’t bound to the agreement either.

And the second development was Kerry taking to a Senate committee hearing to bitch about the letter, and during the rant which ensued not a single assertion was made that differed with its content other than to suggest that while future presidents would have the power to repudiate his agreement it may not be likely that they would do so.

But as John Hinderaker at Power Line notes, there is a perfectly viable scenario in which Congress would, counter to Kerry’s claim that Congress cannot modify the terms of an executive agreement he would negotiate, do just that…

It is incorrect when it says that Congress can actually modify the terms of an agreement at any time. That is flat wrong. They do not have the right to modify an agreement reached, executive to executive, between leaders of the countries.

Kerry is splitting hairs here. Congress is not the executive and cannot literally modify an executive agreement. (As the letter says, the president can do that.) But Congress can enact legislation that negates one or more terms of an executive agreement. In this case, part of Obama’s deal with Iran will be a lifting of sanctions. But Congress can re-impose sanctions at any future time; the executive agreement is no barrier.

And that possibility is precisely what this kerfuffle is all about. There is a majority in favor of imposing additional sanctions on Iran if the mullahs refuse to negotiate in good faith; Sen. Bob Menendez is building support within his own party for doing so and it seems apparent if not obvious the Justice Department’s recent decision to prosecute him for accepting free plane rides to the Dominican Republic is retaliation for his truculence.

What Obama is supremely concerned about is that Menendez might find 12 other Democrats in the Senate to join him, and that would create a veto-proof majority for those sanctions and force Obama to trade much harder with the Iranians than he otherwise wants to. Obama will do absolutely anything and everything to keep Menendez from getting those votes – because of the precedent it would set for the loss of his ability to function as an unchecked caudillo, and because it would blow up the rapprochement with Iran that Jarrett Obama counts as a centerpiece of this administration’s foreign policy legacy.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker (R-TN), didn’t sign the letter for that purpose. Corker wants to give Menendez space to work within his caucus to get 13 Democrats willing to take a tougher line with Iran than Jarrett Obama will. He, and the six other Republicans who didn’t sign the letter, see it as something that will kill Menendez’ ability to get the support needed for those sanctions.

And Corker might actually be right. It is without question a more substantial rebuke of Obama to get a bipartisan rejection of his weak stance with Iran than it is to write a letter to the mullahs telling them not to be overconfident about the easy time he’s giving them.

So this could well be a tactical mistake, if you think Menendez can bring 13 Democrats to the table to side with the GOP on sanctions that blow up Obama’s agreement.

But if you think that’s a pie-in-the-sky possibility, then Cotton’s letter makes perfect sense. After all, what’s in that letter is absolutely true – the agreement lacks the permanence of a treaty unless it is ratified by the Senate, and the Senate is within its rights to declare that fact. Frankly, were Obama to understand anything about negotiation he’d use the letter as a way to good-cop/bad-cop the Iranians and perhaps get a better deal. After all the Iranians, who know a lot about negotiation but nothing at all about American civics, think this is exactly that and are whining about it. Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif stopped screaming at Kerry long enough to begin screaming at the Senators about the letter and its contents…

I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfill the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.

Zarif apparently doesn’t understand that “government” in the United States involves not just Barack Obama but the U.S. Senate which has the power to ratify or reject any agreement that is legally binding, and that this has been the case a lot longer than the tin-pot regime in Tehran he represents has been around. For example, the United States wasn’t part of the League of Nations that Woodrow Wilson dreamed up because the Senate wouldn’t ratify the treaty creating it. Were he better at his job he might recognize it’s in Iran’s interests to negotiate a good-faith agreement that can win Senate ratification; to do so would give Iran some semblance of influence on U.S. policy as a result of having a binding agreement with us. What’s likely is he doesn’t care and isn’t interested in any agreement that results in other than Iran’s ability to gain international legitimacy while totally undermining its commitments on the way to the bomb, though he’s doing a good job of playing the ignoramus.

But Zarif is no more ignorant than the lefties who are screaming “traitor” at Cotton and the other Republicans who signed his letter, including Colorado Democrat congressman Jared Polis who took to Twitter to describe him as “Tehran Tom.”

One wonders whether these insipid, asinine imbeciles have the slightest concept of what treason is, or how thin the reed is upon which they perch while casting aspersions on a former combat commander who served his country in both Iraq AND Afghanistan – dodging IED’s in both countries manufactured in Iran, by the way.

If you want to see true perfidy and betrayal of a president’s foreign policy by congressional members of an opposing party, here’s a short history lesson from the mid-1970’s – when the Democrats sold out our allies in South Vietnam by repudiating the terms of an executive diplomatic agreement and paving the way for the communist North Vietnamese to conquer them and put hundreds of thousands to the sword…

And while we’re discussing congressional meddling in foreign policy that rises to the level of treason, remember Teddy Kennedy?

In 1991, it was revealed that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) proposed quite a coup that might have dangerously undermined American foreign policy in the process. In 1983, then KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov composed a memorandum to General Secretary Yuri Andropov, himself a former KGB chief who brutally crushed the anti-Soviet rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968 respectively. The memo revealed that Kennedy had approached the Soviet spy service with an offer. “Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan,” Peter Robinson, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, wrote in 2009. “In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.”

“Like other rational people” Chebrikov explained to Tovarish Andropov, “[Kennedy] is very troubled by the current state of Soviet-American relations.” For the Soviets’ assistance in 1984, Kennedy offered to help Andropov secure a variety of television interviews in the United States. Though President Reagan served as executor of American foreign policy and the guarantor of American interests at this time, and 1983 was a dangerous year for Soviet-American relations, Kennedy sought to undermine him for personal gain and the advancement of his party’s electoral prospects.

A simple letter that reminds the Mullahs in command of the levers of power inside the Islamic Republic that the U.S. Senate plays a role in sanctioning American foreign policy seems tame by comparison.

The Democrats should never, EVER accuse men like Tom Cotton of treason. They don’t have the first idea what the word means, and their escutcheon is covered with marks, both black and blood red. It is better for the Left to shut its ugly mouth and sit in the corner until called upon.



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