The Possibility of Obama Successfully Negotiating with Iran has GOP Freaking Out


On Friday, both Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron warned against renewed Iran sanctions, Obama saying “Congress needs to show patience.” Theoretically, patience should be easy for these guys. They have refused to do a single thing for so many years now, it should be second nature to them.

“Why is it,” Obama asked, “that we would have to take actions that would jeopardize the possibility of getting a nuclear deal over the next 60 or 90 days?”

The president made himself very clear:

“I will veto a bill that comes to my desk and I will make this argument to the American people as to why I’m doing so.”

Leave it to Republicans to look at another war slipping through their fingers as a loss. We’ve barely out of Afghanistan, and even then, not really, and we’re dealing with ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and here comes the chance to provoke Iran to war.

Losing this chance is almost too much for John Boehner to bear, so he sent out a press release yesterday in response to President Obama’s threatened veto. What Boehner is telling his constituents and trying to sell to the rest of us is that Obama’s reticence on taking a hard line on Iran is actually a betrayal of Israel:

January 16, 2015

Days Like This Are Why We Must Always Stand With Israel

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today after President Obama threatened to veto bipartisan legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran:

“For decades, Republicans and Democrats have stood together to support Israel, and we have done so with days like this in mind. Iran is a state sponsor of terror with an abysmal human rights record, and yet President Obama is so committed to his negotiations with this regime that he is vowing to veto tougher sanctions. No White House threat will stop us from doing the right thing to protect the United States and its allies. The same can be said for the reckless actions taken today by the International Criminal Court. We will always support Israel’s right to defend itself, especially against terrorist organizations that use human shields and seek to maximize civilian casualties. Let this Congress’s enduring bipartisan support serve as a reminder that Israel is America’s friend, and Israel’s enemies are our enemies.”

So Iran has an abysmal human rights record. So do many American allies, including the notable example of Saudi Arabia. Why should we attack Iran and not Saudi Arabia?

And Boehner’s claim that “Israel’s enemies are our enemies” is certainly questionable. American foreign policy must not be guided by Israeli foreign policy. We should not have to pick up the tab for every war Israel decides to fight.

It is not as though, should negotiations fall through, Iran will instantly attack Israel. Shouldn’t we at least try to come to some sort of arrangement with Iran satisfactory to all?

Obama pointed out, helpfully you would have to say, that negotiations are continuing. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that,

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Geneva today meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif to push toward a comprehensive nuclear deal by the June 30 deadline, a cutoff that has now been extended a second and perhaps final time.

The point should be made here that these negotiations in Geneva have nothing to do with Congress. Congress acts like Obama is violating the separation of powers even as they try to undermine the president’s own constitutional powers.

Since Congress cannot directly intervene in those talks, they want to derail them by imposing sanctions. As Obama said, should sanctions be imposed, “The likelihood of the entire negotiations collapsing is very high.”

As Obama has pointed out, if talks fail, he can come to Congress for sanctions. As the president pointed out,

“My main message to Congress at this point is just hold your fire. Nobody around the world least of all the Iranians doubt my ability to get additional sanctions pass if these negotiations fail.”

But for Republicans, diplomacy equals failure. No use having a big stick if you don’t use it to whack somebody. So we get this equally mendacious load of hooey from House Majority Leader McCarthy (R-CA):

Both the Obama Administration’s concessionary approach to nuclear negotiations with Iran and its lack of an effective strategy to confront Iran’s continuing aggression and support for terrorism throughout the region provide ample reason for concern. As I have said before, I believe the Administration has fundamentally misread the nature and strategy of the regime in Tehran. Securing an acceptable agreement with Iran will be difficult, if not impossible, unless decision makers in Tehran face additional pressure from the United States and international community.

The sanctions in question, the Kirk-Menendez bill, was introduced in December 2013 and went nowhere. It is true that sanctions have bipartisan support, given the role of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The other sponsor is Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Back in December, speaking at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) promised “there will be a vote on the Kirk-Menendez bill, bipartisan sanction legislation that says, if Iran walks away from the table, sanctions will be reimposed; if Iran cheats regarding any deal that we enter to the Iranians, sanctions will be reimposed.”

