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Did Republicans violate the Logan Act?

soulbrother
soulbrother LORD WRECKAMembers Posts: 2,897 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 2015 in The Social Lounge
Logan Act is a single federal statute making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign government against the interest of the United States.

Did the 47 Republic Senators who signed alerted to the Iran Government stating that "any deal reached with President Obama can be overturned at a later time".

This almost rest on grounds of treason.
I think it's a deliberate attempt to embarrass and undermine President Obama's negotiating power with Iran.
What other reason did the senators have for sending an unauthorized letter to Iran?

Did Republicans violate the Logan Act? 13 votes

Yes
84%
blakfyahkingFocal Pointzombiekingblaze84StoneColdMikey(Nope)LUClENsoulbrotherRubato GarciaTheManInBlack4.0The Hue 11 votes
No
15%
janklowSoloman_The_Wise 2 votes

Comments

  • blakfyahking
    blakfyahking The IC's Resident Father Figure Members Posts: 15,785 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    yeah they violated the Logan Act

    I'm surprised nobody is talking about prosecution for that illegal letter...........they basically undermined the President and made the US Govt look even more inept to outsiders
  • Focal Point
    Focal Point Kushite descent... wandering child from Meru of Old TrentonMembers Posts: 16,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    why is nobody calling them out for this?
  • thought crime
    thought crime Members Posts: 54
    The message the 47 senators sent is clear

    We dont not Listen to America's president

    We listen to israel

    America is a Jewish country, dont you get it yet?

    It means that we WILL go to war with iran

    Forget the fact that there are 5 other COUNTRIES also working on an iran nuclear deal

    That doesn't matter

    Only Israel matters and israel doesn't want a peace deal they want a war
  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    Republicans definitely violated the Logan Act, shame on them for trying to NOT HAVE a nuclear deal. I personally don't care if Iran gets more nuclear power or a nuclear weapon, but if Congress really wants to limit Iran's nuclear capability, trying to torpedo a deal that Iran might actually agree to is not the way to do it.

  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    Yes
    The message the 47 senators sent is clear

    We dont not Listen to America's president

    We listen to israel

    America is a Jewish country, dont you get it yet?

    It means that we WILL go to war with iran

    Forget the fact that there are 5 other COUNTRIES also working on an iran nuclear deal

    That doesn't matter

    Only Israel matters and israel doesn't want a peace deal they want a war

    Most Republicans seem to have a stronger loyalty and allegiance to Israel and Netanyahu then their own nation. Many Democrats are this way too, the world knows it and it's very obvious.

    With the way so many Republicans and Democrats are acting lately towards Iran, I'm sure America will go to war with Iran eventually. On CNN last week a neverending parade of Democrats and Republicans said the military option has to be on the table with Iran because many of them feel Iran isn't going to follow any deal made anyway. Probably when Obama leaves office, some kind of physical attack against Iran will happen. After all, Israel can't conquer Iran alone.
  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    With Republicans in charge of both the House and the Senate, I don't expect any nuclear deal that Iran signs with the White House to last long anyway. A treaty needs support from the House and the Senate......if the White House gets a deal via executive order, a Republican president can and likely would veto it.
  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    Yes
    why is nobody calling them out for this?

    Because many Democrats deep down agree with Republicans on this. Especially the powerful ones like Bob Menendez. Many Democrat Senators and House members are very unhappy with the deals the White House is trying to make with Iran. Some even said the Iranians can't be trusted at all to make any deal, although most of the United Nations support the talks.
  • thought crime
    thought crime Members Posts: 54

    There is no other country in the world that allows members of its national government to be a citizen of two different nations at the same time , except the United States. The dual citizen status can only apply to citizens of Israel, and no other country. This change to US law was made possible by the subversion and betrayal of Jewish Supreme Court Justice
    Abe Fortas , a Johnson appointee, who later had to resign from the Supreme
    Court.

