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Boardman writes: "The 47 Republican Senators who drafted a letter to Iran threatening that a nuclear deal may not last aren't traitors. They're simply following the Republican line of undermining the country's president, lying to the public, and championing never-ending war."

Senator Tom  Cotton of Arkansas. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


Why 47 Republican Senators Should NOT Be Viewed as Traitors

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

12 March 15

 

You don’t get to be a traitor just by acting treasonously

ust because 47 Republican Senators want to redefine the Constitution and establish their own redoubt of lawlessness doesn’t make them traitors, even if tweets at #47Traitors suggest otherwise. Maybe it makes them individually impeachable, or recallable, or otherwise removable from office, but who has the time and energy to make the effort to do that? After all, the offense committed by the 47 Republican Senators was only a one-page open letter to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” as a generic category, not by individual name (the only one named in the body of the letter is reportedly near death).

The 47 Republican Senators make sure their own names appear on the three pages following the one-page letter drafted by freshman senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, whose 2014 election cost him $13.9 million, much of it coming from Israeli-hardline sources. Given that Cotton is on record claiming falsely that Mexican drug gangs are allied with ISIS (the Islamic State), lying about food stamps, and calling for keeping Guantanamo open and adding prisoners, it’s not surprising there’s a far right boomlet to run Cotton for president. In 2013, Cotton proposed anti-Iranian legislation that would punish sons and daughters for the merely alleged sins of fathers, no proof needed. That’s a “Corruption of Blood” measure that the Constitution explicitly forbids in cases of treason by Americans. In this context, Cotton’s threatening letter to unnamed Iranian leaders hardly seems extreme.

If demagoguery and fear-mongering were treason, there would be almost no one left in Congress. Bogus pontification in support of political positioning is never pretty, but it’s hardly the sole province of Republicans, even if they’re better at it than most. Dishonest posturing to gull the ignorant is hardly the stuff of treason. Real treason requires some real courage.

Treason is a limited-opportunity option in the Constitution

The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes treason, and it’s not just any lawless, stupid, unprincipled act that threatens to draw the nation into a war with Iran that only a tiny minority of Americans and some Israelis really want, or even want to risk. The Constitution grants American senators broad latitude to act recklessly and without regard for the common good and still not commit treason. That seemed like a good idea in the 18th century, and maybe it’s still a good idea, but it’s also a solid part of the Constitution that governs us all, even though these 47 Republicans would just as soon do without it, and much of the time they do without it rather openly. 

For those who don’t have it on the tips of their tongues or elsewhere, the Constitution says all it has to say about treason in Article III, section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted. 

That’s it, and it’s a tough argument to make against these 47 Republican Senators. Sure, they or their predecessors have been levying a kind of war against the president since 2009, but that’s not “levying war” in the 18th century sense of the term, and besides they aren’t attacking the United States, or any states, just the president – and that’s a whole different thing, since they decided long ago he had no business being president anyway, and anyone with any sense should be able to see that.

And these 47 Republican Senators aren’t “adhering to their enemies” constitutionally, since the phrase means enemies of THE STATES, not the president. Since lots of states are also enemies of the president, what’s so bad here if you’re a senator from one of those states? These senators can’t commit treason against the United States in any ordinary sense, since they were elected on the basis of a rigidly stupid ideology of opposition to the United States. Rational, patriotic support of principles like a more perfect union or the general welfare would be an ethical betrayal of their states’ interests. What some are calling treason is really a perverse kind of loyalty. What it comes down to is that 47 Republican Senators can’t commit treason by “adhering to their enemies,” because those 47 Republican Senators ARE enemies of the United States. You can’t very well blame them for adhering to themselves, now can you? 

And here’s the beauty part: Even if, by some distorted and unjust judicial process, someone managed somehow to convict 47 Republican Senators of treason, who gets to declare the punishment for treason? The Congress gets to declare the punishment for treason, and who’s in Congress? Congress includes the 47 Republican Senators charged by the Constitution with determining their own punishment. How’s that likely to work out? 

So it’s pretty simple, really, and all those high-minded folks carrying on in high dudgeon about 47 Republican Senators committing treason or being traitors or acting out some other dastardly whatever, they really don’t have a case. What the unofficial arbiters of political correctness should pay a lot more attention to is where they themselves have been for the past 50 years. How much have the self-satisfied tut-tutters contributed to our current chaotic mode of national governance: stamping your foot and screaming “do it my way”? These official and unofficial enforcers of convention were more than happy to let lawless unaccountability pass when President Reagan did it. Those who claimed to know “what’s best for the country” turned a blind eye (and dulled brain) to an administration’s crimes that included trading arms for hostages and running an illegal war that supported the international drug trade. So it’s really no logical surprise 35 years later to have 47 Republican Senators attacking the presidency as if it were part of some other country’s government. Despicable, to be sure, but unworthy of being called treason. 

Whose national interests do 47 Republican Senators actually defend?

Conversely, when 47 Republic Senators act as if they are part of some other country’s government, that’s not treason either, it’s a more mundane betrayal of their oath of office, the fundamentally non-partisan sellout for the sake of ideology and/or hard cash.

But wait, the 47 Republican Senators might argue: Our letter is just a friendly note to Iran’s leaders trying to help them understand how our government works (although technically, the letter is an example of how our government doesn’t work). The letter suggests that Iranian leaders “may not fully understand our constitutional system.” The letter is also evidence that 47 Republican Senators don’t want “our constitutional system” to work, whether they understand it or not. In the real world, executive agreements between countries comprise more than 90% of all treaty-like arrangements (including treaties) internationally, according to the Wall Street Journal. Those 47 Republican Senators may not be traitors, but they have done the United States no service by taking a bold stand against a possible executive agreement between the US and Iran, even though it does not yet exist.

