The long Republican battle to block the Iran deal is coming to a end, with Mitch McConnell begging Senate Democrats not to filibuster a vote to stop the deal, even as it has become obvious that the president has the votes he needs for the plan to survive, possibly even without requiring his veto. In their hopes to embarrass the president, Congressional Republicans have failed miserably, and now it is they, and not the White House that must endure the humiliation of a stinging defeat.
While the final fatal blow to the Republican resistance is being dealt in September, opposition to the Iran deal was doomed long ago. When Congressional Republicans invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deliver a clearly partisan speech before Congress in March, the GOP sealed their inevitable fate on the Iran Deal.
By poisoning the debate with the fiercely strident and distinctly partisan tones of Netanyahu, the Republicans pushed uncertain Democrats off the fence and into Barack Obama’s camp on the Iran deal.
Netanyahu’s speech in Congress made the Iranian issue a partisan one. As soon as he insisted on going ahead with this move, which was perceived as a Republican maneuver against the president, we lost a significant part of the Democratic party, without which it was impossible to block the agreement.
President Obama’s success in outmaneuvering the Republican Party was made possible by Netanyahu’s visit. The debate also delivered a significant blow to the clout and prestige of AIPAC, a lobbying group that has often been very influential in securing votes from both parties in Washington.
However, with John Boehner’s stunt of inviting Netanyahu to speak before Congress, both the GOP and AIPAC overplayed their hand, giving supporters of the Iran deal a decisive political victory.
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.