It's not just the president, the vice president, and fellow Senate Republicans appalled at the open letter to Iran organized by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and signed by 46 other Republican senators. The
New York Daily News
, for instance, endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012, but ran the cover you can see above. The Wall Street Journal
is ... the Wall Street Journal
, but it editorialized
that "The problem with the GOP letter is that it’s a distraction from what should be the main political goal of persuading the American people." It's not just media elites talking about—and condemning—the letter, either:
Ouch. But it's worth remembering that, for Tom Cotton at least, this letter wasn't the first step off the deep end on Iran. In 2013, Cotton offered an amendment that would have harshly punished people violating sanctions on Iran. Actually, Cotton wouldn't have stopped
at harshly punishing the violators themselves:
Cotton also seeks to punish any family member of those people, "to include a spouse and any relative to the third degree," including, "parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids," Cotton said.
Yes, Cotton thinks that the great grandchildren of people who violate Iran sanctions should be imprisoned. Which, by the way, is completely unconstitutional. But this is someone who got the vast majority of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, including leadership, to sign onto a letter to Iran trying to torpedo American diplomacy. Congressional Republicans listen to this man. That's terrifying—but if this open letter has helped discredit him publicly, it may be one good outcome of the whole mess.
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