Just when you didn’t think Republicans could top themselves in finding ways to disrespect the President of the United States, on Monday, 47 Republican Senators — that is, all but seven — sent a letter to Iran that appeared aimed at scuttling President Obama’s diplomatic efforts to prevent Tehran developing nuclear weapons capacity.
The move comes on the heels of House Republicans inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress — without even informing the White House of the plan to issue an invitation. But this latest measure went a step further, seeing Republicans in Congress literally stepping on the constitutional toes of the executive branch and formally intruding on U.S. diplomacy.
Under the Logan Act passed by Congress way back in 1799, U.S. citizens are prevented from influencing “disputes or controversies” involving the United States and a foreign government, without express authority to do so. Now, it appears the Iran letter was carefully drafted by Sen. Tom Cotton, a smart constitutional lawyer, to come as close as possible to the line of legality without crossing it, specifically by not explicitly taking a position against the Iran negotiations. Yet the intent to interfere with the executive branch is clear.
It’s one thing for Congress to demand it ratify such a deal (as Democrats did in 2002 when President Bush negotiated arms reductions with Russian President Vladimir Putin). But it’s something else entirely to undermine the authority of the White House by sending a partisan letter to a foreign government (something Democrats didn’t do with Russia).
Sadly, this is only the most recent and extreme example of dishonor and disrespect.
In the Washington Post, columnist Jonathan Capehart recently outlines what he sees as the top six instances of disrespect toward President Obama. His list includes the example of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani saying, “I do not believe that the President loves America.” Also on Capehart’s list are the time a reporter from the conservative Daily Caller website interrupted the President during remarks at the White House about immigration reform in 2012, and the time South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson, a Republican, heckled the President during his speech to a joint session of Congress about health care reform. (Wilson shouted “You lie!” in response to remarks by the President that, it should be noted, were in fact quite true).
And there are plenty more examples of Republican slights against President Obama.
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SOURCE: CNN – Sally Kohn