Obama has now secured the support of 34 Senate Democrats for the nuclear deal with Iran. This means that as matters stand he has sufficient backing to sustain his veto of legislation aimed at blocking the agreement. That is because today Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the 34th Senator to announce support for the deal.It hurts. It enrages. It elicits cries of “Heaven help us.”But what I come to say in this short posting today is that we should, we absolutely must, keep going. We should redouble our efforts.
It feels like a “victory” for Obama and other Democrats who support the horrendous deal with Iran. But keep in mind that this contingent is totally devoid of moral authority. The win, such as it is at this point, is largely a function of cronyism and narrow self-serving perspective, as well as incredible pressure by the president – who utilizes a fierce carrot and stick approach. It represents party before nation, and putting what is safe before what is good.
Ours is the moral high ground. And so, we hold up our heads, and we keep going.
I must point out, first of all, that the fat lady has not sung yet. That is, it is not over. There is a process still to be walked through: the debate on the issue in Congress, starting in a week. And then the vote, on the 17th. That is, if there is no filibuster – which would further complicate the dynamics. And then, if Congress votes against the deal, there is the formality of Obama’s veto, and then yet another vote.
Milkulski’s declaration today was very bad news, without a doubt. But it did not carve the end result into stone.
There is much that may yet happen in the course of the process between now and then. It may not be likely, but it is possible that something will be said in the course of the debate that will have an impact on a Democrat senator who had declared for the deal and suddenly has second thoughts. With everything horrendous that has already been revealed about the deal, perhaps just one more fact will surface that will be the proverbial straw – the ultimate fact that cannot be tolerated or ignored for expediency. Suppose there is exposure of a very major terror attack against the US, being planned and underwritten by Iran, and it makes many senators start to worry. Really worry. Suppose deeply compromising information about a Senator surfaces, which causes him to reverse his position. Suppose many, many things…
All this “supposing” provides a certain perspective.
And so what do we do? We continue to make the case against the deal in every possible venue. We write against it in letters to the editor and Internet talkbacks. and on our Facebook pages. We let our elected Representatives in Congress and our Senators know that how we vote will be affected by how they vote, and that we are watching. We let them know how vile we believe the current situation is.
And we attend rallies, so that it is very very clear to those in Congress how furious we are. To this end, the rally in Washington DC on the 9th is critical. What would happen if the members of Congress realized that there were one million very angry voters on the lawn outside their chambers? Would it give them pause?
But there is yet another reason for continuing in our effort. Not everyone in Congress has declared one way or the other. There are those whose intentions are still unknown, and those still undecided.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has called for a “moral majority” against the deal. He knew, coming into this situation, that it might not be possible in the end to override the veto. But he expressed the need for the greatest possible number that could be achieved voting against it in Congress.
The greater the number, the clearer is the message of disapproval. This is a statement, and there is weight to it, both moral and political.
Remember – because of the pathetic way this situation has been constructed – for Obama to win, he does not need a majority of the votes in the Congress. He simply needs 1/3 plus one vote, to prevent overriding of the veto (as 2/3 of the Senate is required for that).
The vote of a moral majority provides support for members of Congress who are considering other ways of dealing with the situation. It is clear that our friends in the Senate, such as Ted Cruz (TX) and Tom Cotton (AR), are already giving thought to procedures that might be put in place to block or lessen the implications of the deal, if it passes.
And it makes it easier for Obama’s successor to turn around what Obama has done.
Thus, it remains our responsibility to carry on.
See this statement by Senator Cotton, made during a visit here that echoes what I’ve written above:
“Until there are 34 votes — I don’t refer to 34 declared voters but to 34 votes, because a lot of things can happen even in the next two weeks — I for one will not stop fighting, because of the dangerous consequences of this deal for the United States, Israel and world peace.” (Emphasis added)
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
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