The tendentious mainstream media, along with the White House, continue expressing their venom concerning the letter signed by 47 Republican senators reminding Iran that the Senate’s imprimatur may be required for any nuclear agreement pursued by President Barack Obama. And this is offered as an unprecedented affront by those 47 Republicans.
It is not! It is not novel or unprecedented. Whether you agree or disagree with the tenor and thrust of this letter, analogous-type situations have occurred in the past. Many times.
Three relatively recent examples:
1) Democrats in Congress in the 1980s made clear to foreign leaders — more than once — their disagreement with President Ronald Reagan’s policy against Communism.
In May 1983, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., reached out to then-Soviet strongman Yuri Andropov. According to a memo from then KGB boss Viktor Chebrikov to Andropov, Kennedy offered to visit Moscow to “arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.”
The writers went on to state their opposition to funding anti-Communist rebels trying to oust the Ortega regime. In what The New York Times called a “veiled reference to the Reagan Administration,” the letter insisted that if Ortega’s junta held elections, those who are ‘“supporting violence’’ against them would have “far greater difficulty winning support for their policies than they do today.’’
One Republican who served in the House at that time reported that the “Dear Commandant” letter was light years more egregious than anything the 47 senators recently wrote to Tehran. This missive was a true breach of national trust. The senators’ letter was a diplomatic warning of the consequences of pursuing an agreement that does not have congressional input.
2) Among other cases were those of then-Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., flying to Baghdad in 1990 and denouncing President George H.W. Bush for his hostility to then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
3) And then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meeting in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2007 over the objections of President George W. Bush.
When you had legislators such as Kennedy, Jim Wright and Pelosi expressing corybantic rage to the likes of Andropov, Ortega and Assad about how much they disagree with their presidents, it seems a bit disingenuous for the mainstream media and this administration to rail on these 47 senators as uncommon mischief makers.
retired subo/recovery manager