    Attorney General – Michael Mukasey
    Head of Homeland Security – Michael Chertoff
    Chairman Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board –
    Richard Perle
    Deputy Defense Secretary (Former) – Paul
    Wolfowitz
    Under Secretary of Defense – Douglas Feith
    National Security Council Advisor – Elliott Abrams
    Vice President 🤬 Cheney’s Chief of Staff
    (Former) – “Scooter” Libby
    White House Deputy Chief of Staff – Joshua
    Bolten
    Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs –
    Marc Grossman
    Director of Policy Planning at the State
    Department – Richard Haass
    U.S. Trade Representative (Cabinet-level Position)
    – Robert Zoellick
    Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – James
    Schlesinger
    UN Representative (Former) – John Bolton
    Under Secretary for Arms Control – David
    Wurmser
    Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Eliot Cohen
    Senior Advisor to the President – Steve Goldsmith
    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary –
    Christopher Gersten
    Assistant Secretary of State – Lincoln Bloomfield
    Deputy Assistant to the President – Jay Lefkowitz
    White House Political Director – Ken Melman
    National Security Study Group – Edward Luttwak
    Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Kenneth
    Adelman
    Defense Intelligence Agency Analyst (Former) –
    Lawrence (Larry) Franklin
    National Security Council Advisor – Robert Satloff
    President Export-Import Bank U.S. – Mel Sembler
    Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for
    Children and Families – Christopher Gersten
    Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban
    Development for Public Affairs – Mark Weinberger
    White House Speechwriter – David Frum
    White House Spokesman (Former) – Ari Fleischer
    Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Henry
    Kissinger
    Deputy Secretary of Commerce – Samuel Bodman
    Under Secretary of State for Management –
    Bonnie Cohen
    Director of Foreign Service Institute – Ruth Davis

    HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

    1. REPRESENTATIVE GARY ACKERMAN (NEW YORK)
    2. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN H. ADLER (NEW JERSEY)
    3. REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY BERKLEY (NEVADA)
    4. REPRESENTATIVE HOWARD BERMAN (CALIFORNIA)
    5. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE COHEN (TENNESSEE)
    6. REPRESENTATIVE SUSAN DAVIS (CALIFORNIA)
    7. REPRESENTATIVE ELIOT ENGEL (NEW YORK)
    8. REPRESENTATIVE BOB FILNER (CALIFORNIA)
    9. REPRESENTATIVE BARNEY FRANK (MASSACHUSETTS)
    10. REPRESENTATIVE GABRIELLE GIFFORDS (ARIZONA)
    11. REPRESENTATIVE ALAN GRAYSON (FLORIDA)
    12. REPRESENTATIVE JANE HARMAN (CALIFORNIA)
    13. REPRESENTATIVE PAUL HODES (NEW HAMPSHIRE)
    14. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE ISRAEL (NEW YORK)
    15. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE KAGEN (WISCONSIN)
    16. REPRESENTATIVE RONALD KLEIN (FLORIDA)
    17. REPRESENTATIVE SANDER LEVIN (MICHIGAN)
    18. REPRESENTATIVE NITA LOWEY (NEW YORK)
    19. REPRESENTATIVE JERRY NADLER (NEW YORK)
    20. REPRESENTATIVE JARED POLIS (COLORADO)
    21. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE ROTHMAN (NEW JERSEY)
    22. REPRESENTATIVE JAN SCHAKOWSKY (ILLINOIS)
    23, REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (CALIFORNIA)
    24. REPRESENTATIVE ALLYSON SCHWARTZ (PENNSYLVANIA)
    25. REPRESENTATIVE BRAD SHERMAN (CALIFORNIA)
    26. REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (FLORIDA)
    27. REPRESENTATIVE HENRY WAXMAN (CALIFORNIA)
    28. REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY 🤬 (NEW YORK)
    29. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN YARMUTH (KENTUCKY)


  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    No
    voted no and brought an article:
    First, there’s the question of the law. I don’t think an open letter from members of the legislative branch quite rises to Logan Act violations, but if there’s ever a trolling amendment to the Logan Act, this would qualify.

    anyway, i think this is not a Logan Act violation, but rude and stupid. i do suspect some people are just taking the latter for the former.
  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    edited March 2015
    No
    wait, i have another:
    Did Speaker Boehner and the Republican senators violate the Logan Act?
    I’ve been hearing some buzz about whether House Speaker John A. Boehner, when he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, and the 47 Republican senators who wrote a letter to Iranian leaders violated the Logan Act. I’m not an expert on the subject, and don’t have an expert opinion. But I thought I’d canvass some opinions from scholars who have focused on this question (which is quite separate, of course, from the question whether the speaker’s and senators’ actions were wise).