As evidence, the open letter from 47 Republican Senators can serve as a collective confession of their intent to keep war alive. As a metaphor, the open letter from 47 Republican Senators is an example of how ayatollahs talk to ayatollahs.



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+85 # chapdrum 2015-03-12 16:39
Republicans simply cannot stoop low enough - and they will evade any responsibility or consequence for this act.
That is just as it should be, and always is.
 
 
-162 # Firebird 2015-03-12 17:44
Republicans are the heros on this one. No disputing that.
 
 
+36 # motamanx 2015-03-12 20:06
Quoting Firebird:
Republicans are the heros on this one. No disputing that.


Perhaps your screen name should be "firestorm".
 
 
+29 # cymricmorty 2015-03-12 20:47
Ha, good one!
 
 
+41 # ellen9 2015-03-13 07:13
Or perhaps "birdbrain".
 
 
+11 # Merlin 2015-03-13 12:20
ellen9 2015-03-13 07:13

The "polite way" of addressing someone who deserves the title of "birdbrain," is to say it this way:

How are you, "my fine feathered friend?"

It is always taken as a compliment!
 
 
+9 # bingers 2015-03-14 07:50
Quoting Merlin:
ellen9 2015-03-13 07:13

The "polite way" of addressing someone who deserves the title of "birdbrain," is to say it this way:

How are you, "my fine feathered friend?"

It is always taken as a compliment!

Hey! I have parrots and believe you me, they are far more intelligent than Republican apologists.
 
 
+21 # Merlin 2015-03-13 02:18
# Firebird 2015-03-12 17:44

"Republicans are the heros on this one."

Yeah. You said this on the last thread. You won quote of the day for it, as I recall! Sorry, but you have to come up with something different to be in the running for that daily award. Repeats are not considered.

At least your trainer John Gault does have different things to say. I mean he reads the "ZionistWeakly" by that crystal ball guy. What's his name? Oh yeah, Bill.

Well, keep trotting on behind him as fast as your little leggies will take you. Maybe you can be like him one day.
 
 
+4 # cybersleuth58 2015-03-13 07:18
I'm guessing that either you are being sarcastic, OR you meant to say "Republicans 'aren't' the heroes".
 
 
0 # cymricmorty 2015-03-13 08:27
deleted
 
 
+13 # dsepeczi 2015-03-13 10:49
Quoting Firebird:
Republicans are the heros on this one. No disputing that.


You're an idiot ... there's no disputing that.
 
 
+12 # Granny Weatherwax 2015-03-13 16:05
Please do not feed the troll.
 
 
0 # LAellie33 2015-03-24 15:02
TRAITORS. TRAITORS. TRAITORS, who should be tried and convicted!
 
 
-144 # Roland 2015-03-12 17:51
Obama refused to engage with the what he considers to be the dangerous lunatics in the republican party, yet he is willing to engage Iranians who are untrustworthy and say death to America and Israel.
 
 
+105 # skeeter 2015-03-12 19:11
Quoting Roland:
Obama refused to engage with the what he considers to be the dangerous lunatics in the republican party, yet he is willing to engage Iranians who are untrustworthy and say death to America and Israel.

Seriously Roland...the Republican Party today is not a governing party at all. They have absolutely nothing to offer but nihilism and hatred. If Obama can be faulted with anything it is his repeated efforts to work with these people. They have no ideas and no solutions. But perhaps I'm wrong about this... and since you have distinguished yourself as a defender of these yahoos maybe you can provide us with some substantive solutions to the problems facing the country instead of your constant hectoring and name calling.
 
 
-126 # Roland 2015-03-12 20:43
nihilism and hatred. Have you been missing those elements from the left in these posts?

Did Obama try to work with the republicans when the health care bill was being created. Pelosi didn’t even let the republicans into the negotiations. There was no outreach to the republicans. Nothing offered to encourage them to support a new healthcare law. When did Obama reach out for compromise on anything? The only people he compromised with was the democrats when they wouldn’t support everything he wanted.

If you don’t know their solutions, you haven’t been paying attention. I believe you do and you just don’t believe their solutions will work.
I have a solution that is supported by many democrats in congress. Let’s negotiate with Iran from a position of strength and increase the sanctions should Iran keep stalling. Here is another which is supported by many democrats, let’s not let Obama put a 10 horizon in the agreement with Iran.
 
 
+44 # cymricmorty 2015-03-12 20:51
Name the "many democrats," Roland.
Menendez?
 
 
+21 # bmiluski 2015-03-13 08:15
Please, cymricmorty.... .roland can't give you any names. He doesn't have them and that's because his handler doesn't have any to give him.
 
 
+58 # skeeter 2015-03-12 21:59
I agree with you-nihilism and hatred exist across the political spectrum. I am often frustrated by some of the knee-jerk responses I read in this space. But your whining lament about how poorly the Republicans have been treated is the height of credulity. The Republicans have had every opportunity to engage on every issue facing this country...but they decided early on to adopt a strategy of obstruction and denial. Now that they have control of both the House and the Senate they don't need any "outreach" or "encouragement" . Where are their proposals? Where are all those great ideas? What about a solution or two? Where is the Republican health care plan? Simply gutting the ACA is not a solution. Refusing to engage on immigration, even after the Senate passed a bi-partisan bill,is not a solution. It is obstruction...d riven by an insatiable hatred of the President. As a conservative you should demand substantive action from your leaders to promote real conservative alternatives. There are rational conservative positions on all these issues...there are intellectuals on the Right who can engage in serious debate...but the reactionaries have captured the microphone and silenced them too. We are negotiating from a position of strength with Iran. The sanctions have wrecked their economy...their currency has lost 2/3 of its value because of sanctions. Another round of sanctions will accomplish nothing more than expediting their work on the Bomb. Are you suggesting another war?
 
 
-79 # Roland 2015-03-12 22:28
Yes, the republicans should come together an put up a health care plan. Even though it has no chance of passing they should do it. Plans developed by a few doesn’t cut it.
Other than that how many bills did Reid sit on and not allow to come to a vote? How many bills passed in the House only to be blocked in the Senate?

