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Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in Crime, Disasters, Government | 33 comments

Defending Treason

illustration by Hart Williams © used with permission

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Today, the Right Wing blogosphere, responding in their classic school-yard bully manner, defended the indefensible breach of American political tradition dating back to the John Adams Administration:

A war of Obama’s making
 Byron York / Washington Examiner

The White House and some Democrats are livid over congressional Republican attempts to circumvent President Obama’s authority to make a nuclear arms deal with Iran.  They have a right to be angry — but not to be surprised.  —  There’s a war going on between …

Shorter translation: Neener neener poo pooh. Bounces off of me, sticks to you.

In the midst of this, and filled with a Billy Budd rage that  Claggart would do well to avoid, I would like to tell you the story of Citizen Genêt.

The story begins in 1793, when the French Revolutionary government dispatches Edmond-Charles Genêt to the United States to drum up US support for France’s wars with Great Britain and Spain. Wikipedia:Edmond-Charles_Genêt

Edmond-Charles Genêt (Public Domain)

The Citizen Genêt affair began in 1793 when he was dispatched to the United States to promote American support for France’s wars with Spain and Britain.

Genêt arrived in Charleston, South Carolina on the warship Embuscade on April 8. Instead of traveling to the then-capital of Philadelphia to present himself to U.S. PresidentGeorge Washington for accreditation, Genêt stayed in South Carolina. There he was greeted with enthusiasm by the people of Charleston, who threw a string of parties in his honor.

Genêt’s goals in South Carolina were to recruit and arm American privateers who would join French expeditions against the British. He commissioned four privateering ships in total, including the Republicaine, the Anti-George, the Sans-Culotte, and the Citizen Genêt. Working with French consul Michel Ange Bernard Mangourit, Genêt organized American volunteers to fight Britain’s Spanish allies in Florida. After raising a militia, Genêt set sail toward Philadelphia, stopping along the way to marshal support for the French cause and arriving on May 18. He encouraged Democratic-Republican societies, but President Washington denounced them and they quickly withered away.

His actions endangered American neutrality in the war between France and Britain, which Washington had pointedly declared in his Neutrality Proclamation of April 22. When Genêt met with Washington, he asked for what amounted to a suspension of American neutrality. When turned down by Secretary of StateThomas Jefferson and informed that his actions were unacceptable, Genêt protested. Meanwhile, Genet’s privateers were capturing British ships, and his militia was preparing to move against the Spanish.

Genêt continued to defy the wishes of the United States government, capturing British ships and rearming them as privateers. Washington sent Genet an 8,000-word letter of complaint on Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s advice – one of the few situations in which the FederalistAlexander Hamilton and the Republican Jefferson agreed. Genet replied obstinately. President Washington and his Cabinet then demanded that France recall Genet as its Ambassador.[1]

The Jacobins, having taken power in France by January 1794, sent an arrest notice which asked Genet to come back to France. Genet, knowing that he would likely be sent to the guillotine, asked Washington for asylum. It was Hamilton – Genet’s fiercest opponent in the cabinet – who convinced Washington to grant him safe haven in the United States.

Genêt remained in the US, married New York governor George Clinton’s daughter and lived as a gentleman farmer on an estate overlooking the Hudson river until his death.

Nothing was done at this time, but the rage felt by new American government remained in place until 1798. Wikipedia again:

GeoLogan public domain

George Logan (Public Domain)

In 1790, he was disowned by the Society of Friends for having joined a militia, an activity wholly antithetical to the Quakers’ pacifist views. A Jeffersonian Republican, in 1793 he helped to found the Democratic-Republican Societies. An accomplished farmer, he was also a founder of the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Agriculture.

In 1798, he went to Paris to negotiate peace with the French to settle the Quasi-War. On his return, he found he had been denounced by the anti-Jeffersonian Federalists, who had passed a statute informally known as the “Logan Act”, which made it a crime for an individual citizen to interfere in a dispute between the United States and a foreign country. In 1800, the year Jefferson was elected president, Logan was elected to the U.S. Senate for a six-year term.

Logan’s reputation was decidedly mixed. With reference to his political activities, he was called at various times a “busybody” and a “great fool” …

The Emory Law Journal, described Dr. Logan’s activities in France:

Upon his arrival in Paris, he met with various French officials, including Talleyrand. During these meetings, he identified himself as a private citizen, discussed matters of general interest to the French, and told his audience that anti-French sentiment was prevalent in the United States. Logan’s conversation with Merlin de Douai, who occupied the highest political office in the French republic, was typical.