Republicans have a second string to their bow, this one thanks to Republican Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is working on a bill to bypass any agreement Obama manages to conclude with Iran, saying “In the very near future there will be a markup on a bill that will give the Congress the ability to weigh in”:

It’s a bill that would allow Congress to have an up-or-down vote on any deal that’s finalized. There are two tracks. They are parallel. They are different. We’ll assess what route to take.

Republicans are determined to take a hard line with Iran and equally determined to derail any and all of President Obama’s accomplishments over the past six years, including especially his avoidance of war as a substitute for diplomacy. Having failed to delegitimize Obama’s presidency, they are determined to render him powerless, to essentially turn the President of the United States into a puppet figure for a reckless Congress in violation of the separation of powers mandated by the United States Constitution.

19 Replies to “The Possibility of Obama Successfully Negotiating with Iran has GOP Freaking Out”

  1. once again someone needs to explain the Constitution to the clown show…

    the President is the voice in foreign affairs… if treaties are negotiated the Senate ratifies them… the Senate can approve diplomats…

    the HOUSE has NO voice in this…

    its so that the country can speak with one voice…

  2. What does John McCain have to say? This nation surely cannot make a move without his imprimatur.

    Will he be on Chuck Todd’s circus, tomorrow?
    Will FOX extend the mike?
    Will John Boy hold a press conference?

    What shall we do?
    W h a t … S h a l l … W e … Do.

  3. Speaker Boehner and the TP/GOP are practicing a policy of “Domestic Terrorism” against the United States. This deliberate attempt to derail talks with Iran not only threatens the US but the world. All of the world should condemn the United States TP/GOP party ASAP!

  4. In other words, the GOP are pro-life while in the womb. The second you are born and take in O2, all bets are off! They don’t give a hoot about you!
    Loose a leg, need food, a stay of execution, can’t afford health insurance, stay in a shelter, loose your job….all bets are off! They don’t give a d@@n about you!
    Meanwhile, send us your sons, daughters, fight a war in (fill in the blank) because we profit from loss of life, not saving of life! Amoral, Amoral, Amoral!

  5. FUK the 51st state. One has to ask themselves why are their helping the very terrorist in Syria that we are fighting in Iraq and France just buried 12 people.

    America better wake up. Israel is not our friend no matter how much AIPAC tells us. Don’t believe me? Google USS Liberty

  6. As a Canadian very close to the US border I was very proud of your President yesterday..It is so nice to see two great leaders wanting to do everything to avoid another war..I HATE the WAR MONGERS in your REPUBLICAN party and want you to know we are doing all we can to get RID of our LEADER who is just as bad..May our next elections bring GOVERMENTs who want to all do it without war!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA

  7. Israel is no friend of the United States. Israel and our alignment with them is the reason we are hated and subjected to “terrorist” attacks. If we would stop allowing Israel to make us complicit in their war crimes against Palestinians and if we would stop the incessant bombing of Muslim countries who committed absolutely no offense against us we would not have to fight this expensive war we cannot win against “terror”. Let’s cut Israel loose and mind our own business.

  8. Iran and the USA would be powerful allies in the Middle East. Iran is far more interested in a peaceful, orderly Middle East than is Israel. We have to remove ourselves from the madness of associating with Israel. We have too many politicians who sell themselves for profit to Israel and then leave the taxpayer to pay the bills for the wars that result. We need to cut Israel off from our welfare rolls and keep that money at home for our own people. Did you know we pay more per capita in welfare payments to citizens of Israel than we do to our own people?

  9. Is this oaf John Boehner appointed or elected to safeguard the interests of U S of A or that of Israel?

  10. good post. i had no idea our payments to israel were so high, although i could believe it. can you post any links or data on that? thanks

  11. God Bless your President Obama. Obama is giving peace a chance in the world. However watch out for England. England has a history of upsetting world balance. We have been successful in bringing home two cooperants that were aids in Syria working with homeless children. They were kidnapped, and freed after 5 months hostage to rebels. Well the English daily, the Gardian, came out with the news that the Italian government had payed a ransom for the girls freedom. Controversy has been stirred because many say that with all the saving on expenses the government has to make to comply with UE budget restrictions, the ransom is wasted money. The girls should have not left home in the first place. So watch out for the English, they are snakes.

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