It wasn’t enough for Congressional Republicans when they thumbed their noses at the president and interfered not only with foreign policy, but in the elections of a foreign nation when they invited Bibi Netanyahu to speak to a joint session last week. On Monday they went one step further and published an open letter to Iran warning the country’s leaders that any agreement reached with this president on its nuclear program might be short-lived.
The threat would seem to be an attempt to convince the Iranian government to pull out of the negotiations scheduled to move into the next phase on March 15.
The letter signed by 47 Senate Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and all the potential candidates for the GOP nomination for president next year, warns:
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system … Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.
The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”
They go on to point out that while the president is limited to two terms, there is no such limitation on Congressmen who can serve for decades, snidely finishing with:
“We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our Constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.”
Such condescension illustrates the wisdom of not charging Congress with powers of diplomacy, a diplomat does not talk down to his counterparts. If one is negotiating with another party, arrogance does not play well, no matter who is doing the negotiating or what the topic of discussion is. Tact is a necessary tool in negotiations, particularly when a delicate subject such as nuclear weapons are concerned.
Here is a list of the signatories to the letter (potential presidential candidates in bold):
Shelley Moore Capito
The Atlantic reported that the signatures below were notably missing:
Bob Corker (TN)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Dan Coats (IN)
Susan Collins (ME)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Thad Cochran (MS)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
h/t: Crooks and Liars