– Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday, ‘’Tombstone’’
So, the GOP don’t wanna play with Tehran and President Obama? (In other news, the sun was out, my dog ran in circles and my cats took naps. Long naps. Then ate kibble.)
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) led the charge in drafting an informative letter to Iran, which was subsequently signed by most of the GOP members of the senate. On the surface, this letter (which can be found in its original PDF form here) serves to inform the Islamic Leaders of Iran about the Constitution of the United States and, more specifically, the process behind treaties, term years and limits. Also included is the not so veiled threat that any agreement made with the current administration that excludes the current congress, will be deemed temporary and set to expire upon the long awaited departure of the current president.
While not in any way treason, as stated here, here and here. Or mutiny (here and here), the antiquated correspondence does have the nice warm stench of political rebellion, grandstanding and gamesmanship. But it also demonstrated a bit of gumption. While it is overtly (lower-case ‘O’) condescending, Cotton and his brethren took this minimal action (being that it is just a letter, after all) in a situation where the sitting president had once again dismissed the congress and acted unilaterally in his “I do what I want” manner. I figure, it beats just complaining about it.
What the presidential loyalists have been missing, or simply dismissing, lo these many years, is that the great ideological divide in this country does not feed on rampant, superficial hate. It may snack on it from time to time. Double dip the chip of personal attack, so to speak. But the true sustenance of any conflict of visions is the genuine loathing of dangerous ideology.
When one group is in power it will predictably seek to enact public policy that aligns with said group’s ideology. On the other hand, those members of the minority party will seek to prevent such action as it directly contradicts the principles for which they, in the minority party, were elected. This second group is known as the loyal opposition.
Tens of millions of people voted for Mitt Romney and John McCain. They lost in their respective elections. Nevertheless, those voters are not resigned to a defeatist fate. There are still officials who did win elected office and are obliged to serve those interests that may conflict with the agenda of the majority party.
Congressional republicans have served during the presidency of a man who fundamentally opposes their principles, and vice versa. It is not through blind rage or poor-sportsmanship that they act. It is their duty. Hence this letter, signed by 47 republican members of the senate, the loyal opposition.
The letter is an action of a group of frustrated politicians who feel they must “do something.” Look bold in the face of Iran and the estranged president. Is it hostile? Could be. Threatening? I’d say so. Intimidating? you betchya! And it is meant to be.
Opiners opining over this ostensibly ostentatious occurrence and its treasonous or mutinous nature are acting out as well. We have a Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He is the ultimate head of the military and disobedience by those in uniform is not tolerated. But, these senators are not in the military and are sworn to uphold the Constitution, not Barack Obama’s personally problematic naive foreign policy agenda. (See free speech rights, loyal opposition, ideological divide, etc., etc.)
Inasmuch as the president views his cause and election as a mandate for his policies, his opposition feels the same warm and fuzzy support for its agenda. Any election comes with a mandate to do something. That’s why elections are held. Get elected, then govern. Here we have two groups, two agendas, two approaches to governing. One conflict of visions. The frustratingly beautiful two-party system at work.
***This story has given the public a dynamic look at the modern media system. Below are some stories from both perspectives of this issue. Regardless of ideology, you can see the stretch to make this story more than it is. On both sides.
The Inconvenient Truth (good piece recognizing that no one is doubting the accuracy of the letter)
From Rolling Stone (makes some good points but overall, snide, sarcastic and demonstrates the manner in which the left attempts to discredit: make cartoonish claims of your opponents in order to make them sound crazy. This magazine has lost me entirely over the past couple years. Kinda sad. Sniff…sniff)