As time goes on, and the Iran nuclear negotiations continue, it’s hard to escape the thought that the Obama administration is becoming more and more desperate for a deal. Any deal.
Here are recent developments:
John Kerry, in his usual clear-as-mud manner, says that “We will not rush and we will not be rushed.” On the other hand, negotiations “will not be open-ended.” What does that tell us about how close the parties are to an agreement? Nothing.
He also said the agreement needs to “withstand the test of time,” and that “It’s a test for decades.”
In other words, the consequences of the deal will begin flowing immediately, which will make it difficult to undo or to reverse. That last idea was underlined by the fact that “the White House believes that even if Congress votes against allowing the president to implement the deal, it will have support from enough lawmakers that the critics won’t be able to override a presidential veto.”
Why might they be confident that there will be no override? Perhaps because the administration also believes that an earlier message to Congress has been assimilated, one that goes something like this: Democrats, note what we did to your fellow esteemed member of Congress Bob Menendez when he led the fight against us on Iran. Now, you wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to you, would you?
And if you’re inclined to excoriate the Republicans in Congress for agreeing to the Corker-Menendez bill requiring Congressional approval for a negotiated deal, and you think that it actually decreased their power over what Obama and Kerry do regarding Iran, I disagree. As I wrote in a previous post on the matter:
Lots of conservatives think it’s a bad deal because without it, a 2/3 vote would be needed to approve the deal as a treaty, and with it, a 2/3 vote (because of the necessity for a veto override) will be needed to block it. But they are ignoring reality, which is that without it there is not chance it would even come up before Congress at all, because Obama would consider it not to be a treaty, and he could win that argument.
Would Obama ever have agreed to regard the deal as a treaty and subject it to Senate approval? Although it is arguably a treaty, it is not technically and unequivocally a treaty, and they could not force him to act as though it is. Obama would have claimed that it is an executive agreement rather than a treaty. The fact that other previous presidents might certainly have regarded it as a treaty out of deference to Congress and public opinion does not change the fact that Obama could not care less about these things when he has a goal as important to him as conceding to Iran appears to be.
[NOTE: See more on Iran here from Michael Totten.]
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]DONATE
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