More importantly. We had Iran on the ropes until we reduced sanctions. We had our foot on their throats and we have given them new life which makes them stronger and more resistant to our desires for a good agreement. Below is from and article you can see here. I know you don’t like the Weekly Standard, but tell me where they are wrong. It is dates shortly after we relaxed the sanctions. Recent oil prices are having an effect but they would have had even more of an effect if we hadn't relaxed the sanctions. see below
 
 
-68 # Roland 2015-03-12 22:30
"Since the Obama administration relaxed sanctions on Iran, oil sales are up 25 percent, from 1.06 million barrels per day to 1.32 million, and the White House reportedly has no intention of preventing the rise in sales and consequent swelling of Revolutionary Guard bank accounts. And that’s not all. The leading economic indicators show an Iranian economy on the mend, thanks to the interim nuclear agreement struck in November. Inflation has decreased from 40 percent-plus to 20 percent and falling. The rial-to-dollar exchange rate is steadily recovering from the depths to which it had fallen in 2012. And where Iran’s GDP fell 3 percent in 2012, the IMF now projects modest increases for 2014 and 2015"

It goes on to exlain why Obama did this. It is a good read - http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/collapse-sanctions-iran_782753.html#!
 
 
-38 # skeeter 2015-03-12 23:21
Thanks for the recommendation Roland. I will read the article. I have no beef with the Weekly Standard or anyone else. I like to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, many of my fellow travelers on the Left don't listen to the other side at all... and as a consequence their arguments and positions are weaker and unconvincing. Although I am decidedly on the Left I've found myself agreeing with you on occasion. Again, thanks for the recommendation.
 
 
+6 # babalu 2015-03-14 10:11
Keeping an open mind is one thing and can be beneficial. However, seeking out references known for their misinformation is a waste of my time.
 
 
+38 # Merlin 2015-03-13 01:31
Roland 2015-03-12 22:30

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/collapse-sanctions-iran_782753.html#!

Ah, yes… “The WeaklyZionist.” … No, no, that’s not right. It is the “StronglyZionis t.” Well, maybe it would be better called the “StronglyNeocon Zionist.” Nah, that just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

Lets see. Who is this guy Bill Kristol, who provides you with all your knowledge?

From Wilipedia:
William Kristol (born December 23, 1952) is an American neoconservative [1] political analyst and commentator. He is the founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and a political commentator on several networks.
Kristol is associated with a number of prominent conservative think tanks. He was chairman of the New Citizenship Project from 1997 to 2005. In 1997, he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan.

Co-founder of PNAC! Imagine that!

Nice to know where the source of all your profound arguments originate. Thanks for the info.
 
 
+24 # kath 2015-03-13 06:32
Isn't it wonderful that a guy who has been wrong about every single thing can still make boatloads of money lying and undermining our country? God bless America.
 
 
-23 # Roland 2015-03-13 06:53
First it was written by Lee Smith, but you are right Crystal is one of the editors.

How typical. You attacked the person and the publication but said nothing about the facts in the article. I said “I know you (meaning not just the person I responded top but most people on this site) don’t like the Weekly Standard, but tell me where they are wrong“. I guess you can’t so you are left with attacking the person.
 
 
+14 # cymricmorty 2015-03-13 08:30
"The wages of sophistry are scorn."
Anonymous
 
 
+9 # dsepeczi 2015-03-13 16:15
Quoting Roland:
First it was written by Lee Smith, but you are right Crystal is one of the editors.

How typical. You attacked the person and the publication but said nothing about the facts in the article. I said “I know you (meaning not just the person I responded top but most people on this site) don’t like the Weekly Standard, but tell me where they are wrong“. I guess you can’t so you are left with attacking the person.


Um.... everything ! Just read the whole article and at the end of the sentence, you can count me as saying that's either unproven or outright wrong. This is purely an opinion piece. There aren't any facts other than the economic ones that can even be verified. Iran's economy has recovered since we loosened the sanctions. That's kind of the idea behind Iran showing interest in negotiating in the first place. So, what ? The rest of it is the writer pretending to know everyone involved in the deal is thinking and then provided what he thinks. See my comment above to see how much I value the opinion of William Kristol or any of his ilk and why I value those opinions so little.
 
 
+14 # dsepeczi 2015-03-13 16:10
[quote name="Roland
It goes on to exlain why Obama did this. It is a good read - http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/collapse-sanctions-iran_782753.html#!

Okay, Roland. I took your challenge and read your article. The argument made here seems to be (correct me if I'm wrong) that it's bad for the world if Iran's economy ever recovers because the opinion of the writer is that if Iran gets money, they'll definitely use it to create nuclear bombs and, once those bombs are built ... they will ignore the fact that, collectively, life conditions got better for the greater part of Iran, especially its leaders .... and blow up the world. Do I have that rant correct ? I'd take a more serious debate with this article but this is an opinion piece from a publication financed by William Kristol ... you know ... the guy that had a LOT of opinions on Iraq ... and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them was WRONG !!! He didn't say one single thing about Iraq that proved to be remotely true. But NOW he's an expert on Iran ? Define "expert".
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2015-03-18 12:00
Roland is absolutely right to reject ad hominem
comments/attack s, which are not arguments.

As for the quote from the Weekly Standard,
note that it only makes sense if you assume a healthy
Iranian economy is a bad thing. That's certainly arguable,
but is consistent with Israeli policy.

Whether the facts cited in the paragraph are accurate
is unclear, but presumably they are. Cutting inflation in half
is a good thing for that economy, but a 20% inflation rate
is hardly nirvana.

Demonizing Iran is taken as gospel on the right,
which strikes me as untrue as well as stupid and destructive.
Treating Iran as a sovereign nation with the same rights
and concerns as other sovereign nations (like US, Israel)
hasn't been tried for 60 years [much longer, actually],
so it's little wonder Iran tends to distrust its persecutors.

