Friends, let’s take a deep breath, apply some common sense, and look at the world as it is, not as some of our friends imagine it to be.
Congress should not vote up or down on any Iran deal. Too many Republicans are looking for a perfect deal, not a deal good enough to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Allowing Congress to vote on this is tantamount to killing even a good deal. And as the points out, “A nuclear agreement with Iran is not a treaty that requires Senate advice and consent for ratification.”
Congress will still have an important role, since “sanctions can’t be terminated without a vote of Congress, and that is not going to come before the [International Atomic Energy Association] finds [Iran] in compliance.” An up/down vote on any deal is at best unnecessary and at worst a deal-killer.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Kirk’s misguided sanctions bill, which started out with eight Republican co-sponsors and seven Democratic co-sponsors (how bipartisan!) now has 36 Republican co-sponsors and eight Democratic co-sponsors. This is a Republican bill with a smattering of Democratic support, and none of the Democrats want a vote until at least March 24. This bill would derail negotiations and make it more, not less, likely that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons.
Yes, President Obama thinks the Paris kosher market attack was anti-Semitic. Talk about a non-story. President Obama and other members of his administration haverepeatedly condemned the attacks as anti-Semitic. But in a recent interview, the President was not as clear as he could have been, and his critics ignored all of his previous statements and leapt to the most implausible interpretation, as if this was the first time the President spoke about it. Compounding matters, two White House spokespeople did a terrible job responding to questions, although they did get it right later that same day. Yair Rosenberg spells it all out.
We need to step up the war against ISIL, not the rhetoric against Islam. Can you imagine if the President said this: “These acts of violence against the innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith…The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.”
Or this: The teachings of Islam are “good and peaceful. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.”
Or this: “I believe that Islam is a great religion that preaches peace.”
A president did say all those things: George W. Bush. Michael Gerson writes that “Most of those urging Obama to assert that Islam is somehow especially flawed among the great faiths have never been closer to power than a fuse box. There is no possible circumstance in which a president could say such a thing.”