Democrats and the mainstream media have used the words “traitor” and “treason” to describe a letter to Iranian leaders, drafted by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and signed by 47 Republican Senators, that warns any nuclear deal President Barack Obama signs may be voided by a future administration or Congress if it is not ratified by the Senate. Since they have brought the “t-words” into the debate, it is worth examining the case against Obama himself, which is far more damning.
Obama’s explicit policy is to elevate a sworn enemy of the United States to a “regional power,” in what he has called a “new equilibrium” that would balance the Shia regime against Sunni powers and Israel. To that end, he has undermined existing UN Security Council resolutions negotiated by previous administrations that ban any nuclear enrichment at all by Iran. He has also turned a blind eye to Iranian terrorism–including attacks planned in the heart of Washington, D.C. on his watch.
Iran remains committed to destroying the United States, as well as Israel. It has the blood of hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers on its hands. It is engaged in war crimes in Syria and elsewhere, and continues to sponsor deadly terror attacks around the world, including attacks against civilian and diplomatic targets. Yet Obama is committed to elevating and supporting the Iranian regime–even to the point of failing to assist the Iranian opposition when it rose up in 2009.
Along the way, President Obama has neglected his oath of office, if not violated it outright. He has declared explicitly that whatever agreement he signs with Iran will not be subject to congressional approval, ignoring the Constitution’s explicit requirement that the Senate ratify treaties–certainly on issues as weighty as nuclear enrichment or armament. So Obama has not only failed to defend the country against a sworn enemy, but has failed to defend the U.S. Constitution itself.
As more than one critic has observed, if Obama were deliberately collaborating with the enemy, his policies would hardly look different. Add to that the fact that he refuses to identify radical Islamic terrorism in general as a threat, and the case against Obama becomes even stronger.
Nevertheless, it is Obama who has accused Republicans of conspiring with Iran–a claim reiterated on Tuesday by Hillary Clinton, and which State Department spokesperson Marie Harf refused to deny. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) even called Cotton, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, “Tehran Tom”–reiterating the outrageous lie that Cotton’s letter is actually an effort to aid Iran.
Democrats clearly savor the rare opportunity to play the part of patriot, but they are trying a bit too hard. The fact that Iranian hard-liners might also be skeptical of a nuclear deal does not make Republicans traitors, any more than Al Qaeda’s opposition to George W. Bush made Democrats terrorists.
In the past, Democrats have also used Congress to conduct an independent foreign policy from the White House, but the Cotton letter is more than just tit-for-tat. It is distinguished by the fact that its purpose is not just to advance a different agenda but to uphold the Constitution itself.
That is not treason–quite the opposite.
Clearly, both sides of the divide believe they are acting in the national interest. But if the question of “treason” is to be raised, it should be pointed in the right direction.