A Dust Up

Senator Charles Schumer, a democrat from New York and the assumed future senate minority leader, came out against the Iran Deal. His ascension was assumed, that is, until he released that statement. Mike DeBonis puts it rather bluntly.

Long story short: getting the 67 votes to override a veto would require a monumental feat of persuasion under the current circumstances, and getting the 60 necessary to block a filibuster is hardly assured.

David Harsanyi gives the same assessment, with a splash of his usual cynicism.

At this point, Schumer is just trying to have it both ways: standing against the Iran nuclear deal while knowing full well it won’t make any difference.

It’s consider theater. It’s not suppose to really matter–this is happening wether the country likes it or not. Many democratic lawmakers are undecided on their vote, but with threats from the money raising wing of progressive democrats, MoveOn.org of “donor strikes”, it’s not difficult to predict how they’ll eventually vote. Who they are attacking is the unsettling part. It’s expected, although not necessarily accepted, for the president to disparage his opposition, as he did by saying anyone who opposed the deal had Common Cause with Iranin hard liners. It’s a ridiculous thing to say, but then again, it’s a ridiculous proposition the president is asking the American people to accept. After 7 years, we’ve become accustomed to the such rhetoric.

What is new is the president questioning the patriotism of those in his own party. The way it’s framed is: Jewish lawmakers choose Israel over America. The tone is unsettling. This was tweeted out by The Hill. It smacks of anti-Semetism hiding behind anti-Zionism. It’s compounded by the freak flags flying under the Donald Trump presidential bid banner. They are openly anti-Semitic. Well, as open as an anonymous internet troll can be, but they make it quite clear how they feel about Jews. These nut jobs, actually have common cause with the hard liners in Iran. 

When you remove ethnicity, partisan politics, and emotion, Israel is the cornerstone of America’s Foriegn Policy. It’s geo-politcal strategic value can’t be quantified. That’s something Republicans like Senator Tom Cotton and Democrats like Shumer understand. They are our ally. Isreal fought for it’s indepence and won becoming it’s own nation state. Recognized, on moral grounds, by President Harry Truman in 1948, although Truman gives credit to his friend and business partner, Edward Jacobsin. It hasn’t always been a blissful relationship, it’s had its problems—as all relationships do— but they’ve never taken over a US embassy and held our diplomats hostage. They don’t chant Death To America on an, almost, daily basis. Israel acts like an ally. 

While most of what is happening in Washington D.C. is considered theater, what will transpire in the region will not be. Lifting the sanctions will allow Iran to have more ability to maneuver and reinforce the efforts of their proxies scattered throughout the region. From Yemen to Syria and most concerning, HAMAS in Gaza. That’s just regular old weaponry–now inject a nuclear bomb into the equation. Not hard to see why Israel doesn’t want to let their most vocal and active enemy get one.  Those supporting the deal call it hyperbole and warmongering. Israelis call that protecting their interests. And us, Americans watching this transpire, call it theater, something I hope we don’t regret. Because this theater is the unraveling of the binds that connect the US to its strongest regional ally, all in the name of one man’s legacy. A man, who will be long gone when the consequences of this deal come to a head. 

That is unless a “monumental feat of persuasion” can be pulled off. Theater isn’t suppose to be predicable, perhaps, we are all in for a surprise.

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