    1. First, what’s the Logan Act, you ask? Unusually for statutes (as opposed to judicially crafted doctrines, such as the Miranda rule), the Logan Act is named after the supposed bad guy: Dr. George Logan, a state legislator who traveled to France in 1798 to try to negotiate an end to the France-America Quasi-War. Congress didn’t go for that, and enacted the statute that now appears at 18 U.S.C. § 953:

    Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

    This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

    (As it happens, a couple of years later Logan was appointed and then elected to the Senate, and apparently tried and failed to get the Logan Act repealed.)

    2. So what does the Logan Act mean today, and is it even constitutional, given modern understandings of the First Amendment? A few reactions:

    a. First, Prof. Steve Vladeck (American Univ.) has a post on the subject, which strikes me as likely correct on the law. Some excerpts:

    [1.] [Under the Act,] the citizen must act “without authority of the United States.” Although most assume that means without authority of the Executive Branch, the Logan Act itself does not specify what this term means, and the State Department told Congress in 1975 that “Nothing in section 953 … would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution.” … Combined with the rule of lenity and the constitutional concerns identified below, it seems likely that … courts would interpret this provision to not apply to such official communications from Congress.

    [2.] It seems quite likely, as one district court suggested in passing in 1964, that the terms of the statute are both unconstitutionally vague and in any event unlikely to survive the far stricter standards contemporary courts place on such content-based restrictions on speech….

    [3.] [T]he Logan Act has never been successfully used (indeed, the last indictment under the Act was in … 1803). Although most assume this is just a practical obstacle to a contemporary prosecution, it’s worth reminding folks about “desuetude” — the legal doctrine pursuant to which statutes (especially criminal ones) may lapse if they are never enforced (interested readers should check out a fantastic 2006 student note on the subject in the Harvard Law Review). If ever there was a case in which desuetude could be a successful defense to a federal criminal prosecution, I have to think that this would be it.
  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    edited March 2015
    No
    continued....
    Did Speaker Boehner and the Republican senators violate the Logan Act?
    b. Now let me turn to Prof. Michael Dorf (Cornell), though speaking not about this controversy but about the similar one in 2007, when then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Syria to negotiate with Assad:

    I’ll just note four issues:

    1) There is zero chance that Pelosi will actually be prosecuted.

    2) In the hypothetical world in which she were prosecuted, she could claim:

    a) That as Speaker, she had “authority of the United States.” (This strikes me as a weak argument because in matters of diplomatic relations, the executive branch is the relevant authority.)

    b) Her intent was to influence Syria’s conduct with respect to Israel, not the United States. (This strikes me as a good argument, because it appears to be true. Her trip was pre-blessed by Israeli PM Olmert. The Administration might claim that Pelosi’s trip nonetheless was aimed to “defeat the measures of the United States,” namely the measures aimed at isolating Syria, but could Pelosi be shown to have had the “intent” to do so? Perhaps. Her aim was in part to engage Syria, as recommended by the Hamilton/Baker report, which does sound like the opposite of isolating Syria.)

    c) She was on a fact-finding mission. (Pelosi has said as much, and members of Congress are, as I noted in my last entry on this subject, entitled to go on fact-finding missions without the President’s blessing. But if she was on a fact-finding mission that also included violations of the Logan Act, she would still be guilty.)

    3) As the Speaker and others have noted, Republican members of Congress have also been to Syria, including this past week, without incurring the wrath of the Administration. One could, in theory, interpret the Administration’s silence with respect to these other freelancers as amounting to a delegation of “authority” to them to conduct foreign policy, but that would be a strained reading of the statute in the interest of sustaining a selective prosecution. If it undermines official efforts of the U.S. to isolate Syria for a Democratic member of Congress to meet with Bashar Assad, then a meeting with a Repubican member of Congress has the same effect. There may be circumstances in which a President could legitimately authorize a member of his own party in Congress to conduct diplomacy on his behalf while withholding such authority from other members of Congress, but if that is to justify selective prosecution under the Logan Act, one would think that the authorization would have to come before the diplomacy.