As for the invitation to read how the Weekly Standard
reads Obama's mind, why would anyone think that could
be fruitful? Mind-reading by Obama's friends is as much
a waste of time.

Maybe the Weekly Standard has documentary evidence
of Obama's purpose, in which case Roland might let us know.
 
 
+32 # Merlin 2015-03-13 02:26
-17 # Roland 2015-03-12 22:28
"Yes, the republicans should come together an put up a health care plan. Even though it has no chance of passing they should do it. Plans developed by a few doesn’t cut it."

Now this is in the running or quote of the day!

You just never know what you are talking about, do you?

What is the history of Obamacare? It was a Republican/Insu rance corporation created plan that was pushed by the Chamber of Commerce in 1988. Spruced up it became Romneycare and finally it became Obamacare.

So, you have your "health plan" from the Republicans, already in place.
 
 
-27 # Roland 2015-03-13 07:36
We both know the republicans need to develop a plan today. To conflate something that some supported decades ago, as their plan today, makes no sense.
Well then the republicans better come up with a new one, the majority of people, by a wide margin, don’t like Obamacare. After 2016 when Obama is gone the subsidies for insurance companies disappear . Any guess what will happen to rates? It will be even more unpopular then. And how many will still be uninsured?
 
 
+14 # bmiluski 2015-03-13 08:20
Oh no Merlin...You just gave Roland a fact and his little neo-con brain can't handle it. Ohhhh noooooooooo!!!! !!!
 
 
+15 # Onterryo 2015-03-13 11:11
Typical sneaky right wing comment - "the majority of people, by a wide margin, don't like Obamacare". What you failed to add what the Right don't want Obamacare at all...PERIOD. The Left thought it didn't go far enough. This does not mean they are in the same boat!
 
 
+15 # Texas Aggie 2015-03-13 16:40
And even worse, he forgot to mention that people, even republicans, LOVE the provisions in Obamacare as long as they don't realize where they come from. How many people have signed up for state programs that are part of Obamacare and have been absolutely enthralled until someone tells them that they just signed up for Obamacare?
 
 
+6 # babalu 2015-03-14 10:18
Silly boy! They don't love "obamacare" because that is the name Republicans created and have hung a host of straw men on - all of which have been disproven. But many of your adherents STILL recite the parade of disproven horribles if given half a chance.
Actually when the American people look past the Republican propaganda, they love BY A WIDE MARGIN all major points of Obamacare.
So MOST AMERICANS love the Affordable Care Act.
 
 
+22 # cybersleuth58 2015-03-13 07:33
You DO realize, Roland, that prolonged sanctions only result in hurting the most vulnerable?

see:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/akbar-ganji/us-crippling-sanctions-ag_b_3860933.html

see:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/07/iran-santions-suffering

and:

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/11/19/sanctions-successes-and-failures/in-iran-sanctions-hurt-the-wrong-people

and:

http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/1998/06/sanctions-haass

Whether it's Cuba, Iraq, Iran and other countries, we KNOW that sanctions not only cause widespread suffering among the poor while leaving the wealthy untouched, they also ratchet up anti-western sentiment. Do we really want to be creating more terrorism?

I realize that conservatives don't have an ounce of compassion in their souls, but one would think they'd be capable of learning from history to avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over.
 
 
+12 # Texas Aggie 2015-03-13 16:44
When has the right wing ever let an ugly fact stand in the way of their beautiful hypothesis? In order to learn from experience, you need to first realize that when something counter to the hypothesis happens, it may be because there was something wrong with the hypothesis, not the data. The true believers either ignore problems or think that the solution is to double down on, not reject, their fantasy.
 
 
+11 # bmiluski 2015-03-13 08:17
Please people, Roland is beginning to go off the deep end again. So stop feeding it for awhile so it can get it's breath back.
 
 
+13 # Kauai John 2015-03-13 08:20
Why wouldn't a Republican Health Care plan not pass? They are the majority in both houses of Congress. If it is any good, I'm sure Obama would pass it.

But be honest, there isn't even a hint at what a Republican Health Plan would look like. Well, other than the Affordable Care Act, which was first proposed by Nixon and eventually implemented in Mass. by Romney before Obama adopted it.
 
 
+10 # jsluka 2015-03-13 22:15
Roland loves war, as long as he doesn't have to fight in one; he's a chickenhawk.
 
 
+13 # bmiluski 2015-03-13 08:14
Roland.......th e health care bill that president Obama was working on was the same exact bill the your repug buddy Mitt Romney worked on as governor of MA. You know the same bill that the repugs called socialistic and would have nothing to do with it.
 
 
+16 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2015-03-13 09:59
I am shocked that this usually informed group did not directly challenge the outright BS puked out by Roland that the republicans were some how squeezed out of the healthcare reform process — or is it that the knowledgeable just grow weary of responding to inanities?

Google "Republican amendments to the ACA" and you'll find FACTS like there were 161 amendments to the ACA authored by Republicans. Only 49 Republican amendments were rejected out of 210 considered! Yet the bill got zero Republican votes when it passed out of the committee.
 
 
+11 # Texas Aggie 2015-03-13 16:33
"Did Obama try to work with the republicans when the health care bill was being created. "

Absolutely, but they boycotted the meetings. The Democrats leaned over backwards to try to accommodate the repubs to no avail. When, after over a year of pleading with them, it became obvious that nothing would satisfy them, even their own proposals, the Democrats went ahead and did it on their own.

As for trying to be the bully on the block, how has that worked out in Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq? In case you haven't noticed, as you most assuredly have, we, in fact, are negotiating from a position of strength which is what the sanctions are all about. So your post doesn't make any sense at all, even less than Rubio's comments suggesting that ISIL and Iran are on the same side.
 
