Will Establishment Press Continue to Ignore Polis's 'Tehran Tom' Tweets Against Sen. Cotton?

March 10th, 2015 4:03 PM

Imagine if a Republican congressperson called Illinois' senior senator Dick Durbin "Dick Turban" in not one tweet, but two (Durbin has been given the nickname by several center-right pundits and commentators; but as far as I can tell, no national Republican politician has used it). Does anyone think it would take the establishment press over 15 hours (and counting) to report it?

Late Monday evening, Democratic Colorado Congressman Jared Polis referred to GOP Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton as "Tehran Tom" twice. In one of the tweets, Polis claimed that Cotton had asked "Iranian Revolutionary Guards for help in battle against US diplomats." Cotton is a military veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cotton's alleged offense is being the first signer of a rather bland open letter to the leaders of Iran's government reminding it of how the U.S. Constitution and its separation of powers operates. Here is the full letter which brought forth Polis's ire:

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution — the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices — which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.

First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.

Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics.

For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then — perhaps decades.

What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. 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.

We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.


Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR

Over 40 other senators, all Republicans, signed the letter.

Here are Polis's tweets, with the most recent listed first offensive tweets (HT Twitchy; direct links here, here, and here):


Clearly, Polis isn't interested in arguing on substance.

Just as clearly, the Associated Press, whose most recent report on the letter and Democrats' reaction to it went up shortly after noon Eastern Time (saved here for future reference) is uninterested in casting Democrats, including the aforementioned Durbin, in a bad light, and has not reported Polis' pathetic, pathological (i.e., "markedly abnormal") sentiments:


Congressional Democrats on Tuesday accused Senate Republicans who signed a letter to Iran's leadership of undermining President Barack Obama in international talks aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program and preventing the need for future military conflict.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pronounced the letter reckless, much as it would have been for U.S. lawmakers to "reach out to the Vietnamese" a generation ago.

No, Democratic U.S. lawmakers just made sure that South Vietman would fall by cutting off aid after U.S. troops had left, quietly celebrated that country's demise when it occurred, and have worked for decades to deflect the blame they deserve for Cambodia's killing fields and fleeing Vietnamese boat people which followed.


The letter's lead author, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., denied undermining Obama's negotiating position. Appearing on MSNBC, he said, "We're making sure that Iran's leaders understand that if Congress doesn't approve a deal, Congress won't accept a deal."

He accused Iran of seeking "a nuclear umbrella so they can continue to export terrorism around the world."

In an open letter Monday to the leaders of Iran, Republican lawmakers warned that unless Congress approved it, any nuclear deal they cut with Obama could expire the day he walks out of the Oval Office. It was signed by 47 of the Senate's 54 Republicans, including members of the leadership and potential presidential candidates.

In a statement issued late Monday night, Biden said Republicans had "ignored two centuries of precedent" and he said the move "threatens to undermine the ability" of any future president to negotiate with foreign countries.

The only "undermining" occurring is that which constrains a president from unilaterally negotiating a deal he knows the Senate, and for that matter the American people, don't want. The Constitution was deliberately drafted to create such a constraint.


The letter, written by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, was addressed to the "Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran" and presents itself as a constitutional primer to the government of an American adversary.

Actually, it is a constitutional primer, and comes at an important time.

Since Democrats seem to have abandoned any allegiance the Constitution's original construction and intent, no wonder it drove Congressman Polis off the rails.

Here's a snarky reaction to the likely continuance of press non-coverage of Polis's outrages noted at a separate Twitchy post: "You can't expect @jaredpolis to get the same press coverage Giuliani's comments got. Jared wasn't a mayor 15 years ago."

The best chance for Polis's tweets getting mentioned will be if his next congressional opponent brings them up. Then it will be a "Mean Republican attacks a poor, helpless Dem" story.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.