    4) Because no one has ever been convicted of violating the Logan Act, and no indictments have even issued in the last 200 years, any inferences about its meaning are necessarily speculative. See point 1 above.

    c. Finally, Prof. Marty Lederman (Georgetown):

    Such communications by legislators with foreign officials — including communications with our adversaries, and sometimes expressing views contrary to those of the Executive branch — are nothing new. It’s been going on in full force since at least the beginning of the 20th Century. See Detlev Vagts’s very interesting 1966 account of the history of the Logan Act in 60 AMJIL 268, 275f. for some prominent examples. If Pelosi is acting unlawfully or inappropriately, she has plenty of company….

    The prohibition of [the Logan Act], read literally, has been constantly violated since its enactment, as Vagts and others recount. (Indeed, it would appear even to prohibit, e.g., attorneys in the U.S. from representing foreign nations in U.S. litigation.) Yet only one indictment was ever brought — in 1802, when a Kentucky farmer wrote a newspaper article advocating that the western part of the U.S. form a new nation allied to France, and a zealous United States attorney (John Marshall’s brother-in-law!) procured an indictment. Not surprisingly, the case went nowhere. And that’s the history of the Logan Act. As Lou Fisher has written, “if ever there is a dead letter in the law, it is the Logan Act and the stilted thinking that inspired it.”

    Does the Logan Act apply to members of Congress? Vagts says yes, on a literal reading, 60 AMJIL at 290, although the “without authority of the United States” condition certainly would make it an interesting question, in the unlikely event the statute were ever invoked.

    Does the Logan Act raise First Amendment questions as applied to private parties? Vagts again suggests it does. I’m not so sure — at least as to one-on-one private negotiations overseas. But again — it doesn’t matter, because the statute has (appropriately) lapsed into desuetude.

    What about the constitutional question of the permissibility of a member of the Congress engaging in diplomatic discussions with a foreign nation? Frankly, it troubles me — or it would do so if Pelosi were purporting to speak on behalf of the United States.

    Congress may, by statute, dictate the foreign policy of the United States. (By the way, that’s a fine excuse to note the most important constitutional development of the week: As great and significant as the Court’s analysis on Article III standing was in Monday’s landmark Massachusetts v. EPA decision, the sentence in Stevens’s opinion that might have the most important long-term impact was this one: “[W]hile the President has broad authority in foreign affairs, that authority does not extend to the refusal to execute domestic laws.”)

    Nevertheless, perhaps it’s the OLC lawyer in me, but I think there’s much to be said for the notion that insofar as actual U.S. communications with the outside world are concerned, the President is to be (in Marshall’s famous words) the “sole 🤬 ” by which U.S. policy is conveyed (consistent, again, with statutory direction). More broadly, as far as official U.S. execution of the law is concerned, Congress and its members and/or agents can have no role, once the process of bicameralism and presentment is completed. Or so say Chadha, Bowhser, WMATA, Buckley, etc., anyway.

    For me, then, it would be important to know in what capacity Pelosi was purporting to speak. If she were “only” conveying the views of the opposition party — or of a prominent private person — and not purporting to speak for the U.S., then I don’t think there’d be much of a constitutional problem, however imprudent or inadvisable her actions might arguably have been. Again, I assume that State Department officials were with her, and that to the extent her views were inconsistent with the official U.S. views, that would have been made known to Syria in no uncertain terms. If that’s the case, I think the problems, if any, are not constitutional. But if Pelosi — or any of the other numerous congressional officials who have long engaged in diplomacy with foreign nations — purported to be speaking on behalf of the Nation, it would raise constitutional questions.

    In any event, I thought some of our readers would find these items interesting.
  • Focal Point
    Focal Point Kushite descent... wandering child from Meru of Old TrentonMembers Posts: 16,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    150,000 ppl petitioned this fuckery and McCain backpedaling
  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    150,000 ppl petitioned this fuckery and McCain backpedaling

    Yeah, he's still a crazy guy but even he sees Republicans made a bad move. That is very telling, I'd say Republicans should apologize but I know they'll bring up what Nancy Pelosi did in 2007
  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    No
    it's also easier to criticize the letter if you DON'T make the treason argument, because then you can focus strictly on its lame dramatics
  • Focal Point
    Focal Point Kushite descent... wandering child from Meru of Old TrentonMembers Posts: 16,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    150,000 ppl petitioned this fuckery and McCain backpedaling

    Yeah, he's still a crazy guy but even he sees Republicans made a bad move. That is very telling, I'd say Republicans should apologize but I know they'll bring up what Nancy Pelosi did in 2007

    Lol they did
  • (Nope)
    (Nope) NawfNawfMembers Posts: 2,746 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    Yes
    The party of personal accountability refuses to be held accountable for anything. Not enough snack and nappy time for these 🤬 -tards to have thought this particular act of obstruction out clearly, so they not only undermined the executive branch and U.S. citizens, but the citizens and leaders of 5 other nations. Obama is not perfect, but this Congress is like a flesh eating virus, if their actions are not seditious--they at the very least connote complete and utter incompetence.

