UNPRECEDENTED: GOP’s letter to Iran aims to subvert nuclear talks, White House says
GOP letter to Iran aims to subvert nuclear talks, White House says
UPDATE FROM THE MODERATE VOICE:
This is truly unprecedented. The best comment on this comes from The Washington Monthly’s Ed Kilgore who writes:
Sedition in the name of patriotism should sound familiar today. Just over a century ago in England, the seditionists—aptly described by Dangerfield as cynical opportunists in league with sectarian fanatics—won. The country recovered, but was never quite the same. Are we headed in that same direction?
You have to wonder, as does Paul Waldman today at the Plum Line:
The American political system runs according to a whole series of norms, many of which we don’t notice until they’re violated. For instance, the Speaker of the House can invite a foreign leader to address Congress for the sole purpose of criticizing the administration, and he can even do it without letting the White House know in advance. There’s no law against it. But doing so violates a norm not only of simple respect and courtesy, but one that says that the exercise of foreign policy belongs to the administration. Congress can advise, criticize, and legislate to shape it, but if they simply take it upon themselves to make their own foreign policy, they’ve gone too far.
But as has happened so many times before, Republicans seem to have concluded that there is one set of rules and norms that apply in ordinary times, and an entirely different set that applies when Barack Obama is the president. You no longer need to show the president even a modicum of respect. You can tell states to ignore the law. You can sabotage delicate negotiations with a hostile foreign power by communicating directly with that power.
I wonder what they’d say if you asked them whether it would be acceptable for Democrats to treat the next Republican president that way. My guess is that the question wouldn’t even make sense to them. After all, that person would be a Republican. So how could anyone even think of such a thing?