A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within-Cicero
From Michael Gerson at the Washington Post: The true scandal of the GOP senators’ letter to Iran
The true scandal of the Tom Cotton letter to Iranian leaders is the manner in which the Republican Senate apparently conducts its affairs.
The document was crafted by a senator with two months of experience under his belt. It was signed by some members rushing off the Senate floor to catch airplanes, often with little close analysis. Many of the 47 signatories reasoned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsement was vetting enough. There was no caucus-wide debate about strategy; no consultation with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has studiously followed the nuclear talks (and who refused to sign).
This was a foreign policy maneuver, in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation, with all the gravity and deliberation of a blog posting. In timing, tone and substance, it raises questions about the Republican majority’s capacity to govern. [more]
Iran is something to be dealt with but we do need to try negotiations first. The negotiations could fail but the only way to know how we proceed in the future is to get the feel of what the Iranians want. Sanctions have worked in the past but will they cause the Iranians to intensify their work to make a nuclear weapon? And it doesn’t help when the other “party” in our government is hurting the negotiations by signing on to a “Letter” written by a rookie Senator that has no Foreign Policy experience.
There is also the fact of Dark Money seemingly buying our government due in large part to The SCOTUS very bad ruling in “Citizens United”. It opened up Pandora’s Box of Money to PACs and Candidates who are believers in the agenda of the Rich and Big Corps against the rest of the people of not only the U.S. but the world. Call it what you will. Oligarchy, Plutocracy, Fascism. George Washington had it right.[snip]
These are far from the pinnacle days of America’s political system. Could the days only get darker? Yes.
There are many participants in the search for the bottom of Washington’s partisanship, dysfunction and utter chaos. But maybe there is no bottom. With gerrymandered districts and the increased role of big-money donors, perhaps the system — and especially Congress — is in the opening decade of a half-century of its current condition.
The last few weeks on Capitol Hill have been enough to turn optimists into realists and realists into cynics. That last club might soon run out of membership cards.
The House’s meltdown over funding the Department of Homeland Security set off fighting within and between the political parties. That’s nothing new.
It was a seeming willingness among conservative House Republicans to stop funding the agency tasked with patrolling America’s borders and safeguarding its soil that was new. [more and snip to end]
In his September 1796 farewell address, George Washington warned his fellow citizens to “guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” One has to wonder if he might conclude the political system now almost exclusively rewards pretending. After all, ideological impostures reward pandering packaged as patriotism by ensuring smooth reelection primaries — and by writing big checks.
It’s time to really make a stand and work together to change things for the better. People with money, power and an Agenda are working against us.