To the editor: In blaming President Obama's purported "lack of respect for Congress" for the current "poisoned environment" in which the president and Congress now find themselves, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) exhibits an ignorance of recent history. ("Obama-GOP rift over Iran talks redefines partisan battles," March 10)
GOP leaders planted the seeds of that environment by declaring, right when Obama took the oath of office in 2009, that their objective was to make him a one-term president. They failed, despite four years of unremitting obstructionism.
Now, as McCain demonstrates himself incapable of recognizing the damage inflicted on the traditional balance of power by GOP opposition to anything and everything Obama, I am more convinced than ever that the American people were wise in rejecting his presidential bid and instead choosing a rational, responsible leader.
Marcy Rothenberg, Porter Ranch
To the editor: I laughed out loud when I read McCain's comments. I realize he is a decorated combat veteran, but that doesn't make him right about everything.
Our government is becoming the laughingstock of the world. Lawmakers are like animals fighting over a bone; if there is nothing to fight over, they dig up some dirt. At all costs they avoid working together and getting something accomplished for the good of the country. Obama didn't stand a chance battling the Republicans.
I am ashamed of Congress, whose members should lose their jobs for inviting the Israeli prime minister to speak without clearing it with the Obama administration and then sending a letter signed by 47 Senate Republicans to Iran's leaders.
We need to get rid of the two political parties. Vote into office "regular people" who are willing to work, not just there to see what they can get. Perhaps then we'd get back on track.
Members of Congress should be ashamed of themselves.
Patricia Beattie, Santa Barbara
To the editor: Does the editorial board know what news articles are published in its own paper? ("Republican senators go nuclear with missive to Iran," editorial, March 11)
Your editorial appeared in the same day's paper as another article citing past instances of Democrats interfering with Republican presidents on foreign policy. I refer to "A partisan battle unlike any other."
Per this article, in 1987 Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas interfered with peace talks in Nicaragua. In 2002, House Democrats traveled to Iraq just prior to the start of the war there. In 2007, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) went to Syria to meet with President Bashar Assad against the wishes of President Bush.
The letter from Senate Republicans is not an unusual event except for one detail: In this instance, it was Republicans, not Democrats, who interfered.
Frank Svensson, Alta Loma
To the editor: Republicans, after years of open hostility to Obama, accuse him of a lack of respect for Congress. McCain says the president is "confrontational" and "non-communicative," ultimately blaming him for the letter to Iran.
Isn't that a little like the pot calling the kettle black?
Herb Weinberg, Marina del Rey
To the editor: What do the 47 Republican senators who wrote to Iran want? It seems they would prefer no agreement with Iran at all. They would evidently prefer war with Iran and its nearly 80 million people.
This is the same party that brought us the tranquillity of Iraq.
Roger Boesche, Los Angeles