The March 17 editorial, “Collins, King right to stay away from Iran letter,” is remarkably well-considered, particularly in light of the historic nuclear nonproliferation preliminary agreement just reached by the United States and its partners with Iran.

Seduced by the rank amateurism of Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, 46 other Republican senators joined him in putting their names to a letter to the leaders of Iran. The editorial condemns that stunt as “the diplomatic monkey wrench they attempted to throw into the … talks.”

Praise, however, is lavished on both Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Independent Sen. Angus King. They refused to be complicit in what many believe to be an act of betrayal.

This shabby affair must be viewed in tandem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress. At the behest of Republican members of the House of Representatives, he spoke in direct contraposition to President Barack Obama on the Iran nuclear crisis. Republicans concocted a political ploy behind Obama’s back in one chamber, then the other. They appealed to friend, then to foe.

Of course, the purpose of this Republican one-two punch was not only to frustrate the negotiations with Iran, but more importantly to subvert Obama’s presidential prerogative to formulate and execute foreign policy. How strange to have shamelessly disregarded the question of patriotism, so near and dear to the conservative heart.

Then again, their patriotic lapse speaks volumes about what movement conservatives in this country, who give the Republican Party its marching orders, are really up to: They are on a mission to delegitimize the Obama presidency at any cost. And I do mean, any cost. We must now await, with more than a little trepidation, their reaction to the signal progress made toward peacefully curtailing Iran´s nuclear ambitions. Cursed are the warmongers.

Galin Elias Franklin

Waterville


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