While the framework for a nuclear deal reached with Iran in Switzerland on Thursday, remains a work in progress, it has become clear that the Republican Party is adamantly opposed to practicing international diplomacy. The agreement that was reached on Thursday was far better than any of Obama’s critics, or for that matter his supporters, anticipated. However, that didn’t stop Republicans from blasting the agreement anyway.
Wisconsin Governor turned presidential hopeful Scott Walker, for example, was quick to announce that if he is elected President, he will back out of the deal, regardless of how America’s allies feel. When radio show host Charlie Sykes asked Walker if he would cancel he Iran deal, even if it meant our trading partners were unwilling to reimpose sanctions On Iran, Walker towed the GOP anti-Obama party line. He basically argued, yes, let the consequences be damned, I would renege on the agreement.
Absolutely. If I ultimately choose to run, and if I’m honored to be elected by the people of this country, I will pull back on that on January 20, 2017, because the last thing — not just for the region but for this world — we need is a nuclear-armed Iran.
Walker asserts that the first thing he plans to do, if elected President, is to back out of a multilateral agreement with Iran. Ironically, he argues that this is because he opposes a nuclear-armed Iran. However, the very deal he would back out of, is one that all but guarantees Iran will be unable to enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium for at least a decade. One wonders if he even understands the deal he opposes.
Predictably, several other GOP Presidential hopefuls also jumped on the anti-Obama, “blow up the deal” bandwagon. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Texas Governor Rick Perry all, like Walker, panned the nuclear agreement with Iran.
While it is no surprise that Republicans have made it an article of faith to oppose anything and everything President Obama does, nowhere are the consequences of that tactic more reckless than in the realm of foreign policy. The Republicans offer no alternative policy for dealing with Iran other than empty saber-rattling rhetoric. Or if the saber-rattling rhetoric is not hollow, their policy is even worse, as it could precipitate an international crisis or force the U.S. into war.
Partisan politics are a normal part of life in a nation that holds regular elections. However, Republican politicians who are willing to compromise important international agreements to score cheap political points have no business running for President. Unless the GOP can offer a rational alternative for how to deal with Iran, none of their candidates should even be considered for the office of President of the United States.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.