Treasonous Little Freaks
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
Among his many memorable phrases and bon mots, Hunter S. Thompson, the Godfather of liberal political blogging, once called George W. Bush a "treasonous little freak." HST had lived just long enough to see his old nemesis Richard Nixon, through that shifting Overton Window, posthumously become a liberal through some political prestidigitation of the Far Right during the Bush II reign of error. The years 2001-2009 could arguably be called the "Gilded Dark Ages." It was a period of almost pornographic wealth for Wall Street and war profiteers and tightly-controlled anarchy in which even the slightest criticism of our fictional president (to quote Michael Moore) was considered tantamount to treason, with many seriously suggesting the ultimate penalty of death.
One can only imagine what Dr. Thompson would've written about the nest of vipers known as the 114th Congress and its immediate predecessor. As good as I like to think I am, I'm 110% confident that America's greatest gonzo journalist would've slung words of pure vitriol on a par with hydrofluoric acid while biting countless cigarette holders in two.
And the Republicans that are now running Congress thanks to tens of millions of lazy and uninformed voters and nonvoters, have proved once again that the proverbial barrel is deeper than anyone thought, with an infinite number of false bottoms. The letter to Iran written and signed by 47 Republicans in advance of a nuclear nonproliferation deal at the same time the GOP invited Netanyahu to address Congress is perhaps the greatest act of treason since Benedict Arnold.
The suspicious thisclose timing between the two ought not be dismissed, either.
Both acts of treason were designed to discredit and undermine President Obama, whose mini Cold War with Netanyahu's Israel has been long noted. The president had pointedly skipped the Prime Minister's speech last week and, before that, had already declined to meet with him during Netanyahu's visit to Washington this month. Considering America's sick fetish for protecting Israeli interests to the point of fighting proxy wars for them, defending genocide and illegal colonization of the West Bank and condemning Palestinians to live like second-class citizens at best in their own homeland, this is unprecedented. And this snubbing of the Zionist state of Israel could not go unanswered by Republicans.
So these so-called statesmen decided to draft a letter in advance of the President's negotiations with Iran promising the lifting of sanctions in exchange for nuclear nonproliferation was drafted, signed off and sent to Iran's leadership.
Don't Listen to the Muslim Usurper. Listen to Those Who Want to Nuke You Out of Existence
This letter to Iran makes absolutely no sense from any viewpoint except if one considers racist-motivated treason an acceptable form of statecraft. One doesn't have to be a Juan Cole to know Iran is a very conservative Muslim nation in which there is no separation between church and state, in which their president is a mere figurehead posing as a more secular leader. Authority is everything in Iran's government and to oppose the Ayatollahs is to oppose Allah. So what is this message supposed to convey to Iran's leadership?
"Loyal but principled opposition" aside, it shows the ruling party of our Legislative branch is at more than just stark odds with the leader of the Executive: It's working to undermine whatever effort made by our president to make the world a safer, more peaceful place. And this particular act of treason is far from the first made by a radical Republican Party that makes the ones in Nixon's time look like a Swedish hippie commune.
They have lambasted the current president while he was abroad, a huge no-no in American politics. They have hamstrung him even when he adopts their ideas and initiatives. They have voted, at last count, 56 times to deny Americans quality, affordable health care even through the tepid ACA and GOP governors have cruelly blocked Medicaid expansion in their states for purely political purposes.
The right wing has called him virtually every name in the book, had briefly floated the idea of not letting him fly on Air Force One, permission to deliver the State of the Union Address to Congress, vilified him for speaking to schoolchildren in spite of every President doing so and have threatened to secede from the union. One waits for the GOP to accuse Mr. Obama of cheating during the annual Easter Egg Roll and accusing the turkey he pardons every November of being an ISIS terrorist.
It is, in short, the longest temper tantrum in the history of American politics.
And it's embarrassing us to the point of the GOP even showing division in its once pig iron-tight ranks in light of this PR disaster. It has empowered the Iranian ayatollahs, unified the Democrats (which happens as often as a James Sensenbrenner diet) and has given the Republican brand a bigger black eye than ever.
Most damaging, it shows that our government cannot be trusted either now or in the future as the GOP made note of the fact the President will be gone in less than two years while they will be around possibly for decades, that the next president could wipe out any agreement with Iran with one stroke of the pen and invalidated by a future Congress. If that was the message the Republican Party wished to convey, that they will stab Iran in the back as readily as it will our own president, then it's the only way this letter has succeeded.