Back home – shades of Obama – Wilson’s Republican opponents plotted to destroy whatever peace treaty he brought back.
About Iran, Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) wrote on March 13, 2015
The news that 47 Republican Senators wrote to Iran’s leader, inserting themselves in the delicate negotiations over nuclear weapons development is simply stunning, even in today’s hyper-partisan environment. I disagreed with President Bush on almost everything but I respected him and his office, and would never have sought to undermine him the way that this letter undermines President Obama.
Quite plainly, the letter that 47 Republican Senators sent is a show of disrespect for the Office of the President of the United States and disregard for the Constitutional separation of powers. To tell Iran’s leader that any agreement negotiators craft essentially means nothing once President Obama leaves office is more than an escalation in tensions between Republicans in the Senate and the White House. It is troubling constitutionally. Make no mistake; this letter represents more than just misplaced concern over complicated negotiations. It undermines the ability of the President and the Department of State to conduct foreign policy and threatens the President as Commander-in-Chief. Criticism is legitimate, but this time, 47 Republican critics went too far.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about history and if there is any precedent for action like this. I recall the end of World War I when, in 1920, Republicans then in the Senate sabotaged United States entry into the League of Nations. This ultimately made it more difficult for the world to thwart aggression by Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan. Regardless, at least that Republican Senate respected the Office of the President (if not the President himself) and the powers vested in that office by the Constitution. They waited until negotiations were concluded and the Treaty of Versailles was presented to them before they acted.
Today’s Senate Republicans couldn’t even give the Obama Administration the courtesy of waiting to see what the deal looks like before trying to derail it.
It is true that Senator Lodge waited for the Versailles Treaty to be presented before the Senate refused to ratify it, but the GOP had decided to do what they could to defeat it much earlier, long before the Treaty was negotiated.
© William Hungerford – March 2015