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March 12, 2015 11:56 AM UTC

GOP Senators Reeling From Iran Letter Backlash

  • by: Colorado Pols
Who, me?
Who, me?

As we noted in today’s Get More Smarter news roundup, Senate Republicans are expressing surprise over the fierce backlash against their letter to the government of Iran attempting to scuttle negotiations to halt that nation’s nuclear program. A little more from the Politico story we linked to:

Some Republican senators admitted Wednesday they were caught off guard by the backlash to a letter warning Iranian leaders against a nuclear agreement with President Barack Obama. And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Republicans — many of whom blessed the missive during a brisk signing session at a Senate lunch a week ago, as senators prepared to flee a Washington snowstorm — should have given it closer consideration.

“It was kind of a very rapid process. Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm,” McCain said. “I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is.” [Pols emphasis]

Foreign policy gone bad.
Foreign policy gone bad.

Editorial boards around the nation have weighed in blisteringly against the Senate GOP majority, here’s a brief roundup beginning with the Los Angeles Times:

In the past, individual members of Congress have criticized foreign policies being pursued by the president and even met with foreign leaders the president sought to isolate. But this letter is an exponentially more offensive encroachment on presidential authority.

The Boston Globe:

The letter not only undercuts the president’s traditional authority to oversee the shaping of foreign policy but badly undermines America’s credibility in the international community.

And the San Francisco Chronicle:

The latest message stands as another example of GOP obstructionism that stalls immigration reform and climate-change policy, brings government to the brink of closing down, and repeatedly goes after Obama’s health care law. Some Republicans appear almost maniacal in their zeal to deny the president any accomplishments. The Senate letter now pushes this mind-set into foreign affairs. By interfering, these lawmakers are breaking with the time-honored notion that the nation should have one foreign policy.

Here in Colorado, we’re seeing a somewhat different reaction to freshman Sen. Cory Gardner’s signing on to the Iran letter from our state’s newspaper of record, the Denver Post. A day ago, the Post published a very short editorial condemning the letter titled “Grandstanding on Iran in the U.S. Senate.” Last night, however, the Post ran an unusual second editorial within 24 hours on the same issue. The Post’s second editorial is still critical of the letter, but also subtly works to downplay its importance, as well as to quash any notion that the letter was “treasonous”–even going as far as portraying that allegation as more unreasonable that the GOP’s sending of the letter. To this end, they tangentially smack Rep. Jared Polis for referring to the letter’s author, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, as “Tehran Tom.”

The Post doesn’t go quite far enough to contradict themselves, but it’s pretty obvious that between their first editorial on the Iran letter and their second one, they got a phone call. This is the same Denver Post, after all, that endorsed Gardner after a widely-rumored intervention by longtime publisher Dean Singleton.

With public backlash continuing to grow over the Senate Republicans’ actions, we seriously doubt that the Post’s nuanced running of cover for Gardner will shield him from criticism. It’s increasingly clear that “different kind of Republican” Cory Gardner seriously miscalculated the response to signing this letter, and this incident puts a major dent in his veneer of bipartisanship.

Other Republicans up for election much sooner may come to regret it as well.


12 thoughts on “GOP Senators Reeling From Iran Letter Backlash

  1. The Post, almost assuredly on Singleton’s order, endorsed Bush’s second term which virtually guaranteed we’d stay (and still be) in Iraq, and guaranteed that more of our friends and neighbors would be killed there. All for what?

    But hey, then they ran a nice little series (multi-media even!) in their paper that publicized programs to help our vets who came back from Iraq and Afghanistan maimed by war.

    All’s fair in love and war, no?

  2. John McCain is rethinking his decision to sign the letter.  He blamed it on the rush to leave DC in advance of a snow storm.  Asswipe.

    Oh, and Vice-President Palin.

    1. That too, according to the authors of Game Change, was a hastily made decision. After the GOP vetoed McCain’s first choice for VP (Tom Ridge) ans his second choice (Joe Lieberman), he didn’t he would give the party what it wanted. And did he do so, in a big way. He selected Snowbank Snookie in frustration and in a hurry.

      And the rest is history…..

      1. McCain isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and often fires off nonsense without thinking it through first. Like when he was running for Prez and decided to leave the campaign trail to go rescue us from economic collapse but then found himself with absolutely no suggestions to make. It apparently slipped his mind that he had no grasp of economics. Or much else.

      1. Funny you mention that because NY Times had a sidebar story about pols (other than You-Know-Who) who email and more importantly, those who do not. Lindsey “Blanche DuBois” Graham came out (no, not “out” in that way) last Sunday on Meet the Press as someone who has never sent or received an e-mail.

        McCain admitted he too does not e-mail but that’s because he’s afraid he will shoot his mouth off and hit the “Send” button before he has time to think it through. If only his VP selection process had worked like that…….

    2. More on McCain’s rethinking:

      John McCain was one of the 47 Republican senators who signed onto the open letter to Iran. But he doesn’t seem so sure anymore that it was an effective strategy. The letter, McCain said on Fox News, was just intended to “tell the Iranians that whatever deal they make, the Congress of the United States will play a role,” but “Maybe that wasn’t the best way.”Gosh, maybe not. But why would almost all of the Republicans in the Senate do such a thing?

      “It’s also symptomatic between the total lack of trust that exists now between we Republicans and the president,” he said.“This has established a poisoned environment here which sometimes causes us to react maybe in not the most effective fashion.”

      Isn’t it a shame that there’s such a lack of trust just mysteriously existing, when all Republicans ever did was say that they were going to block everything President Obama tried to gain partisan points and make it easier to defeat him in 2012. Republicans are so very sad that after years of them refusing to work with the president, he stopped bending over backward to try to do so. Now, Republicans are left with no choice but to retaliate by breaking all precedent in writing to Iran to try to scuttle a diplomatic solution to nuclear concerns.

  3. Stupid, stupid, STUPID, racist right-wing bastards, so maniacally dedicated to finding something — ANYTHING — to destroy and tear down that “darkie” kenyan socialist illegitimate interloper in THEIR White House.

    These traitorous GOP mutts and mongrels are without a doubt the dumbest, most ass-backward, mentally ill ass-wipes this increasingly brain dead, ignorant country has ever produced. Imbeciles, morons, cretins and slack-jawed idiots, one and all.

    Sign the petition:


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