Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who began a week-long trip to Israel on Monday, met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
After that meeting, Cotton―one of the Senate's most hawkish foreign policy voices―made the following odd declaration with regard to President Obama's diplomatic agreement with Iran:
“Today’s meeting only reaffirms my opposition to this deal. I will stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel and work with my colleagues in Congress to stop this deal and to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself against Iran and its terrorist surrogates.”
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did Cotton just pledge
―in public―to stand with a foreign leader against a sitting United States president? And did he do so while standing on foreign soil?
Nevermind that Israel is a close ally, the clear answer is yes. Perhaps someone can explain to me how, exactly, this is not just a gross breach of protocol, but seditious in spirit as well?
Cotton is no stranger to overstepping such bounds. After all, earlier this year he wrote a letter to Iran's leaders, signed by 47 Senators, which attempted to thwart Iranian negotiations with the Obama administration. Many feel that letter was in direct violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in conflict or dispute with the United States.
This time around, he's partnering with Netanyahu in an attempt to thwart our president's signature foreign policy accomplishment―an accomplishment most nuclear and security experts in both America and Israel support.
Yes, this is all political posturing for Cotton, a chance to shore up his conservative credentials in the face of the Iran Deal's certain passage. However, such posturing is being done in a most curious way.
Is this something which warrants Cotton being removed from office? Warrants questioning the man's love of country? His patriotism? His ability to represent the interests of his constituents, rather than those of a foreign leader?
I'm just asking questions.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.