Senator Cotton’s letter wasn’t treason

Dissent, the left used to remind us — although coincidentally and solely during the George W. Bush administration — is the highest form of patriotism. Well, unless Barack Obama is president. Then you’re violating the Logan Act of 1799.

If you haven’t heard of this bill, it’s likely because no one since Thomas Jefferson has.

Even that won’t stop your Facebook friends from sharing a White House petition demanding that Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 of his fellow senators be tried for treason for writing an open letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Wherein, they asserted that the executive agreement regarding nuclear negotiations between the ayatollah and Obama was simply that — an executive agreement, and not an actual treaty, which, as the constitution states, requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate.

Why is that treason? Well, as the Logan Act specifically states:

“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

But it seems obvious, to anyone who actually believes that dissent is the highest form of patriotism, that senators are endowed with the authority of the United States, being, you know, elected officials, and due to the provisions of Art. 2, Sec. 2 of the Constitution, which declares that, in order for the president to ratify a treaty, he requires two-thirds of the Senate’s approval to do so.

Political science professor, Monica Bauer, in a Huffington Post op-ed — which, yes, I know: Huffington Post pieces are about as intellectually sound and original as a Carlos Mencia routine — referred to the White House treason petition as “clickbait for liberals.”

Yes, probably. But clickbait sells — and so does low-info politics —which is why Upworthy is the perfect, Frankenstein-monster-esque of the two, catering to angsty, progressive-ish 14-year-olds across the United States. Was Cotton’s letter a little of that same sort of attention-seeking political opportunism, too?

Sure, but to assert it makes us look weak by saying, as Sen. Debbie Stabenow did, that it was an exercise in “undermining” the President in negotiations and “stand[ing] on the side of the ayatollahs” is as ridiculous as it is historically illiterate; first, because Cotton et al. thought the Iran deal was too soft on the regime — so they weren’t exactly standing with them — and second, because, as we all know, and as the Left used to constantly remind us, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

Weren’t the Left’s efforts to oppose the Vietnam War —which, if you think about it, “undermined” President Johnson — just in their dissent?

Instead of discussing the merits of the actual Iran deal between the President and the leaders of Iran, the Left instead decided to brush off a piece of archaic legislation from 1799 —which really doesn’t even apply. One hears ad nauseam from Democrats that we need to adopt various economic and social policies from their party because, well, come on, man, it’s 2015.

Eh, maybe not anymore. You shouldn’t disagree with your elected officials. Come on, man. It’s 1799.