Milbank Tries, and Fails, to Accuse Iran Deal Critics of Hypocrisy

Flickr Creative Commons / Center for American Progress Action Fund
Flickr Creative Commons / Center for American Progress Action Fund

If you still wonder why our nation’s politics are so divided, look no further than Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank’s half-witted attempt to accuse Republicans–and Israelis–of hypocrisy in opposing the Iran deal. The same neocons and Likudniks who opposed any Iran deal, Milbank says, now want to stick with the interim deal, or argue for a “better deal” than the one President Barack Obama is proposing. Conclusion: they are liars, warmongers, and above all, Obama-haters.

And so what might better be described as pragmatism becomes, in Milbank’s tortured translation, hypocrisy or worse. Of course, if critics of the Iran deal—and by the way, there are plenty of Democrats and Israeli peaceniks among them–had continued to reject any Iran deal, nearly 18 months after the process began, Milbank would have ridiculed them for their extremism. And so they are punished for acknowledging reality–the reality that Obama is grasping for an illusory “peace at any price.”

Just how absurd Milbank’s argument is becomes clear when we try to apply the same logic to any other situation. Milbank would have an innocent defendant, convicted of capital murder, decline to argue for a more lenient sentence because to do so might possibly imply that the verdict itself is correct.

In this case, opponents of the deal, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the interim deal was an “historic mistake.” What ought they do now? Let Obama give away everything?

The big hypocrisy here–the real-world, life-and-death hypocrisy–is that of President Obama, who has erased every red line that he initially insisted an Iran deal had to abide.

No uranium enrichment? Thousands of centrifuges operational. No underground enrichment? Fordow remains where it is, with little oversight. No ballistic missiles? Missiles aren’t in the deal.

But no–Milbank bashes Obama’s critics. No wonder everyone hates Washington, and everyone in Washington hates each other.


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