09 March 2015

"PERHAPS DECADES"

LAST UPDATED: 1/16/2016

This open letter to Iran - penned by the Senate Republicans - represents an eerie new low in the opposition's unrelenting attempts to sabotage the Obama presidency. This one leaves you breathless.

It is an embarrassment. But, let's not get into the diplomatic ramifications - the media's working on that. Look instead at this passage:
"As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then - perhaps decades."
"Perhaps decades?"

Perhaps the lesson the GOP so condescendingly gives Iran in the letter could be directed back at its signatories.

One term in the United States Senate lasts six years. While it's true senators are not term-limited, tossing out a term like "decades" is just a tad bit presumptuous. They can, at least, pretend to believe that elections still matter.

I'm just saying...

"Check yourself, before you wreck yourself."

I don't know who said that originally, but it applies here.

Who signed this letter?

Well, every single sitting Republican senator signed this letter - save seven, (indicated with *). The list pasted below (courtesy Roll Call) is in the order of seniority, and shows just how long they've each been in office. Interesting to note that most of those who refused to sign are among the longest-running senators serving today.

The Roll Call link (above) provides explanations/rationale as to why those who refrained did so.

REPUBLICANS OF THE 114th CONGRESS
* - did not sign letter

Orrin G. Hatch, UtahJan. 4, 1977
Thad Cochran, Miss.Dec. 27, 1978*
Charles E. Grassley, IowaJan. 5, 1981
Mitch McConnell, Ky.Jan. 3, 1985
Richard C. Shelby, Ala.Jan. 6, 1987
John McCain, Ariz.Jan. 6, 1987
James M. Inhofe, Okla.Nov. 30, 1994
Pat Roberts, Kan.Jan. 7, 1997
Jeff Sessions, Ala.Jan. 7, 1997
Susan Collins, MaineJan. 7, 1997*
Michael B. Enzi, Wyo.Jan. 7, 1997
Michael D. Crapo, IdahoJan. 6, 1999
Lisa Murkowski, AlaskaDec. 20, 2002*
Lindsey Graham, S.C.Jan. 7, 2003
Lamar Alexander, Tenn.Jan. 7, 2003*
John Cornyn, TexasJan. 7, 2003
Richard M. Burr, N.C.Jan. 4, 2005
John Thune, S.D.Jan. 4, 2005
Johnny Isakson, Ga.Jan. 4, 2005
David Vitter, La.Jan. 4, 2005
Bob Corker, Tenn.Jan. 4, 2007*
John Barrasso, Wyo.June 25, 2007
Roger Wicker, Miss.Dec. 31, 2007
Jim Risch, IdahoJan. 6, 2009
Mark S. Kirk, Ill.Nov. 29, 2010
Dan Coats, Ind.Jan. 5, 2011*
Roy Blunt, Mo.Jan. 5, 2011
Jerry Moran, Kan.Jan. 5, 2011
Rob Portman, OhioJan. 5, 2011
John Boozman, Ark.Jan. 5, 2011
John Hoeven, N.D.Jan. 5, 2011
Marco Rubio, Fla.Jan. 5, 2011
Patrick J. Toomey, Pa.Jan. 5, 2011
Ron Johnson, Wis.Jan. 5, 2011
Rand Paul, Ky.Jan. 5, 2011
Mike Lee, UtahJan. 5, 2011
Kelly Ayotte, N.H.Jan. 5, 2011
Dean Heller, Nev.May 9, 2011
Jeff Flake, Ariz.Jan. 3, 2013*
Tim Scott, S.C.Jan. 3, 2013
Ted Cruz, TexasJan. 3, 2013
Deb Fischer, Neb.Jan. 3, 2013
Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va.Jan. 6, 2015
Bill Cassidy, La.Jan. 6, 2015
Cory Gardner, Colo.Jan. 6, 2015
James Lankford, Okla.Jan. 6, 2015
Tom Cotton, Ark.Jan. 6, 2015
Steve Daines, Mont.Jan. 6, 2015
Michael Rounds, S.D.Jan. 6, 2015
David Perdue, Ga.Jan. 6, 2015
Thom Tillis, N.C.Jan. 6, 2015
Joni Ernst, IowaJan. 6, 2015
Ben Sasse, Neb.Jan. 6, 2015
Dan Sullivan, AlaskaJan. 6, 2015

UPDATE: Excellent response from the Vice President.

UPDATE 09/04/2015: Done deal. Now, it's Iran's responsibility to - if it indeed intends to rejoin the world community - to over-deliver on this deal, to engage in follow-up negotiations with the United States and other nations, and to make it unquestionably clear they are 100% committed to this transition. It is time.

UPDATE 12/29/2015 : Some great end-of-year news about the Iran nuclear deal. As of December 28, 2015. The New York Times reported, "Iran Hands Over Stockpile of Enriched Uranium to Russia."

Good job, Iran. 

As mentioned in the September update, above, this is the kind of thing Iran needs to be doing to demonstrate to the world its intent to stick to this deal.

Happily, it also quiets those (including many of the United States lawmakers listed above), who were irrationally against the historic deal between Iran and several Western nations, including the US. Many never even read a word before fear mongering and railing against it... only because this president (a bit darker than the others, incidentally) was behind it.

Here's to cooler heads prevailing in this volatile world. And here's to irresponsible blowhards refraining from sending out other dramatically ignorant letters to the Iranians... at least for a bit.

This is one of those blowhards, just a few months ago... 


UPDATE 01/16/2016 : Congrats to the entire diplomatic team responsible for this historic deal. What is never reported in the media is how important the lifting of these sanctions is not just for Iran, but also for the countries that were sanctioning Iran. Europe, especially, took a hit these past few years for the sake of peace, as the intensified sanctions of the Obama age (which finally had teeth) took effect. Peace appears to have won out. Now, it is time to let these economies thrive once more.