  • (Nope)
    (Nope) NawfNawfMembers Posts: 2,746 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    Yes
    By definition, they violated the Logan act:

    By directly communicating to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” the senators intended to abrogate a potential negotiated agreement with the American administration and effectively dared someone to prosecute them for influencing the “conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/logan-act-tom-cotton-iran-116036.html#ixzz3UIre8ld4

  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    (Nope) wrote: »
    The party of personal accountability refuses to be held accountable for anything. Not enough snack and nappy time for these 🤬 -tards to have thought this particular act of obstruction out clearly, so they not only undermined the executive branch and U.S. citizens, but the citizens and leaders of 5 other nations. Obama is not perfect, but this Congress is like a flesh eating virus, if their actions are not seditious--they at the very least connote complete and utter incompetence.

    Basically, even allies from other nations are saying how dumb Republicans acted, including Germany. Rand Paul won 1st place in the Republican event CPAC last week, but he's hurt his presidential chances big time by signing that letter. Whoever signed that letter might as well give up trying to win the presidency in 2016 (unless Democrats run a really horrible campaign)
  • (Nope)
    (Nope) NawfNawfMembers Posts: 2,746 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    (Nope) wrote: »
    The party of personal accountability refuses to be held accountable for anything. Not enough snack and nappy time for these 🤬 -tards to have thought this particular act of obstruction out clearly, so they not only undermined the executive branch and U.S. citizens, but the citizens and leaders of 5 other nations. Obama is not perfect, but this Congress is like a flesh eating virus, if their actions are not seditious--they at the very least connote complete and utter incompetence.

    Basically, even allies from other nations are saying how dumb Republicans acted, including Germany. Rand Paul won 1st place in the Republican event CPAC last week, but he's hurt his presidential chances big time by signing that letter. Whoever signed that letter might as well give up trying to win the presidency in 2016 (unless Democrats run a really horrible campaign)

    I wish that were the case, but this is a political party who nearly elected Palin to the executive office. Republicans are known for not giving a 🤬 and they will rationalize and deflect this 🤬 until any potential voters who care have albeit forgotten about it. Honestly, this is just the most egregious 🤬 they've done lately--the republican base will shrug this 🤬 off like racism, women's rights, and global warming.

  • The Hue
    The Hue Members Posts: 760 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    Can't imagine the outrage if 47 Democrat senators did this to a Republican president
  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    (Nope) wrote: »
    (Nope) wrote: »
    The party of personal accountability refuses to be held accountable for anything. Not enough snack and nappy time for these 🤬 -tards to have thought this particular act of obstruction out clearly, so they not only undermined the executive branch and U.S. citizens, but the citizens and leaders of 5 other nations. Obama is not perfect, but this Congress is like a flesh eating virus, if their actions are not seditious--they at the very least connote complete and utter incompetence.

    Basically, even allies from other nations are saying how dumb Republicans acted, including Germany. Rand Paul won 1st place in the Republican event CPAC last week, but he's hurt his presidential chances big time by signing that letter. Whoever signed that letter might as well give up trying to win the presidency in 2016 (unless Democrats run a really horrible campaign)

    I wish that were the case, but this is a political party who nearly elected Palin to the executive office. Republicans are known for not giving a 🤬 and they will rationalize and deflect this 🤬 until any potential voters who care have albeit forgotten about it. Honestly, this is just the most egregious 🤬 they've done lately--the republican base will shrug this 🤬 off like racism, women's rights, and global warming.

