Republicans putting politics before national interests



For the last few weeks, every time I sat down to write this column it has felt like a weekly bashing of Republicans, but after the madness they have given us in March the conservative fire brands that have pirated the party, bored the vessel, and pillaged the integrity of the party have not just become a convenient pinata, but a necessary one.

Their hypocrisy, stupidity and immaturity have been so noteworthy that it has drawn attention away from what are two very significant Hillary Clinton scandals which ought to have the democratic party searching for a new 2016 candidate.

The obvious is inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come speak to Congress about how terrible the negotiations with Iran are. This is the same man who has said at least five separate times in the last 20 years that Iran is only a couple years from a nuclear weapon.

This man is not a friend of America; he is on record as saying that America is something easily manipulated.

Still, this didn’t stop Tom Cotton, who has only a few weeks experience as a Senator, from falling for the rouse hook, line and sinker. He authored a condescending letter directly to the Iranian Mullahs in an attempt to scuttle the negotiations.

Despite Republicans insistence that Democrats have also done this, it is the first time that almost an entire party has attempted to kill ongoing, active negotiations; but even that is not that point.

Just after writing the letter, Cotton had a meeting with executives from the largest military contractors in the country; those who would profit the most from Netanyahu’s dream: a war with Iran. It is beyond me to accuse a Senator of anything nefarious without hard proof, but the coincidence, combined with the money Cotton has received, and is likely to receive from these companies certainly raises red flags.

It is hard to imagine that Iran getting a nuclear bomb was Cotton’s primary motivation. Similar negotiations took place without the U.S. between 2003 and 2005. After the Bush administration vetoed the deal Iran went from less then 200 centrifuges to having 19,000. If Republicans kill a deal now there is nothing to stop Iran from expanding its nuclear program even further.

Furthermore, killing the deal would only anger the international community. Five other countries are taking part in the negotiations, and Republicans run the risk of stoking anti-American sentiment throughout the world even more.

If putting politics before national security wasn’t the conservatives’ goal in Israel, it is with climate change. Rick Scott’s ban of the phrase in Florida doesn’t even take the cake. Republicans are trying to cut funding for climate change research at the Pentagon and CIA, despite the Pentagon calling it an immediate national security threat.

The irony here is thicker than their skulls. Only to conservatives is it a good idea to cut funding for an immediate national security threat, then force the military to spend money on equipment it says it doesn’t want or need.

Putting politics before national security is a shame, but these ultra conservatives have proven they have no shame. Maybe Republican Presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham was onto something when he said he would deploy the military against Congress. It’s hard to believe that didn’t even make the final four of madness this March.

Matt Young is a journalism and political science senior.

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