Hands down, this is the boldest political headline of the year: under the subhead “GOPers try to sabotage Bam nuke deal” and photos of senators Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Tom Cotton, the New York Daily News yesterday stamped the word “TRAITORS.”
The headline is almost as bold for the mainstream media as the open letter that forty-seven Republican senators sent to Iran’s leaders, offering to explain (inaccurately, as it turns out) how under our Constitution any nuclear treaty they sign with President Obama could vanish once he leaves office. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen,” they wrote, “and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”
The misleading missive comes as the United States is in extremely delicate negotiations that could lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for it halting its nuclear program for at least ten years. The politically middle-of-the-road Daily News abhors the deal, but it has an almost old-fashioned sense of propriety, saying in an editorial:
Regardless of President Obama’s fecklessness in negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, 47 Republican U.S. senators engaged in treachery by sending a letter to the mullahs aimed at cutting the legs out from under America’s commander-in-chief.
The News calls the letter a “petulant, condescending stunt,” and its signatories, which include all but seven GOP senators, “an embarrassment to the Senate and to the nation.”
“TRAITORS” isn’t clever, like today’s New York Post line on Hillary Clinton, “DELETER OF THE FREE WORLD,” and it may not become iconic, like the Daily News’s own “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” But it packs into one fist of a word what much of the rest of the media have been thinking but didn’t dare say ever since House Speaker John Boehner went around Obama and invited Bibi Netanyahu to warmonger before a joint session of Congress last week.