Logan stated that he did not intend to explain the American government’s position, nor to criticize that of France. Instead, he suggested ways in which France could improve relations with the United States, to the benefit of both countries. He also told Merlin that pro-British propagandists in the United States were portraying the French as corrupt and anxious for war, and were stating that any friend of French principles necessarily was an enemy of the United States.

Within days of Logan’s last meeting, the French took steps to relieve the tensions between the two nations; they lifted the trade embargo then in place, and released American seamen held captive in French jails. Even so, it seems that Logan’s actions were not the primary cause of the Directory’s actions; instead, Logan had merely provided convenient timing for the implementation of a decision that had already been made.

White House photo ears

non-sequitur White House photo

The “Logan Act” (its informal, but now historical name) said this:

§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).

The point, which the disloyal opposition seems to entirely miss, is that Congress finally realized that “politics stops at the water’s edge,” and American foreign policy has been carried out by the Constitutionally appointed Executive branch SINCE that time, without the assistance of club-footed amateurs, like, say, Tom Cotton.

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

You can’t make a treaty if the senate scuttles the negotiations. Sophistry will attempt to muddy the waters on this, and make specious arguments denying this simple truth, but according to the Constitution (whom they CLAIM, constantly, to venerate and defend) only the President can conduct negotiations and draft the treaty. In practice, if the Senate does not then concur, it can be — as noted by the scrofulous letter of Tom Cotton — implemented as an Executive order, etcetera. Clearly, the Senate has stepped beyond their Constitutional powers and there is NO DEFENSE for this.

The_Amateur_Liar_(1919)_-_Ad_1

Movie poster 1919 (public domain)

Why? Because the new, democratic nation needed to speak with one voice. Clearly, allowing free-lancers like Genêt and Logan to go off bumbling with foreign governments (in this case, France, whose revolution nearly set off a new revolution in the just-coalescing Constitutional USA) was a really BAD idea.

Treating with foreign heads of state, sending private or even politically-backed envoys, or allowing Congress to spill its well-known chaos into diplomatic relations was obviously a recipe for disaster, and, while there was partisan rancor over Dr. Logan’s escapade, the wisdom of speaking with one voice was apparent to Congress, and that has been our practice ever since.

Until Boehner decided to treat with the head of a foreign government (Netanyahu’s “campaign” appearances before AIPAC, beginning in 2009 when he held his pep rally as the senator from the 51st state, have looked like NOTHING so much as Genêt’s pep rallies in the Carolinas to create his own US foreign policy.

And I have written about how profoundly wrong this was, without reference to whether or not Netanyahu was subject to religious penile mutilation or not. He is a foreigner and should NOT be pulling a “Genêt.” (If he wants to move to the USA in exile and marry the daughter of Governor Cuomo, I have no objection.)

Even the Iranians realize how stooopid this was, replying hilariously (from a press release by the UN Iranian Mission, emphasis added):

Asked about the open letter of 47 US Senators to Iranian leaders, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded that “in our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.”

Zarif expressed astonishment that some members of US Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration. He pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.

Foreign Minister Zarif added that “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 fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.”

Indeed, Americans had better shoot off their mouths now, rather than shoot off their guns later. But the Corporate media now treats this as less important than the phony Clinton Email scandal, which dominates TODAY’s reporting.

George W. Bush mission accomplished

more truthiness from the party of “Mission Accomplished” (White House photo)

This is akin to picking at a scab while failing to apply a tourniquet to a severed limb.

Or, as Mark Twain noted:

In the course of a certain battle a soldier whose leg had been shot off appealed to another soldier who was hurrying by to carry him to the rear, informing him at the same time of the loss which he had sustained; whereupon the generous son of Mars, shouldering the unfortunate, proceeded to carry out his desire. The bullets and cannon-balls were flying in all directions, and presently one of the latter took the wounded man’s head off—without, however, his deliverer being aware of it. In no-long time he was hailed by an officer, who said:

“Where are you going with that carcass?”

“To the rear, sir—he’s lost his leg!”

“His leg, forsooth?” responded the astonished officer; “you mean his head, you booby.”

Whereupon the soldier dispossessed himself of his burden, and stood looking down upon it in great perplexity. At length he said:

“It is true, sir, just as you have said.” Then after a pause he added, “But he TOLD me IT WAS HIS LEG! ! ! ! !”

