It’s no secret that the Republican Party loathes President Obama with a seething anger. He demolished their candidates in two separate elections. He has managed to accomplish a great deal during his terms despite their avowed goal of obstruction. But perhaps worst of all, he has become increasingly popular over the years as his agenda gets realized. Republicans look like the spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum – and they know it.
In a new odious tactic that circumvents having to actually beat Obama politically (which they can’t do) or win over the public (which they also can’t do), Republicans have taken to the radical approach of undermining the president by going behind his back and insisting to other world leaders that the president is not important, not to be trusted, and safely ignored. According to an exclusive report by Reuters, Republican congressional leaders have sent a letter to the United Nations, asking that member countries back away from any climate deal that Obama might offer.
The Obama administration’s plan for U.N. climate change talks encountered swift opposition after its release Tuesday, with Republican leaders warning other countries to “proceed with caution” in negotiations with Washington because any deal could be later undone.
Sound familiar? That is because the same Republicans just told Iran roughly the same thing. Don’t bother with the president because we will kill any deal you make. For Americans, a Republican Party bent on stopping any progress Obama could make may seem like old news, but for the international community, the message must be surreal. “What is going on in the United States?” they must wonder.
Adding further embarrassment for Americans, the letter from Republicans will be received by countries around the world that are desperate to address climate change. It may be hard to fathom from a state like Florida which bans the use of the word “climate change,” but most of the world has accepted the existence of climate change, understand the threat and want to work towards fighting it. It’s not Obama that is driving a climate agenda, it’s the international community demanding that America (the number one contributor of greenhouse gases) wake up and do something. For most scientifically-literate countries, the letter might as well have instructed them to ignore Obama’s proposal that the earth is round.
One might think that Republicans would have learned their lesson and at least tried to stop being an international embarrassment, but alas, we aren’t so lucky. Not content to ride out the backlash they received for penning a letter to Iran during sensitive nuclear negotiations that instructed the Islamic republic to stop talking with Obama or else, Republicans are finding new ways to undermine the president’s constitutional powers. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already wrote to every state governor telling them to ignore Obama’s new power plant regulations. Sure, ignoring a federal mandate is in clear violation of the Constitution, but McConnell assured them that he was personally under the impression that Obama’s plans weren’t legal and therefore could be safely ignored. And it’s McConnell again who seems to be helming the U.N. letter.
“Considering that two-thirds of the U.S. federal government hasn’t even signed off on the Clean Power Plan and 13 states have already pledged to fight it, our international partners should proceed with caution before entering into a binding, unattainable deal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
It’s important to remember that the deal is only “unattainable” because Republicans plan on doing everything in their power to destroy it to spite Obama. For many, that’s all the motivation that is needed, but for McConnell, ensuring no climate action is taken is a bit more personal because his state thrives on dirty coal and his campaigns are largely bankrolled by energy companies.
Bravo Republicans, thanks to your tireless efforts, shame is now America’s number one export.
Feature image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr