Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How politically-motivated treason works

From TPM:
Top U.S. and Iranian diplomats returned to talks Tuesday, seeking to resolve differences blocking a deal that would curtail Iran's nuclear program and ease sanctions on the country. Among the issues they're now contending with is a Republican letter warning that any deal could collapse the day President Barack Obama leaves office.

The discussions between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif came after a senior U.S. official described Iranian diplomats twice confronting their American counterparts about last week's open letter to Iran's leaders written by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and signed by 46 other GOP senators.

The letter came up in talks Sunday between senior U.S. and Iranian negotiators, the official said, and the Iranians raised it again in negotiations Monday led by Kerry and Zarif.

Note that phrase, "any deal" (my emphasis). Republicans are saying they won't honor any deal with Iran - obviously, since there isn't a deal to oppose, not yet.

As usual, Republicans oppose Barack Obama, not what Obama does. It's immaterial to them what the president actually does, since they're going to oppose it no matter what it is. Heck, they agreed to that before he'd even taken office for his first term.

No, this act of treason - working with Islamic extremists to sabotage our side in the negotiations with Iran - isn't about a particular agreement. It's just about the negotiations. They're simply trying to sabotage our side, America's side, in order to make the negotiations as difficult as possible for us.

Mostly, that's just their knee-jerk response to our first black president. The potential harm to America is not even a consideration, since the president will be blamed for any harm. If you can cause damage to your own country, but take no political blame yourself,... well, why wouldn't you, right? It's like being crazy to pass up a free war.

But these negotiations are also an attempt to avoid war, and Republicans want war - as long as someone else does the fighting, the dying, and the paying for it, of course. Defense industry lobbyists certainly want war, and Eisenhower's military-industrial complex owns the GOP.

Afghanistan was OK, but quickly got too boring for them. There were never many targets for our expensive missiles, and there are even fewer now. And we're long past the "shock and awe" phase in Iraq. We've left the country a complete mess, but who cares about that? It's long past time for another unnecessary war against another oil-rich country, isn't it?

I guess that treason works. Well, it's had an effect, anyway. Who knows if they'll actually be successful at sabotaging any agreement? But at the very least, America will get a worse agreement than before Republicans sabotaged their own side.

And that will be a plus for them, because it will be easier to win political points fighting against a poor agreement. Yes, they've indicated that they won't accept any agreement - indeed, that they'll fight against anything Barack Obama wants, no matter what it is - but a really good agreement would make that harder.

Which is why they committed treason in the first place - not so much to scuttle the negotiations entirely, but to make sure that America gets the worst agreement possible.


jeff725 said...

The question is: Does the Obama Administration have the "stones" to press charges? I have my doubts.

WCG said...

Come on, Jeff! That's not even an option. And it has nothing to do with courage, not even political courage.

I can call these people traitors, but Obama can't. What happens when half of Congress commits treason? We don't want another Civil War.

One person can be charged with a felony, but you can't arrest an entire political party. Republicans gain immunity by marching in lockstep. They know that, and Barack Obama certainly knows that.

In a way, I'm free to act in a way that the President of the United States cannot. I can call this treason. I can yell and I can scream. I can rattle the cage. I can try to rock the boat.

By and large, the news media minimize things like this. Either they favor the Republican Party - especially if they're trying to make money in a red state - or they realize that these senators will not be held responsible, because they never have been held responsible.

For most of our media, for one reason or another, rocking the boat is not in their own best interest. But I can rock the boat. Not very much, admittedly. But there are millions of us, and if we all rock the boat, it might actually add up to something.

And what else can we do?

I'll do the little I can to keep the issue alive - as I do many issues. I comment in the news media. I keep reminding people who don't want to be reminded.

It's not much. It's very, very little, in fact. But even "very little," multiplied by millions, becomes significant. Now, I can't control what anyone else does, but I can do my own small part. So I will.

The Obama Administration can't do this. They just can't. They could have held the Bush Administration responsible - at least by establishing an independent investigation of their crimes - and they chose not to. But they can't do anything about this.

Well, other than what they're already doing, which isn't much. (Obama said he was embarrassed for them. That was probably the smartest thing he could have said, but most people will probably never hear it.)

jeff725 said...

It's almost like the Republicans were DARING Obama to do something. He didn't, so now they can smirk, "I didn't think so." Unfortunately, this will only serve to embolden the Republicans even MORE. What will they pull next?

As far as not wanting another Civil War, it's not like the Tea Party hasn't been mumbling out loud about that ("we kept our guns at home...this time," "makers vs. takers," etc.).