9/12/2015—Just before the anniversary of 9/11, word came on Thursday that Senate Democrats beat off a closure vote and successfully filibustered the Iranian disapproval vote. So, the deal goes through and President Obama gets his second legacy win—first Obamacare, and now the Iranian deal.
Both achievements are significant and the President deserves credit for pushing through against all the critics. But, both victories also demonstrate just how partisan political life has become. No Republicans in Congress supported either measure. (Actually, at one point I think I remember one Republican House vote).
(By the way, in October, 2013, Ann Coulter tried to rally the base with the following in Human Events: “When your new health insurance premiums arrive in the mail, and you can’t find a doctor in your plan who speaks English, tell me the fight between Republicans and Democrats is not that important.” As Sarah would say, how is that working out for you, Ann?”)
But the Iran deal is actually nonpartisan. Some Democrats oppose it. So, the struggle over the Iran deal illustrates, as did Jimmy Carter’s Panama Canal Treaty, that Americans are really pretty aggressive in foreign policy. It’s not just a testament to 9/11. We don’t like the nuances of foreign agreements in which we give something up of real value. Americans tend to prefer the clarity of military action. (Jimmy Carter should be a hero for the war in Central America we never fought).
I have said before that the filibuster is an overused, anti-democratic tactic. And the Iranian deal is a perfect example. The American people deserved to have a vote. If the deal is that bad, let the people see who supported it. And, if the deal proves good, let the people see who voted to kill it. The Presidential veto would have been sustained and the ultimate effect would have been the same.