In a generational flip-flop, the Senate's direction is being led by a bunch of "young guns," first-termers who are stirring up a hornets' nest of divisiveness between the GOP-controlled Congress and the Obama administration, and Sen. Tom Cotton is currently in front of what could be termed the Republican "brat pack."
With his authorship of a letter warning Iran's leaders that any nuclear agreement they sign with Obama could be revoked with "the stroke of a pen" — a letter signed by 46 other Republican senators — Cotton, 37, of Arkansas, was catapulted to overnight fame.
"First there was Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky who held up bills, conducted an anti-drone talk-a-thon and generally annoyed his colleagues. Next was Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who whipped up a campaign that shut down the government," The New York Times
"Now comes Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, another Republican freshman, whose letter to the leaders of Iran warning against a nuclear deal with the Obama administration has caused an international uproar."
Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Paul, all touted as possible Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election, signed on to Cotton's letter and, in the firestorm which followed, all three have defended their action.
Paul told Glenn Beck that statements that he regrets signing the letter are "kind of crazy.
“Do I have any regrets about informing another country of how our Constitution works?” Paul asked.
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Rubio told NBC News
he "absolutely" would send another letter to Iran.
"I would send another one tomorrow. I think the risk of a nuclear Iran is so great that we need to do everything possible to keep us from finding us in a situation where we are going to have a nuclear Iran."
Cruz said he wishes the Obama administration "showed even a fraction of the seriousness and backbone toward Iran that they should manifest in terms of hostility to Congress," CNN reported
He added, "The Constitution requires that any treaty be submitted to the Senate for ratification. Unfortunately, President Obama has repeatedly defied the law and defied the Constitution. And this Iran deal, I believe, is a historic mistake. I believe it endangers the national security of this country."
However, it was Cotton who wrote the letter, who wrangled 46 GOP senators into signing it, and who is taking the majority of the heat for it, and he has refused to back off.
Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, told the Times, "Tom Cotton is ahead of the mainstream of Republicans on foreign policy thinking. Most of those running in 2016 will sound a lot more like Cotton than Rand Paul."
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