 
+6 # babalu 2015-03-14 10:22
And don't forget, the Republicans organized riots when Democratic representatives held town meetings. They would get up and shout menacingly.

Another point of Republican price!
 
 
+5 # bingers 2015-03-14 07:54
Quoting Roland:
nihilism and hatred. Have you been missing those elements from the left in these posts?

Did Obama try to work with the republicans when the health care bill was being created. Pelosi didn’t even let the republicans into the negotiations. There was no outreach to the republicans. Nothing offered to encourage them to support a new healthcare law. When did Obama reach out for compromise on anything? The only people he compromised with was the democrats when they wouldn’t support everything he wanted.

If you don’t know their solutions, you haven’t been paying attention. I believe you do and you just don’t believe their solutions will work.
I have a solution that is supported by many democrats in congress. Let’s negotiate with Iran from a position of strength and increase the sanctions should Iran keep stalling. Here is another which is supported by many democrats, let’s not let Obama put a 10 horizon in the agreement with Iran.


He spent years trying to work with Republicans whose only agenda was do it our way or else. There are over 140 amendments to the ACA put there by Republicans with the sole intent of damaging it, and Obama backed off the best idea to appease the Republicants which was single payer, Medicare for all which would have cut the nation's healthcare cost in half while insuring every citizen.
 
 
+1 # DPM 2015-03-15 01:09
The "Affordable Care Act" (ObamaCare) was a Republican idea put out in the '90's to counter the Clinton National Health Care proposal. So, how is it that Obama wasn't doing something Republicans wanted?
 
 
+7 # bmiluski 2015-03-13 08:10
Oh Roland......thi s has got to be one of your better ones. Please, give your handlers my compliments. Oh, and please tell little firebird troll he needs to change his b.s. up a bit from day to day.
 
 
+8 # Texas Aggie 2015-03-13 16:27
When you think that the republican party is a MUCH greater threat to the well-being of the US than Iran ever thought of being, it makes sense to try to shut them down. And when you think that the Iranians have shown a whole LOT more common sense and maturity than the republican party, then it makes sense to talk with them.

Talking with someone involves trying to reason with them. You can't reason with a bunch of six year olds, but you can with a bunch of reasonable adults. Therefore, there is no sense in engaging the repubs, but it makes a lot of sense to talk with the Iranians.
 
 
+2 # babalu 2015-03-14 10:07
may I edit? ...Iranians who are untrustworthy and say death to America and Israel who ARE ALSO UNTRUSTWORTHY.
 
 
+2 # babalu 2015-03-14 10:08
History has shown that engaging with lunatics is a useess process, unless the "engagement" is locking them up away from sane people and thus limiting the damage they can do.

Is that your preferred "engagement?"
 
 
+47 # MainStreetMentor 2015-03-12 18:43
The authors/signers of the “letter” in addition to initializing what could be categorized as a treasonous act, are the cutting edge sycophants and lackeys of the Tea Party controlled Republican Party. These are the leaders of a concerted effort which originally commenced as a methodology to discredit an individual. That individual happened to be a black man, and President of the United States of America. The “letter” is an example of just how out-of-hand such prejudicial stances can get. These letter authors/signers are now so engrossed in their hatred of an individual, that they have elevated that hatred above the needs of our country. All those authors/signers need to resign from their elected offices, or face federal criminal charges.
 
 
-68 # Roland 2015-03-12 20:46
If the President is negotiating a flawed agreement, should congress sit quiet? Or protect us?

Feinstein has criticized the 10 year horizon.
 
 
+44 # skeeter 2015-03-12 22:16
Quoting Roland:
If the President is negotiating a flawed agreement, should congress sit quiet? Or protect us?

Feinstein has criticized the 10 year horizon.

This is the way it works Roland: the President negotiates with foreign powers... a role specified in the Constitution... THEN Congress weighs in to ratify or modify or kill any agreement. But the signers of this letter over-stepped their authority and weakened the country in the process. Many of them are beginning to walk it back but the shit is already out of the horse... and there is no putting it back. Watching them squirm is one of life's great pleasures.
 
 
-17 # Roland 2015-03-13 07:17
“The Senate does not ratify treaties. It is supposed to provide “advice and consent” to the president in the making of treaties, and must “consent” by a two-thirds majority if the treaty provisions are to become binding (U.S. Const., art. II, sec. 2.). It is the president who ratifies the treaty if the Senate consents."

Obama has stated the he doesn’t plan to take this to the senate. Informing Iran of how our Constitution works is important.

The senators’ point is that, if Obama’s agreement is not approved and ratified, it will have the status of a “mere executive agreement” between the president and Ayatollah Khamenei
 
 
+13 # bmiluski 2015-03-13 08:23
So Roland....you think providing advice and consent to the president includes sending a letter to one of the negotiating countries that no matter what they decide congress will shit on it?
Oh what the hell am I doing trying to have a coherent conversation with Roland?
 
 
+14 # cymricmorty 2015-03-13 08:57
quoting roland: "Informing Iran of how our Constitution works is important."

Zarif knows how our constitution works better than the cretin Cotton that wrote the letter, and all 47 asses that signed it. Among other glaring misconceptions of international law, the letter stated that the senate ratified treaties.
 
 
+10 # Texas Aggie 2015-03-13 16:50
You did notice that the Iranian foreign minister took the gang of 47 to the woodshed, didn't you, when he explained to them how the US Constitution worked along with international law? When he was done with them, they looked like little puppies who had jumped off the porch and then ran back when confronted with the big dogs.
 
 
+11 # dsepeczi 2015-03-13 11:05
Quoting Roland:
If the President is negotiating a flawed agreement, should congress sit quiet? Or protect us?

Feinstein has criticized the 10 year horizon.


