Daniel DePetris criticizes the irrelevant amendments that Republican hawks, including Tom Cotton, would like to add to the Corker-Cardin Iran bill:
The issue is not Israel-bashing, human rights or terrorism, but stopping Iran’s nuclear program from being left unchecked without any international inspections or verification. Cotton’s amendments, if passed, would make that impossible.
Tom Cotton isn’t fooling anyone: either he doesn’t support diplomacy, or he doesn’t know what the concept of diplomacy means.
As we already know, Cotton doesn’t support diplomacy, and in fact has demonstrated his desire to derail negotiations. The Iran letter he authored was clear proof of that, his disingenuous excuses about it notwithstanding. The good news is that each maneuver by hard-liners aimed at undermining diplomacy this year has had the effect of reducing support for legislation that could sabotage the talks with Iran. Bringing Netanyahu to speak before Congress may have been intended to rally support behind new sanctions legislation, but this backfired and drove many otherwise hawkish members of Congress towards the administration’s position. Organizing the letter to Iran’s leaders was supposed to have a similar rallying effect, but that also alienated Democrats that might have otherwise sided with the hard-liners on this issue. The new gambit to saddle Corker’s “compromise” bill with poison-pill amendments is just the latest miscalculation. If Cotton and other Republican hawks try to push through these amendments with the hope of wrecking a nuclear deal, they will most likely succeed only in wrecking Corker’s bill.
Cotton and his colleagues plainly loathe diplomacy partly because of their aversion to compromise, but they also seem to be allergic to the compromises that are required in order to pass important legislation. Their “negotiating” style is to keep piling on new and increasingly unrealistic conditions so that no one except for them is able to support the bill or deal that they want. This may make them feel as if they have proved their ideological zeal, but in practice it makes them irrelevant to the process that they are so desperately trying to ruin.