Has there ever been a more spectacular performance of Republican “Failure Theater” than the Iran deal? Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who long ago made it impossible for Congress to stop the deal, now comes forth to tell us Congress probably can’t stop the Iran deal, even as public opposition soars into solid majority territory, and more Democrats stage their own little Failure Theater sideshows of “conscience.”
Corker, who turned the usual process on his head and arranged things so that only a supermajority in Congress could block the deal, now says he has “read the tea leaves” and believes the result he guaranteed would be inevitable has indeed come to pass.
“Understand that at this moment it looks very unlikely that we’ll have a veto-proof majority to disapprove, but I know we’re going to have a bipartisan majority that will disapprove,” Corner said to the editors of The Tennessean, as related by The Hill.
What could be a better way to bring the curtain down on Failure Theater than with a meaningless “bipartisan majority” frowning in disapproval, while President Obama takes a bow, and the Iranians collect their $150 billion plus nuclear weapons? Impotent disapproval is the fuel that drives the GOP Establishment. Environmentalists, take note: it’s an endlessly renewable fuel, but unfortunately it generates a lot of gaseous emissions.
The Hill counts 29 senators who publicly support the deal, “putting Obama within striking distance of the 34 Senate votes he needs to uphold a veto of any resolution to kill the deal.”
“With 15 Senate Democrats still undecided, according to The Hill’s Whip List, opponents of the agreement would need to convince 11 of them to buck Obama in order to have the 67 votes required to override a veto,” the report calculates.
We are assured Corker has “been on the phone with some centrist Democrats, who he said are raising concerns about a lack of a policy from the administration on the Middle East.” They can raise all the concerns they want, but since it would take an unprecedented history-making rout from the leader of their party to scotch the deal – inflicting an epic level of damage on the Democrat Party in the process – the Iranians will have to get awfully frisky to actually kill this sellout. Anyone still on board after the discovery of secret side deals that allow the Iranians to monitor their own compliance will not be easily shaken from their faith in Iranian statesmanship.
Corker said he thought his role was “not so much to lobby but be a sounding board for people,” and described his very modest goal as having a “sober, substantive debate and vote.” After that meaningless vote reaches its foregone conclusion, he hopes maybe the bipartisan chorus of disapproval will come together and “pass some piece of legislation… that begins to articulate and push forth a foreign policy initiative in the Middle East.”
And by gum, those naysaying Democrats might just want to “latch themselves on to something” like that! They might also be game for voting to extend the sanctions Obama is about to dynamite into a 150 billion pieces that can never be put together again, sidestepping the U.S. Congress to get the job done at the United Nations.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we need look no further for this year’s Tony-award-winning Failure Theater performance.
We can toss Best Supporting Actor trophies to the likes of Senator Bob Menendez and Chuck Schumer, the Democrats who have done the best job of pretending they have a conscience, know a lousy deal when they see it, and fear for the future of America’s allies in the Middle East. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York is the latest performer scheduled to tap-dance on stage during the final act and sing about her deeply troubled “conscience.” The Democrat cast of Failure Theater will then join hands, sing about how wonderful their colleagues who crafted and supported the deal are, and retire backstage to begin planning how they’ll blame everything that goes wrong on Republicans.
They wouldn’t be doing any of that if they thought their melodrama might actually kill the deal. Schumer, like Corker, has said he doesn’t see himself lobbying for opposition — perish the thought! This is all about posturing, not thwarting the will of Tehran.
Meanwhile, the Iranians just put the finishing touches on an extension to the key Parchin nuclear facility that they’ll be inspecting themselves, under secret arrangements with the United Nations that U.S. lawmakers aren’t allowed to see.