But to treat this monumental affront not only to the Administration and the Constitution, but to the coalition of world powers sitting down with Iran RIGHT NOW in Switzerland as some kind of hilarious partisan panty-raid, ought to tell us how far from patriotism the secessionist “patriots” of the GOP have blundered.

And yet, in their typical, libelous, bullying manner, the shrikes of the Reicht, shrieking their derision for civility and civilization have taken to the front pages to scream their scofflaw entitlement to all who would listen to their poisonous nonsense.

kids_fighting_switched_directions1

We are one step closer to civil war, and no one can claim that we are not now Lincoln’s House Divided.

Ironically on the 150th Anniversary of the next to last month of our LAST civil war.

Remember, this began back in 2009, when Rick Perry started toying with the notion of “secession,’ and which has progressed through our society at all levels,

And, in psychologically telling fashion, they scream that it is Obama’s “lawlessness” and “disrespect of the Constitution” that has driven them to break the law and stomp on the Constitution. York:

Of course, it is still a bad thing. It is not good to invite a foreign leader to address Congress in a campaign against the U.S. president. It is not good to undermine the president’s authority to conduct foreign policy. But it’s not a good thing to undermine Congress’ authority to make laws, either. And to threaten even more undermining in the future, as Obama has done.

It’s too bad for Obama that he couldn’t persuade Congress to do everything he wanted. That did not give him the right to encroach on Congress’s constitutional authority.

Now Congress is pushing back. It’s a shame it’s come to this, but that’s the way things work.

Some kind of “patriots,” these GOPs.

(My favorite GOP fallacy, by the by, claim that media is biased which justifies YOU being blatantly biased. It doesn’t. And claim Obama has trampled on the Constitution which justifies YOU stomping on the Constitution. It doesn’t and it never worked with your mother, either, BUT WALLY DID IT!)

And no, you can’t have my lunch money. Just TRY to take it. I dares ya.

fighter (clipart licensed to author)

Courage.

 UPDATE: The New York Daily News gets it right:

traitorsh/t Talking Points Memo

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Copyright 2015 The Moderate Voice
  • Slamfu

    Lets think about what the GOP is really doing here. This is twice now they’ve gone to a foreign power and said, “Don’t bother dealing with our President, deal directly with us instead, bypass our Executive Branch.” For all the screaming of over reach the Republicans do, they are literally trying to co-opt the job of dictating diplomatic relations which is absolutely not their job.

    The Iranian diplomat, and I can’t believe I’m using him as an example of reason, brought up a good point in that nations don’t deal with legislative bodies, they deal with heads of state. When you’ve got IRANIANS setting you straight on decorum you really need to ask yourself, how far from the pack have you strayed?

    I can’t help but wonder what the Republicans have planned for their next stunt. If the curve keeps trending like it has these last 2 months it’s going to be a doozy.

    • Exactly–one more attempt to undermine a duly elected (twice) President who has committed the unpardonable sin of disagreeing with them. More governing by temper tantrum by the Republicans.

    • Rambie

      “…I can’t help but wonder what the Republicans have planned for their next stunt. If the curve keeps trending like it has these last 2 months it’s going to be a doozy.”

      I’m sure they’ll think of something. Civility seems to be beyond their comprehension anymore so I wouldn’t put anything beyond them.

  • SteveK

    A New Yorker article, Congress’s Poison-Pen Letter to Iran,covered the actual letter written by a freshman Senator with two months experience (and co-signed by the rest of the GOP ‘brain pool’) quite well.

    Forty-seven senators, all of them Republicans, have sent a letter to Tehran that might be summarized this way:
    Dear Iran, Please don’t agree to halt your nuclear-weapons program, because we don’t like Barack Obama and, anyway, he’ll be gone soon.
    That may be shorthand, but it is not an exaggeration of either the tone or the intent of the letter, which was signed by the Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, as well as John McCain, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul. The signature drive was organized by Senator Tom Cotton.

    [Cotton] is a thirty-seven-year-old Republican, who entered the Senate two months ago, from the state of Arkansas. Senators, as the letter helpfully informs the Iranians—this is an actual quote—“may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.” (Or, of course, a third of the Senate could be voted out every two years.)

    Two months on the job and already stealing Ted Cruz’s thunder. Hell, it took Cruz 6 months to sink to that level… Better watch you back Teddy boy.