    That's a very good point, and Republicans have done worse then even this letter they wrote. Re-electing George W Bush is the worst thing Republicans ever did to me, after all the 🤬 ups he did but yeah they're definitely trying to outdo themselves these last few weeks. Some of them even apologized for writing the letter this weekend, that's a good start. But I bet the damage the letter was meant to do has been done. Iran is gonna be even more weary of negotiating with America now.
  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    No
    (Nope) wrote: »
    I wish that were the case, but this is a political party who nearly elected Palin to the executive office. Republicans are known for not giving a 🤬 and they will rationalize and deflect this 🤬 until any potential voters who care have albeit forgotten about it. Honestly, this is just the most egregious 🤬 they've done lately--the republican base will shrug this 🤬 off like racism, women's rights, and global warming.
    something something far from impartial something something

    on topic, i guess we can blame this on everyone being terrible:
    It is yesterday’s news that 47 Republican senators signed a letter darkly warning Iran’s Supreme Leader that they will be political forces to be reckoned with long after President Barack Obama leaves office. But the spin is wrong: All but seven GOP members in the Senate ought not be described as “GOP hard-liners” — when 85 percent of Republicans in the Senate do something, they are the main body, not just the hard edge of it.

    That said, I think it was a mistake for the Republicans to send the letter. It looks bad for Congress to undercut the president during the negotiations with Tehran; moreover, it is unlikely to appeal to Americans who are fed up with Washington and want their elected representatives to work together and solve the country’s problems. Republicans in the Senate would argue that Obama is on the brink of a deal with Iran that could be disastrous to America’s national security, and that by skirting Congress’s advise-and-consent role, he left them no recourse.

    But the senators underestimate their own strength in preventing the president from carrying out an executive agreement — they can simply use the next legislative vehicle to remove his waiver authority and the sanctions on Iran remain in place. And if a bad deal is struck, there will likely be winnable Democrats to make the sanctions veto-proof.

    Before yesterday’s letter, Republicans seemed to have substantial Democratic support for legislation requiring the president to submit any agreement with Iran to the Senate for its consent; having bipartisan acknowledgement that Obama’s executive actions infringed on the prerogatives of Congress would have been a very powerful statement. But by firing off a personal note to Iran’s Majlis, Republicans in the Senate may have sacrificed that prospect. When Republicans took control of Congress in November, their strategy was supposed to make President Obama irrelevant by doing well what Congress does well.

    The leadership committed itself to an agenda addressing the concerns of middle-class America. Yet they have allowed Obama to bait them into a sharp-edged discussion of foreign policy instead.

    The leadership committed itself to an agenda addressing the concerns of middle-class America. Yet they have allowed Obama to bait them into a sharp-edged discussion of foreign policy instead.

    Whatever Senate Republicans’ mistakes, and angry as the president might be about legislators undercutting him during the endgame of a difficult negotiation, he might want to consider his complicity in the matter: Had he not flouted the requirement for the president to submit international agreements to the Senate for its consent to ratification, Congress would get its chance once the deal had been completed. Obama should reflect on that, particularly since going forward he’s bluffing with a weak hand. If his point was to prove he’s still relevant, he’s succeeded. If his point was to negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, he’s provoked a mutiny that will make the policy difficult to carry out.

    The U.S. Congress is famously truculent on international obligations generally, and trade negotiations specifically, often refusing its consent to ratification, or muddying the waters with treaty-changing amendments. President Woodrow Wilson was denied his treaties bringing World War I to an end. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II was withdrawn from Senate consideration when it became clear it lacked the votes to gain consent. The McKinley administration’s 1900 treaty with Great Britain over the Panama Canal was so altered by amendments to eviscerate its meaning that Britain rejected the deal.

    But savvy U.S. presidents use the threat of congressional abandonment in order to negotiate better terms for the United States. In the midst of the 1845 crisis with Britain over the boundary of the Oregon territory (which then encompassed Washington state), President James K. Polk requested (and thunderously received) the Senate’s consent to abrogate the existing treaty with Britain, showing the breadth of public support for his side of the argument. President Barack Obama took the exact opposite approach, and by doing so — even before the 47 Republicans wrote to Ayatollah Khamenei — he’d already telegraphed his domestic political weakness to Iran.
  • (Nope)
    (Nope) NawfNawfMembers Posts: 2,746 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    Yes
    janklow wrote: »
    (Nope) wrote: »
    I wish that were the case, but this is a political party who nearly elected Palin to the executive office. Republicans are known for not giving a 🤬 and they will rationalize and deflect this 🤬 until any potential voters who care have albeit forgotten about it. Honestly, this is just the most egregious 🤬 they've done lately--the republican base will shrug this 🤬 off like racism, women's rights, and global warming.
    something something far from impartial something something

    on topic, i guess we can blame this on everyone being terrible:
    It is yesterday’s news that 47 Republican senators signed a letter darkly warning Iran’s Supreme Leader that they will be political forces to be reckoned with long after President Barack Obama leaves office. But the spin is wrong: All but seven GOP members in the Senate ought not be described as “GOP hard-liners” — when 85 percent of Republicans in the Senate do something, they are the main body, not just the hard edge of it.

