Tom Cotton’s Truth Bomb

RICH LOWRY,  Right Wing News

Critics of the senator’s letter to Tehran are missing the point.

It is inarguable that as a matter of domestic law a subsequent president can get out of the agreement at will — this would be true even if it were a treaty — and Congress can pass laws in contravention of the agreement, if a president will sign them. If these are things the Iranians don’t know, and John Kerry hasn’t let them in on the joke in Geneva, shouldn’t someone tell them?

Whenever there is contention over U.S. foreign policy, the hoary cliché is trotted out that politics once stopped at the water’s edge. But a golden age of consensus in U.S. foreign policy never existed, except perhaps immediately after World War II. Anyone who thinks otherwise missed the Quasi-War of the 1790s, the Mexican-American War of the 1840s, the League of Nations debate of 1919-1920, the Vietnam War of the 1970s and the Iraq War of the 2000s — among other divisive and poisonously political foreign policy questions throughout American history.

What is notable about the foreign policy debate in the Age of Obama is that it represents the world turned upside down. In the president’s transposition of the norms of American foreign policy, inviting the leader of a close ally to address Congress is an affront and forging a — to put it gently — highly generous deal with an enemy is such an urgent necessity that no one should say a discouraging word. A more confident administration would have brushed off Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Bibi Netanyahu, as well as the Cotton letter. The Obama administration is so defensive because it has a lot to be defensive about.

It has been outnegotiated by the Iranians, who have steadily moved the terms of a deal in their direction. Once, we wanted to prevent Iran from having a nuclear-weapons capability. Once, we wanted zero enrichment and zero centrifuges, and so did the United Nations. Those goals have long since been abandoned by an Obama administration desperate for a deal, any deal, so it can include an opening to Iran among the president’s legacy achievements. So, here is my own seditious foray into directly interfering with the conduct of U.S. foreign policy — if I really want to skirt the Logan Act, I will write it on a postcard, put a stamp on it and drop it in the corner mailbox:

To Whom It May Concern in Tehran,

You are unlikely to ever encounter someone this weak and credulous again in the Oval Office.


Rich Lowry

The president used to say that no deal is better than a bad deal. Now, that line is inoperative. It’s any deal is better than no deal, and woe to anyone who dares say otherwise.

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