Other than the 10 year horizon, nothing is known about what's going on in these negotiations. But the Republicans took a stand to blow up the compromise before they even know what's going on. Why ? Furthermore, does anyone truly believe that Iran would be less likely to pursue a bomb if we continued to strangle their economy ? The sanctions have worked to bring them to the negotiating table. If we now say to Iran that no matter what they do, we're still going to punish them. No matter how compliant they are, we will still demand more compliance and further punish them, then what motivation would Iran ever have to negotiate in good faith with the US ? In order for any sanctions to work, you have to provide the country that's being sanctioned a better alternative. If Iran gets the feeling that if they don't negotiate they'll be punished but if they do negotiate ... they'll still be punished. Why wouldn't they pursue a bomb ? Especially in the face of US and Israeli aggression on proud display all over the Middle East, why would they cooperate under your plan, Roland ?
 
 
+9 # Texas Aggie 2015-03-13 16:53
"No matter how compliant they are, we will still demand more compliance and further punish them, then what motivation would Iran ever have to negotiate in good faith with the US ? "

Now you're trying to reason with a wingnutter. It doesn't work. Their circuits aren't wired to do reason. Their circuits resemble an early hand calculator where you put numbers in and the same thing keeps coming out. In order to reason, you need to work with circuits that can accept data from a variety of sources.
 
 
+13 # motamanx 2015-03-12 20:04
Maybe it makes them individually impeachable, or recallable, or otherwise removable from office, but who has the time and energy to make the effort to do that?
 
 
+10 # chapdrum 2015-03-12 20:31
Yes, what with the people gratefully martyred to their jobs.
 
 
+20 # Jim Young 2015-03-12 23:16
Quoting motamanx:
Maybe it makes them individually impeachable, or recallable, or otherwise removable from office, but who has the time and energy to make the effort to do that?


ALEC apparently does have all that, plus tons of money. Unfortunately they are using it all against most of the American people and the institutions we could once trust far more than the current crowd.
 
 
+6 # bmiluski 2015-03-13 08:24
Funny motamanx, but somehow the repugs have found time, energy and millions of dollars to hound Hillery over Bengazi.
 
 
+5 # cymricmorty 2015-03-13 09:25
Morning, bmiluski: And zombie-like, Benghaaaaaaaazi is ramping up with the Hillary email thing.
 
 
+45 # m... 2015-03-12 21:54
Its not just endless war and streaming war profits for their political benefactors they're after. They are trying to achieve the END OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT POWER ALL TOGETHER…

During the Vietnam war, We had a Policy.
The antithesis to the moral, ethical and spiritual values most Americans felt we all held together as a Nation at the time.
It was...
'FIRST WE HAVE TO DESTROY THE VILLAGE IN ORDER TO SAVE IT'
A Horrific Policy then. A Terrifying Policy now.

The Republican Party has brought this destructive policy home. An Obsessive, Destructive, Subversive, Anti Federalist, Smaller Government Scam to FIRST DISMANTLE THE REPUBLIC IN ORDER TO RESHAPE IT ACCORDING TO POLITICAL BENEFACTORS AND NARCISSISTIC POLITICO VISIONS OF A NEW ORDER.

Like riding a bicycle, once you do it, you can always do it. Once you see that everything the Republicans have been doing: Shutting down government, always demanding Less Government through less taxes on the Corporate Class in order to starve government and enrich and empower their ideological allies, less regulation in order to render government (thus, We the People) impotent while empowering their ideological allies, privatization of government functions to enrich allies, raise the cost of government, etc. Everything they and their media do is done to create fear and dysfunction and then point at government as a dangerous, evil thing and the only thing standing in the way of your freedom, liberty, prosperity and happiness.
See it?
 
 
+10 # Jim Young 2015-03-12 23:34
Quoting m...:
...'FIRST WE HAVE TO DESTROY THE VILLAGE IN ORDER TO SAVE IT'
A Horrific Policy then. A Terrifying Policy now...


I agree with the gist of your post, but the less than best qualified leader that uttered those words about the village was relatively low level,and I heard, ignored by fortunately better experienced troops he had ordered to fire on military looking personnel too far away for positive identification. I say fortunate, because they turned out to be our own troops. It wasn't policy then, just a frustrated "officer" trying to get through a press interview. I hope it really isn't policy now, unofficial or otherwise.

P.S. I was always more afraid of our own troops than the enemy in Vietnam (even in Saigon during Tet 68). They had bigger and better weapons, were far better shots on average, but some did rather shoot first and ask questions later a little more than I was comfortable with. Another friend who traveled all over Vietnam and Thailand like we did, alone or in 2 or at most 3 man teams, was ambushed one night by friendly troops. The Jeep was driven by an SF Capt, who he turned towards a fraction of a second after the first shot, intending to ask him what they should do. As quick as he was, he only caught a glimpse of his heel as he was well on his way out, so he did the same. It barely took seconds before the Capt let them know they were Americans, fortunately unhurt, but now with a totally shot up and useless Jeep.
 
 
+8 # m... 2015-03-13 01:36
I do understand that those words were uttered by an officer in a field interview that quickly went around the world in the 'viral form' of those times.
But, I think you might agree, that his rather terse, commanding and sanctioned tone did convey a policy-reality being exercised at the time.
 
 
+5 # Merlin 2015-03-13 03:30
Something from Wiki on the statement:

It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.

Attributed to an unnamed United States major, referring to the bombing of Ben Tre, South Vietnam; reported by AP correspondent Peter Arnett, "Major Describes Move", New York Times (February 8, 1968), p. 14.

Often misquoted as: In order to save the village, we had to destroy it.
 
 
+5 # skeeter 2015-03-12 23:46
Great post.
 
 
+9 # Tigre1 2015-03-13 05:42
Exactly. The destruction of America is the ONE goal the reeps and all cons have had...since
Freddie Koch came home from working those years for Stalin...where he came home with Stalin's blessing and all that Soviet money...which has been plowed many times over into sedition and subversion...be ginning with the 'John Birchers' and the 'Oath Keepers'...obvi ous now that you follow it clearly, yes?

