Democrats plan to thwart democracy to get bad Iran deal done
A “staggering betrayal” is how one pro-Israel activist in Washington describes any use by the Democrats of a filibuster to prevent the Iran deal from getting a full vote next month in the Senate.Such a move should lead to another wipe out of Democrats in 2016. It would be well deserved. Ruling against the will of the people on a matter of national security should be repudiated at the polls.
That is emerging as the goal of the backers of President Obama’s contract with the mullahs. They want to block the measure from getting a vote in the Senate at all, which would leave Obama with a free hand to release billions to the Tehran regime.
The activist, Omri Ceren, who is The Israel Project’s managing director and has been working the story for months, says that would be a “stab in the face.” He notes that “Americans by a 2-1 margin want Congress to reject the bad Iran deal.”
The pro-Israel community, he says, has “worked in a bipartisan fashion with Congress to give the president breathing room for negotiations while protecting legislative prerogatives.” He thinks the Senate Democrats therefore owe Americans an up-or-down vote.
As this drama drags on, however, it’s not all that clear that we’ll see that vote. For it to take place, 60 senators must agree to cloture. At the moment, The Washington Post counts only 57 senators against or leaning against the deal.
This could change, of course. Only 33 senators are for or leaning for the deal. That leaves 10 undecided.
If it does go to a vote, and the Senate votes to reject the pact, the president could veto it. At that point, even more votes against the deal would be needed to override. So it’s none too soon to think about what happens after.
One possibility is a round of recriminations among supporters of the Jewish state. Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu misplay his hand? Did the American Israel Public Affairs Committee blunder by announcing a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign?
Already some are complaining that such a boast energized Iran’s supporters. For my part, I wouldn’t waste a New York nanosecond on that kind of handwringing. No opponent of this deal — least of all Israel’s elected leadership — is going to owe anyone an apology.
Moreover, if Obama fails to win a simple majority of either the Senate or the House or both, a startling situation is going to emerge. The administration is going to have to implement a pact that voters couldn’t block but still oppose.