Senator Roy Blunt may not be every one's idea of what a tolerable legislator should be, but by golly he has one honed one political skill that is crucial in maintaining his place at the public trough. Ol' Roy can sling the bull with the very best of them - and in quantities sufficient to fertilize most Missouri gardens multiple times a year!
This past week I signed - and personalized - one of those "give peace a chance" petitions on the Internet asking my two senators and congressman to stay calm and let the adults negotiate with Iran without interference from individuals who are not elected to represent the entire country in foreign policy negotiations - people such as senators and congressmen.
My congressman never replies to communications from people like me - people whose point of view could never be stamped on a teabag - but my senators usually do entertain me with their wisdom. Claire McCaskill hasn't replied yet, but she will - eventually - and her response may even relate to the subject that I contacted her about.
Ol' Roy Blunt, on the other hand, my Republican senator out of Springfield, always responds promptly. He quickly sets me straight on every topic, telling me in condescending terms why I am mistaken and how the views of corporate America and God are his views. His email replies, of course, are canned responses drafted by peons in his office, or ALEC, or whomever, and they always address my issue in very general terms.
Ol' Roy's response on Iran was little more than the standard GOP (defense industry) saber-rattling, but he did include one little nugget that I found especially intriguing - and just a bit funny - and also a bit sad. Ol' Roy felt compelled to comment on his role as a signer of the open letter to Iran's leaders that was also signed by 46 of his Senate Republican fellow-travelers. The letter was so stunning in its effort to disrupt President Obama's negotiations to keep Iran nuclear free, that the New York Daily News labeled the 47 signing senators as "Traitors" in a very bold headline. In fact, many newspapers and news outlets across the country were critical of the Republican senators' political stunt.
But Ol' Roy wanted to make sure that his constituents, even me, knew his truth. He addressed the topic in his canned email with the following very carefully-crafted explanation:
"On March 9, 2015, I signed an open letter to Iran's leaders with forty-six of my Senate colleagues to explain Congress's role in negotiating international agreements. As discussions proceed, it is important that Iran clearly understands the U.S. constitutional system as it relates to international diplomacy."Yup. That was it. Ol' Roy was just providing a public service by teaching them A-rabs about the U.S. Constitution - you know, the one with a Second Amendment and little else.
Senator Blunt, you were elected to consider and act on proposed legislation - and to occasionally ratify treaties - but never to negotiate them. Please let the executive branch do its job - and then, if you don't like the treaty, vote against it. America elected President Obama - twice - and he should be free to act in our behalf without interference from the peanut gallery.
You sir, need to read the Constitution and then get to work on fulfilling your legislative duties. Sadly, the House of Representatives in the last two Congresses accomplished almost nothing, and now the new GOP Senate appears poised to follow the lead of the House. How sad for us - and how fortunate for the golf courses in and around Washington, D.C.
Wouldn't it be great if all of our senators and congressmen actually worked for the people they were elected to represent?