    That said, I think it was a mistake for the Republicans to send the letter. It looks bad for Congress to undercut the president during the negotiations with Tehran; moreover, it is unlikely to appeal to Americans who are fed up with Washington and want their elected representatives to work together and solve the country’s problems. Republicans in the Senate would argue that Obama is on the brink of a deal with Iran that could be disastrous to America’s national security, and that by skirting Congress’s advise-and-consent role, he left them no recourse.

    But the senators underestimate their own strength in preventing the president from carrying out an executive agreement — they can simply use the next legislative vehicle to remove his waiver authority and the sanctions on Iran remain in place. And if a bad deal is struck, there will likely be winnable Democrats to make the sanctions veto-proof.

    Before yesterday’s letter, Republicans seemed to have substantial Democratic support for legislation requiring the president to submit any agreement with Iran to the Senate for its consent; having bipartisan acknowledgement that Obama’s executive actions infringed on the prerogatives of Congress would have been a very powerful statement. But by firing off a personal note to Iran’s Majlis, Republicans in the Senate may have sacrificed that prospect. When Republicans took control of Congress in November, their strategy was supposed to make President Obama irrelevant by doing well what Congress does well.

    The leadership committed itself to an agenda addressing the concerns of middle-class America. Yet they have allowed Obama to bait them into a sharp-edged discussion of foreign policy instead.

    The leadership committed itself to an agenda addressing the concerns of middle-class America. Yet they have allowed Obama to bait them into a sharp-edged discussion of foreign policy instead.

    Whatever Senate Republicans’ mistakes, and angry as the president might be about legislators undercutting him during the endgame of a difficult negotiation, he might want to consider his complicity in the matter: Had he not flouted the requirement for the president to submit international agreements to the Senate for its consent to ratification, Congress would get its chance once the deal had been completed. Obama should reflect on that, particularly since going forward he’s bluffing with a weak hand. If his point was to prove he’s still relevant, he’s succeeded. If his point was to negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, he’s provoked a mutiny that will make the policy difficult to carry out.

    The U.S. Congress is famously truculent on international obligations generally, and trade negotiations specifically, often refusing its consent to ratification, or muddying the waters with treaty-changing amendments. President Woodrow Wilson was denied his treaties bringing World War I to an end. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II was withdrawn from Senate consideration when it became clear it lacked the votes to gain consent. The McKinley administration’s 1900 treaty with Great Britain over the Panama Canal was so altered by amendments to eviscerate its meaning that Britain rejected the deal.

    But savvy U.S. presidents use the threat of congressional abandonment in order to negotiate better terms for the United States. In the midst of the 1845 crisis with Britain over the boundary of the Oregon territory (which then encompassed Washington state), President James K. Polk requested (and thunderously received) the Senate’s consent to abrogate the existing treaty with Britain, showing the breadth of public support for his side of the argument. President Barack Obama took the exact opposite approach, and by doing so — even before the 47 Republicans wrote to Ayatollah Khamenei — he’d already telegraphed his domestic political weakness to Iran.

    I don't make the claim I detest partisanship, so miss me with that. You can make a false equivalency and say "all of them are terrible," but the frequency at which the republican party has been terrible is unmatched.


  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    No
    (Nope) wrote: »
    I don't make the claim I detest partisanship, so miss me with that.
    i think the ACTUAL claim being made here is something about bias, because i was given the impression that we're supposed to object to an analysis if the writer is biased?
    now, to be fair, we're ALL biased so i don't actually care beyond saying that.
    (Nope) wrote: »
    You can make a false equivalency and say "all of them are terrible"
    though it's not a false equivalency if all of them are, in fact, terrible. they may just all be terrible for slightly different things.

    and this letter is 🤬 terrible but i don't think it's proof the GOP has some kind of sole claim on the 🤬 🤬 politicians label.