    • Brownies girl

      You write: “A New Yorker article, Congress’s Poison-Pen Letter to Iran,covered the actual letter written by a freshman Senator with two months experience (and co-signed by the rest of the GOP ‘brain pool’) quite well.”

      Key words – “two months experience”.

      I’m betting a lot of the senators who signed this letter were among those who complained that Pres Obama had too little experience as a junior senator to run for Pres – when he’d completed almost 4 YEARS in that post. Now they’re backing a guy with two MONTHS experience. I can only shake my head. Loved the NY-er article btw, thanks for the link.

    • Key graph of the New Yorker piece was the last one which said, in part:

      “Is that the reaction that the Republicans were hoping for? Perhaps they don’t care if the United States is embarrassed in front of the other members of the U.N. Security Council—which, along with Germany, are the parties to the talks—as long as they have something that they can boast about on Fox News…As with the invitation that John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, extended to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, to speak before Congress, it is not clear whether the primary impetus has to do with foreign policy or with partisan theatrics. Is the intention to scuttle the nuclear negotiations, without regard for the ugliness that it brings to our politics? Or is it to humiliate and insult President Obama, no matter the cost to the goal of nuclear nonproliferation—even if it means another bomb in the world?”

  • JSpencer

    Inept, shameless, unprincipled idiots… which isn’t exactly new information.

  • tidbits

    I’ve seen on other sites that trending number 1 on Twitter is: #47Traitors. While it’s not legally treason (my opinion), it is remarkably ill considered, and a case could be made that it violates the Logan Act, though probably not (again, my opinion). As the twitter hashtag exemplifies, the public reaction so far has been overwhelmingly negative.

    What are the chances now of getting a veto-proof majority to override any agreement? After this stunt, roughly zero – and dropping.

    • Rambie

      Assuming the GOP’ers would even bring up any treaty for a vote.

      • hartwilliams

        Generally, they ratify treaties by “without objection,” since the 2/3rds requirement ONLY applies to the number of senators present.

        • Rambie

          Generally, but in this congress?!

    • Brownies girl

      I have a question about the Senators threatening to cancel any agreement, should the Republicans win in 2016. This agreement is not being discussed by the US **alone**, there are 4 (or maybe 5) other countries involved. It’s called P5+1 after all.

      My question is – even if they cancelled the agreement if they got the chance (whatever it is or will be) – the Senate has no influence on the other countries that would’ve had to agree, right? I am just wondering, do these guys think that this discussion regarding an agreement is just between the US and Iran? Do they not realize other major UN members are also involved. Could they cancel JUST the US’s part –and would that be a deal breaker, or what? Honest question ’cause I’m just a bit confused on this issue. Thanks.

      • The_Ohioan

        From what I understand, the only role congress has is the ability to lift sanctions they previously put in place somewhere down the road if Iran behaves. The current crew threatens never to do that because they don’t think Iran can ever behave. In fact they want to increase sanctions right now which would interfere with the current negotiations which is why Obama has promised to veto any such action.

        Currently the President is using executive action (which does not need congressional approval) to negotiate and a partial lifting of current sanctions is the carrot he and the other countries are using to get Iran to do certain things which will delay their having the ability to make a nuclear bomb.

        And the answer to you question is yes, they seem to think that this is, as the letter states, “nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei.”

        It is really an international agreement between Iran and several countries and though it could be cancelled by a future president, this article states why that probably wouldn’t (and certainly shouldn’t) happen if all countries hold to the agreement.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/the-republicans-know-they-cant-stop-an-iran-agreement-no-matter-how-much-they-want-to-2015-3

        • Brownies girl

          Dear TO – thanks for this. Just finished reading the link, it explains a lot and answers many of my questions.
          (There are a couple of other links in that story that I want to follow up on too – but will wait till tomorrow since it’s getting late here.)

          Quoting a line from the link you gave – it says: “The letter is more notable for what it doesn’t include, and proves that Congressional Republicans realize that they can’t stop a deal on their own.”
          (Which I assume means they’d need Democratic help, which is unlikely to occur.)

          So why, I wonder, if they KNOW they can’t stop a deal, would they even SEND this provocative letter? And why would they all sign on to such a letter, written by such a truly **junior** guy? The whole thing puzzles the crap out of me. Anyway – thanks again for the link, much appreciated and very helpful! cheers m’dear!

