Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Oh, look. The Arkansas senator behind the precedent-shattering Republican letter to Iran
seeking to undermine a nuclear deal has admitted that sabotage is his goal
Iran hawks in the House and Senate have long said that their aim is to help the White House strike a tougher deal with Iran. The administration and others, meanwhile, have charged that the hawks' true motivation is to undermine the talks entirely. Cotton, for his part, has made no secret that he wants the talks to fail.
"The end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of congressional action. It is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so speak," Cotton said in January, speaking at a conservative conference hosted by the advocacy group Heritage Action for America.
The new letter to Iran made that clear enough, of course, what with its pointed reminders that many of the 47 Republican senators who signed it would remain in the Senate after President Obama left office and that "The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time." But Cotton's past stance eliminates any plausible deniability Republicans have that they're not trying to torpedo diplomatic efforts between the U.S. and Iran.
In translation, Senate Republicans will fight hard to keep war with Iran from being taken off the table.
11:36 AM PT: Nice, Sen. Reid:
Sen. Reid on the floor with Sen. Cotton in the chair: "Republicans are undermining our Commander-in-Chief while empowering the Ayatollahs."