Well, the party of cranks has struck again. If your interest took you past Apple’s new watch, you may have discovered that 47 Republican senators sent a letter to Iran’s leaders that warned of the fragility of any arms deal with the U.S. after President Obama leaves office.
Not that any of the senators, who make up a white guy street gang these days, would honestly believe their letter would in any way influence Iran. Rather, it was the cranks’ way of dismantling the presidency of Barack Obama, with Benjamin Natanyahu firmly in their corner.
Among the hooligan signers was Ohio’s Tag-along Republican senator from Cincinnati, Rob Portman. His unthreatening profile has made him the darling of Ohio’s media, particularly in his hometown where he’s known as a confidant of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Tag-along? Well, surely you happened to see the gaunt figure traipsing after Mitt Romney across Ohio in 2012 in neighborly Levis’ and casuals. It was widely believed that he was a natural to be Mitt’s running mate inasmuch as Ohio was so important to the GOP He didn’t get the nod, which led me to wonder what the dark reason was for Romney’s snub of his loyal tag-along.
So now, with his own reelection campaign warming up, Portman has decided to dive into the Obama smack-down. Politically speaking, he was hanging out with the recent American-Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting, from whom many bles$$ings could flow.
His chief Democratic opponent, former Gov. Ted Strickland, is showing some life with party endorsements. More importantly, the Ohio GOP apparently is not taking him so lightly when you see how quickly they have begun to assail him. For whatever it’s worth, Portman and Strickland are neck and neck in the latest statewide poll.
Portman may also be trying to bridge the schism that opened with the state’s evangelicals, who were furious that he supported same-sex marriage because his son was gay. The evangelicals represent a broad pro-Israel Republican base in America and don’t anybody forget it.
The Iran letter also drew attention to the Logan Act of 1799 that forbade anyone but the President from conducting foreign policy. But as the Washington Post quickly bannered, “Republicans are beginning to act as the though Barack Obama isn’t even the president.”
If the letter represents a major if illegal action to undermine Obama’s authority, a move that could lead to war, some of Ohio’s newspapers found other things to feature the day-after. The Beacon Journal trivialized the import by sticking the article (yawn) on page A7, just above the Cadillac ad. Front page honors went to a half-page piece and photo about the local Rubber Ducks minor league baseball team. In the trade, it’s called “hyper-local” as the rest of the world dangerously spins by.