          • The_Ohioan

            Follow the money. Just as Rep. Gowdy is fund raising on Benghazi, all of this anti-Obama foolishness is in large part a method of fund raising.

            Other empires have failed because of corruption; I see no reason why ours should be different – it may just take longer.

    • hartwilliams

      I’m sure your opinion is authoritative, impressive and pressed of 24 karat gold, but what say we take them to court and have that opinion validated?

      It is not a trivial point. Certain prosecutions are entered into all the time as a means of discipline, even though prosecutors know the case may not win. But the defendants have to lawyer up and go through the hassle of exonerating themselves. Generally, this is used on the weaker members of society.

      Seems only fair to use it on the “elite” as a means of saying: maybe what you did WASN’T treasonous or felonious. Prove it. Or, rather, disprove it.

      If only to make them think twice before pulling such a stunt again.

      • tidbits

        OK with me to have a little show prosecution.

        But…but…but. The politics, the optics. It all works so well right now for the administration, “Look at these stupid, almost treasonous, un-American Republicans who don’t know how the Constitution envisions governance…poor souls…let’s forgive them, with a wink to acknowledge and broadcast their ignorance and duplicity.”

        Or the administration gives these 47 the optics of the persecuted victims of the wicked Obama.

        No. I think it’s being played about right by the WH. Let them stew in their juices, twist in the wind. Let justice be served, not by DOJ but rather by social media: #47TRAITORS.

        • hartwilliams

          The fact that the GOPs have ALREADY cast themselves as persecuted using the satanic reversal hashtag #47PATRIOTS pretty much tells us all we need to know. I don’t mind them playing that card for a long show trial. They’re going to do it anyway. Might as well make them sweat.

  • Rambie

    What I don’t get is that the GOP is just undermining the next *shudder* Republican president too. Of course, hypocrisy isn’t new to them so I’m sure they’ll forget all about their current slights toward the current president.

  • SteveK

    The Republican Senates unmitigated gall has no limits…

    Anti-human-trafficking bill gets caught up in abortion politics in Senate

    Proving that there is virtually no issue that cannot get mired in partisan combat, an anti-human trafficking bill now under Senate consideration is in limbo after Democrats accused Republicans of sneaking anti-abortion language into the legislation before it hit the Senate floor.

    The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and sporting a bipartisan stable of cosponsors, was supposed to be a turn toward comity after a couple of contentious weeks on Capitol Hill. What’s not to like about a bill that would increase penalties for those convicted of slavery, human smuggling and sexual exploitation of children and provide for additional compensation for their victims?

  • The_Ohioan

    The Logan Act has never been used in a prosecution in its over 200 year life. It has been the target for repeal several times, but always survived. One commenter called it “Either a paper dragon or a sleeping giant”. Others declare it unconstitutional.

    This history tells me that though no congress has yet decided that an action has fit the prohibitions of the bill, most in congress think there may be such actions one day in which case the law stands ready to be applied.

    No doubt it has been cited many times in the past 216 years.

  • JSpencer

    …as creatively interpreted by the Washington Examiner. 😉

  • dduck12

    Surely, Logan didn’t apply to Jane Fonda (Hanoi Jane). No, not a traitor.

    • hartwilliams

      Seriously? You’re going to dig for a false equivalency that’s almost half a century old?

      Any pithy examples from the Buchanan Administration you’d care to put into the Tu Quoque pot?

      Tu Quoque is a fallacy whose name is older than the language you exercise said fallacy in. It means “You too!” and pretends that all actions are a zero sum game, as in “But you murdered someone too, so I don’t have to stand trial for murder!” No: all moral acts are discrete and even your MOTHER wouldn’t let you get away with “But Tommy did it TOO!”

      Now that you know this is a fallacy, please don’t attempt to use it in the future, since that would prove you were intentionally attempting to derail an argument via falsehood and specious distortion. QED

  • dduck12

    Is this a Logan case?
    Brent Scowcroft:

    In the midst of this careful diplomacy, former President
    Jimmy Carter wrote the members of the [UN] Security Council asking them
    not to support the resolution. He argued that the costs in huiman life
    and the economic consequences, not to mention the permanent
    destabilization oif the Middle East, were too high and
    unnecessary,”unless all peaceful resolution efforts are first
    exhausted.” He called for the UN to mandate a”good faith” negotiation
    with the Iraqi leaders to consider their concerns, and to ask the Arabs
    to try to work out a peaceful solution,”without any restraint on their
    agenda.” It was an unbelieveable letter, asking the other members of the
    council to vote against his own country. We found out about it only
    when one of the recipients sent us a copy. Carter later acknowledged he
    had sent the letter, but claimed he had told President Bush what he was
    doing. He did send the President a similar one, but without mentioning
    he had also lobbied the President’s foreign colleagues. It seemed to me
    that if there was ever a violation of the Logan Act prohibiting
    diplomacy by private citizens, this was it. President Bush was furious
    at this interference in the conduct of his foreign policy and the
    deliberate attempt to undermine it, but told me just to let it drop. –”

    Or Rev. Jesse Jackson:

    “During the Reagan Administration, Jesse Jackson almost made seeming
    violations of the Logan Act a cottage industry, visiting Syria, Cuba and
    the Sandinistas, with purpose, as Dr. Karin Stanford, professor at
    Cal-State Northridge noted, at least in part, of promoting their
    positions in the face of U.S. administration.”

    • tidbits

      I agree that the Logan Act has not been violated by “the 47”, and should not be enforced even if it were violated. Of course, I also believe that Bill Clinton’s sexual adventures and lies about his sexual adventures did not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors worthy of impeachment. But, it was a helluva show, as is this so far. I’m going to order a pizza and chill the beer.

    • dduck12

      Silence, so I guess No Logan on these.

      • hartwilliams

        Perhaps no one is interested in disputing a fallacy.

    • hartwilliams

      Seriously? You’re going to dig for a false equivalency that’s almost half a century old?

      Any pithy examples from the Buchanan Administration you’d care to put into the Tu Quoque pot?

      Tu Quoque is a fallacy whose name is older than the language you exercise said fallacy in. It means “You too!” and pretends that all actions are a zero sum game, as in “But you murdered someone too, so I don’t have to stand trial for murder!” No: all moral acts are discrete and even your MOTHER wouldn’t let you get away with “But Tommy did it TOO!”

      Now that you know this is a fallacy, please don’t attempt to use it in the future, since that would prove you were intentionally attempting to derail an argument via falsehood and specious distortion. QED

  • SteveK

    For his next exhibit we’ll hear about Danial Noriega… And then Bill Ayers who imo would have fit in better with Jane Fonda…

    Who the way (in a 1988 interview with Barbara Walters) expressed regret for her comments and actions, stating:

    I would like to say something, not just to Vietnam veterans in New England, but to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I’m very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families. […] I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in an anti-aircraft gun, which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes. It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless

    To me, a Vietnam Era Vet, that meant a lot. That said I do understand the need for many neo-con ‘nutters’ (pardon the term) that avoided (evaded?) military service to keep her name up as a boogie-woman. Distraction is one of their favorite ploys.

  • archangel

    Jane : read the commenters rules at the top of the masthead before you comment again. Stay to the topic of the post, and etc. and all will be well.

    Thanks

  • SteveK

    ‘It’s not every day that you see’ USA TODAY take the Republicans to task (for anything!) but yesterday was an exception.

    ‘Dear Iran’ letter subverts nuclear talks: Our view

    It’s not every day that you see U.S. senators pressing leaders of a hostile power to help them kill off American-led negotiations aimed at removing a potential nuclear threat to the United States and its allies.

    In fact, nothing quite like that had ever happened until Monday, when 47 Republican senators wrote a letter to the leaders of Iran warning that any agreement they reach with President Obama to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program might be reversed by a future president.

    The senators, led by freshman Tom Cotton of Arkansas, couched their letter as advice to Iran’s leaders on the U.S. Constitution, but the need was dubious and the intent unmistakable. The senators don’t like the shape of the deal they see emerging with Iran, they don’t trust Obama, and they think they should get final say on any proposed deal. Never mind that the Constitution explicitly says otherwise, except for treaties, which are not under consideration.

    Like House Republicans who broke with tradition last week by inviting a foreign leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to attack the negotiations from the House floor, the 47 senators appear not to have much use for the quaint notion that has led generations of politicians to avoid such provocations in the past: that whatever America’s differences happen to be, the country’s foreign policy needs to speak to the world with one voice.

    Instead, the senators substituted passion for reason.

    • The_Ohioan

      “negotiations aimed at removing a potential nuclear threat to the United States and its allies.” No small idea in the scheme of things.

      Not, though, to the nattering nabobs of nihilism.

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