Conservatives actually are traitors, all of them, including Tea Partiers...try them, and pokey them in Guantanamo, where there are so many handy facilities.

Wheeee...
 
 
+15 # tedrey 2015-03-13 06:09
I completely agree, m... -- but have to point out the massive exception. There is one form of Big Government . . . the most expensive, most offensive, most unnecessary form . . . which they are happy to continuously enlarge and unloose -- the military.
 
 
+12 # dandevries 2015-03-12 22:00
Simply great commentary, WB. The self-righteous chest-pounding from the folks who permit this one-party-state travesty of a government to continue does seem a little over the top.

But how to stop it, the one-party-state , that is? Oh, wait, that would be treason. And who has the courage, let alone opportunity for that?
 
 
+10 # RICHARDKANEpa 2015-03-12 22:05
Republicans may want war between the US and Iran but meanwhile al Qaeda may want war between the US and Russia

I wish to relate possible similarity between the killing of Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader with the assassination of Rafic Hariri by al Qaeda to successfully cause chaos.
https://consortiumnews.com/tag/rafik-hariri?print=pdf-page
The Chechnyans were told Nemtsov was being targeted for anti-Islam cartoons, but Beslan Shavanov committed suicide obviously to prevent from saying more.

Fortunately during the Cold War al Qaeda wasn't around to fake a Soviet attack on the US and Vise visa.

Let's stop a new cold war to prevent al Qaeda from attempting in their mind absolute victory.
 
 
+15 # DPM 2015-03-12 23:03
Once again, regarding Firebird and Roland, Murphy's Law says, "Never argue with a fool, people may not be able to tell the difference."
 
 
+9 # Merlin 2015-03-13 01:04
# DPM 2015-03-12 23:03

"Once again, regarding Firebird and Roland, Murphy's Law says, "Never argue with a fool, people may not be able to tell the difference."

Quote of the day!
 
 
+16 # SOF 2015-03-12 23:20
But what about The Logan Act? "Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects."
http://law.jrank.org/pages/8357/Logan-Act.html#ixzz3TyvfVXlK
 
 
+17 # angelfish 2015-03-12 23:37
Mr. Boardman is WRONG! If these cretins aren't Traitors then they are TOO dumb to live and have NO business having ANYTHING to do with the governance of this country. Since the Reagan era we have watched the annihilation of intelligence, honor and justice in Washington. The RePublican Party once had a Sterling reputation for, if not always agreeing with their colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle, at the very least, were open to discussion and COMPROMISE in order to arrive at viable solutions to our many and varied problems.. These Neanderthals have never heard the word. They are dangerous MAINLY because of their ignorance, as evidenced by their embarrassing humiliation at having to be schooled and educated re: Political Protocol by Iranians, no less, many of whom were educated in THIS country in premier Ivy League Schools, unlike many of the dolts who now hold sway in our Congress! Unless and until these fools are compelled to pay the price for their ignorance and stupidity, we are ALL held hostage by their insane and TREASONOUS behaviors and scribblings.
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2015-03-18 12:22
Thanks to angelfish for reading my somewhat
ironic, tongue-in-cheek musings and
still coming to the correct moral conclusion.

What we have with these 47 Repbulican Senators is
a perfectly logical extension of the Reaganism:
“Government is not the solution to our problem;
government is the problem.” [1st inaugural]

It's always been a mystery to me that people didn't see
how anti-United States that was, since the government
was the sole purpose of the Constitution.

These are and always have been covert revolutionaries ,
albeit without courage or integrity of purpose,
and without an alternative they dare make clear.
 
 
+1 # angelfish 2015-03-19 13:45
Bravo, Mr. Boardman!
 
 
+10 # isafakir 2015-03-13 00:06
any attack on the head of state in the performance of its duties by definition is an attack on that state. any attack on the head of government is an attack on the state. you cannot attack the government and not be attacking that state.

the president of the USA president is head of state, head of government, chief executive, commander in chief. attacking the usa presidency is an attack on the country.

Iran is a sworn enemy of the USA and it provides material support for active enemies of the USA with which it is at war. Collaborating with the enemy during war to interfere with the presidency is by any definition an act of treason.
 
 
+16 # sharag 2015-03-13 01:32
Technically, maybe it's not a traitorous act, but it is a treacherous one against our country's international leadership. However, given the opportunity, these 47 would no doubt commit treason if they thought it would undermine Obama. The growing public condemnation is more than justified. They're being called what they unhesitatingly call anyone else they disagree with. Traitor!
 
 
+10 # ericlane 2015-03-13 04:02
Their actions are treasonous. That does not mean they will ever be tried or convicted. Since all commons sense and reason has left the Republican Party, nothing will come of this. It is a party so far to the right that it can't tell its ass from its brain. The only hope is to vote every Republican out of office in the next election. The real debate should be between liberal and conservative Democrats. Republicans are a joke.
 
 
+6 # Tigre1 2015-03-13 05:30
You call 'em like you see them. "comfort" to the enemy certainly occured. I personally KNOW them to have violated the spirit of the Constitution... ie, my
feeling about it that I hold...shows me clearly that 'aid and comfort to the enemy' were certainly intended. My judgement in these matters is impeccable, too.

Hang them all, except that Logan, (1799)allows only three (3) years. That's long enough for those damn fools. To Guantanamo with them, immediately...

And I can clear the national debt by auctioning the waterboard franchise...let the '47' have what they clearly deserve, for impersonating loyal Senators!...lot of fun waterboarding can happen in three years...!

stupid, ignorant, ill-intentioned , self-righteous, aiding and comforting the Iranians whenever possible...wher e are the instruments of fate when you want them? why can't the traitorous (YES!) 47 fall in a hole somewhere and pull the hole in after them?


