AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Friday, March 13, 2015
Senators Should be Ashamed of Actions
This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Friday, March 13, 2015
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
is addressed to the 47 Republican members of the United States Senate who
recently signed an open letter to the leaders of Iran.
should be ashamed of yourselves.You are
an embarrassment to your states, your country, your party and the people you
represent.Your behavior is un-American,
bordering on treasonous and treacherous, and damaging to the government you
allegedly serve.And frankly, those are
the kindest things I can find to say about what you have done.
alleged leaders wrote a letter to a foreign government undermining the President
of the Unites States.You did this while
your President and Secretary of State were engaged in negotiations with that
government.You put party politics ahead
of our country, and tried to disguise it as standing up for America.
topic being negotiated is irrelevant to this conversation.It does not matter if you agree with what is
being discussed.There are legitimate
avenues for you to express support or opposition to this process, and you have
stepped beyond them.You can disagree
with the President’s stance on these negotiations at the top of your voice on
national television for hours if you like.
you communicated directly with foreign leaders who you in the past have
(justifiably) accused of sponsoring terrorism.You flat-out told them the President could not guarantee the government
of the Unites States would stand by his actions.You did so while publicly proclaiming you
were just making sure these leaders understood how American government really
seems they understand it just fine, Senators.You are the ones who apparently don’t get it.
have invited others to disrespect your President, your government, and
yourselves.You have made it appear the
leader of the free world does not speak for the people who twice elected
him.You have overstepped your bounds,
gone beyond your authority, and made yourselves look petty and foolish.
your letter you used the words “Anything not approved by Congress is a mere
executive agreement.”A mere executive agreement?Like that means nothing?Like the word of the President of the United
States means less because the prevailing political party in Congress does not
agree with him?That disgusts me,
the President all you want.Slam his
actions, his methods, his philosophies.Complain about his politics and where he is leading the country.This system of government which you appear
intent on undermining gives you that right.
the office of President of the United States deserves better than this.Regardless of who occupies the White House,
we are only as good as the word of our President.That individual carries on his or her
shoulders the responsibility to speak for a nation that was founded upon the
basic principles of democracy.
President Joe Biden put it best the other day when he said:“This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe
alike that our commander-in-chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments — a
message that is as false as it is dangerous.Honorable people can disagree over policy. But this is no way to make
America safer or stronger.”
However, you 47
senators did achieve one pretty impressive accomplishment.You managed to make the leadership of Iran
appear reasonable and rational.
response to your letter was exactly as it should be.They recognized it for the desperately
political act it so obviously was.Iran’s Foreign Minister said, “We believe the letter has no legal value
and is propaganda.”And he was right.
If this were a
group of Democratic senators undermining the authority of a Republican
President, I would feel exactly the same.In fact, I was angry when well-known individual Democrats deliberately
undermined past Presidents.
But this is far
more outrageous.This is a near-majority
of the US Senate deliberately devaluing the power and authority of executive
orders issued by the President.It is
nothing short of an attack on the very foundation of American democracy.
You Republican senators can try and claim the high ground here,
but the end does not justify the means.Shame on you.When you disrespect
the office of the President to a foreign nation, you disrespect America.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and longtime
local official.He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at