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Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Same process, different letter.

Angry White House and G.O.P. Senators Clash Over Letter to Iran


MARCH 9, 2015

WASHINGTON – The fractious debate over a possible nuclear deal with Iran escalated on Monday as 47 Republican senators warned Iran against making an agreement with President Obama and the White House accused them of undercutting foreign policy.

In an exceedingly rare direct congressional intervention into diplomatic negotiations, the Republicans sent an open letter addressed to “leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” declaring that any agreement could be reversed by the next president “with the stroke of a pen….”

Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) signature on the letter. [pdf]

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D) had a few choice words:

Senator Harry Reid (D): As I speak here today President Obama and his administration are engaged in negotiations to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. This negotiation is unprecedented and very critical to our country and the world. The stakes really couldn’t be higher. We as leaders should do everything we can to help these negotiations succeed. When it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb we should put partisanship way to one side.

Sadly, though, the judgment of my Republican colleagues seems to be clouded by their abhorrence of President Obama. Today Republican senators actually sent a letter to the Iranian leadership aimed at sabotaging these negotiations. Let’s be very clear. Republicans are undermining our commander in chief while empowering the ayatollahs.

Just last week President Benjamin Netanyahu was here in the capitol decrying the evil intent of Iranian leadership. Republicans at that speech, which took place down the hall where we all stand today in the House chambers, stood, applauded, stomped their feet and yelled supporting what the Prime Minister of Israel had to say.

Now, today, these same Republicans are trying to negotiate with these very same leaders in Iran that Netanyahu said we shouldn’t be negotiating with. This simply doesn’t make sense.

The outcome of the negotiation between the United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia and the entire world is so important. The main participants in this negotiations are the United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia. Even though we’re the negotiators, one of the negotiators, the negotiation affect the entire world as I’ve said.

This letter is a hard slap in the face of not only the United States, but our allies. This is not a time to undermine our commander in chief purely out of spite.

We should always have a robust debate about foreign policy. But it’s unprecedented for one political party to directly intervene in an international negotiation with the sole goal of embarrassing the President of the United States.

Throughout the eight years of President Bush’s presidency Democrats, I, disagreed with his foreign policy. I spoke about it here on the floor lots of times. We know the disaster of that war in Iraq. But even at the height of disagreements with President George W. Bush senate Democrats never considered sending a letter to Saddam Hussein or other Iraqi leaders at the time. Never considered it. It would have been an embarrassment to the commander in chief, George W. Bush.

So I say to my republican colleagues, do you so dislike President Obama you would take this extraordinary step? Obviously so.

Barack Obama is the President.                

This is an extraordinary step. And why it was taken I really don’t understand, other than the dislike of the President.

Barack Obama is President. I’ve agreed with him on certain things and I’ve disagreed with him on certain things. But he is my president and he’s all of our president.

It’s time for republicans to accept that the citizens of our country twice elected President Obama by large margins as president of the United States

Obviously, Republicans don’t know how to do anything other than attempt these seemingly juvenile political attacks against the President.

Congressional republicans don’t know how to get things done. They don’t know how to govern. And if you don’t believe what I just said, look at the press today. Read a newspaper, look at the news. The pundits all agree that the Republicans are in a state of disarray here in the Congress of the United States. They don’t know what to do or how to do it.

Today’s unprecedented letter originated by a United States Senator who took his oath of office sixty-two days ago is a kind of pettiness that diminishes us as a country in the eyes of the world.

Republicans need to find a way to get over their animosity of President Obama. I can only hope they can do it sooner rather than later.

“…Today’s unprecedented letter originated by a United States Senator who took his oath of office sixty-two days ago is a kind of pettiness that diminishes us as a country in the eyes of the world…”

Evidently they get to printing the letterhead pretty quick.

“…I can only hope they can do it sooner rather than later.”

They’re incapable of doing so.