I bet if this were Mexico they'd disappear. Maybe we could have Mexico take custody (informally) after we give them a fair trial and before we hang them.
I call 'dibs' on the waterboard franchise...and I want to know who has the temerity to pass judgement on whether the '47' jerks should even STAND trial? Besides ME, of course.
So far every CONSERVATIVE I've asked sees them as traitors, sort of boutique
evildoers, not really capable of successful evildoing. Too stupid...just jerks, usual Koch hirelings.
 
 
+5 # Tigre1 2015-03-13 05:51
Whilst considering this, another obviousness occurs: the Kochs seem to have very bad judgement when it comes to hiring legitimate and capable political help.

Perhaps their personal experience in the world and meeting people hasn't allowed them to be with honest, capable and ethical Americans enough to make good comparisons, choices and decisions...

Boys, boys! you are becoming known 'by the company you keep'...and anybody, knowing the facts, would advise the Koch spawn to change course immediately. They are lower than whale-scum already in the public's eye...
 
 
+11 # walt 2015-03-13 07:52
Interesting points made here by William Boardman. However, it is also interesting that a staggering number of Americans perceive the Iran letter as treason despite the wording of the law as cited. Public perception should get serious consideration and attention. One could also ask what might happen to a federal employee or military member who chose to publicly undermine the US President. Are senators exempt from the laws and expectations we clearly set for others?

The really serious issue here may be, as Boardman suggests, that these senators are lobbied by a foreign government (Israel) to act in their best interests. Meanwhile we Americans expect our elected officials to represent us. That appears to be a serious conflict of interest and a breach of their oath of office. Senators who are willing to defy the President's efforts to resolve a conflict peacefully and those same who would gladly commit our military to war for Israel are far from true representatives of the American people. They are nothing but lackeys for Israel lobby money, and that's pathetic. It's time people spoke out strongly about the buying of elected representatives by a foreign country, and especially since we pay with American lives and tax dollars. The Iraq invasion is the perfect example and one we need not repeat.
 
 
+7 # Kauai John 2015-03-13 08:25
Viewing someone as a traitor is not the same as prosecuting him for being a traitor.

Despite all the rhetoric, I am not aware of anyone calling for the heads of these 47 senators.

Yet we know them for what they are.
 
 
+9 # Linda 2015-03-13 08:32
Lets not forget that this all started with them inviting a leader of a foreign country to speak before Congress, against the President's wishes, on the negotiations going on with Iran. If that isn't treason I don't know what is .To add insult to injury they followed that up with this letter .
At the very least they should all be impeached .
 
 
+12 # ChrisCurrie 2015-03-13 09:00
Those who support passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) "treaty" are guilty of "adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort" by granting greedy ("I have no god but money") multi-national corporations absolute sovereignty over our nation's entire judicial system (and over all three levels of our government). Their interests would be hostile in many ways to 99% of the American people! So that REALLY WOULD CONSTITUTION TREASON!
 
 
+9 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-03-13 11:26
It is NOT about TREASON. 47 Senators have violated THE LOGAN ACT. PROSECUTE them. They (and Brennan and Petraeus) are NOT above the law. Prosecute or things will continue to get worse.
 
 
+5 # Charles3000 2015-03-13 13:07
The 47 have been labeled traitors by many competent individuals and organizations. The president and attorney general should formalize those charges, incarcerate the 47 individuals and hold them for trial for treason. Then there would be no doubt in the minds of the Iranian leadership about who is in charge.
 
 
+4 # Cappucino 2015-03-13 13:15
YES! Let Cotton run for president. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot!! It would be fun to watch. (starts making popcorn)
 
 
+3 # Aliazer 2015-03-13 15:56
Unfortunately, Mr Boardman is trying to shift both the unparalleled interference by the zionist state into U. S. domestic politics and thus mitigating the rank treasonous, seditious activities by a group of imbecile republicans, while saying that all this is "politics as usual".

Mr Boardman, as a reporter, should know better and wonder why, in this specific instance, wastes time in a lengthy, meaningless but telling dissertation.
 
 
+1 # JJS 2015-03-13 19:45
it wasn't treason, it was stupid.
 
 
+5 # m... 2015-03-14 05:54
Yes.., it was stupid AND very embarrassing for our country AND highly damaging to the process of diplomacy.
Between Bush and the Republicans, in just 15 years, they have all but completely undermined 85 years of rather well built American International Diplomacy… The sickest part of it all-- that the last 7 years of their pompous bumblings, stumblings and ChinaShopBull ransackings of it was all done for perceived 'personal political' gain through relentless, obsessive compulsive attempts to embarrass and demean President Obama… And in the process, look at all the harm they have done to the Country they so often and offhandedly pronounce themselves to be the most patriotic citizens of...
 
 
+5 # bingers 2015-03-14 07:48
Quoting Firebird:
Republicans are the heros on this one. No disputing that.



So committing sedition and violating the Logan Act makes you a hero? Just how do you come up with that massive display of ignorance and lawlessness?
 
 
+1 # nickalagna 2015-03-15 08:56
The important idea in this article is the fact that an entire nation which includes the members of both main political parties have let this type of political behavior go on for the last thirty years. The respective oppositions have not been able to effectively expose this destructive and cynical brand of politicking. To all the commenters that like to bemoan the republicans- we all know this- what does an opposition to this type of politics look like? Hillary Clinton!!?? Not
 
 
-2 # mmcmanus 2015-03-16 10:02
Nice article, but I'm not convinced. The hard-line mullahs in Iran who want a bomb to use on us and Israel are enemies of the United States, and those who signed a letter urging the more (a relative term) "moderate" to back away from a treaty and therefore give in to the bomb makers are thus giving aid and comfort to our enemies. A gallows should be built on the steps of the Capitol.
 
 
0 # Merlin 2015-03-17 14:27
mmcmanus 2015-03-16 10:02

Pure Zionist horsepucky
 

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