With today’s announcement by the president (carried live in Iran, BTW) of a “framework” for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, to be completed by the end of June, we’ll hear an acceleration of cries from Republicans to kill the deal in its cradle, and actual promises from GOP presidential wannabes that they will not honor it if elected.
It’s time for Democrats to go on the offensive, as I argued at the Washington Monthly today:
For those who, like Scott Walker, are already promising to blow up such an agreement on his first day in office, it’s time, as Greg [Sargent] suggests, to ask him what he plans to do about the blowback from our European allies, who, after all, are full participants in the negotiations and will not look kindly on a key signatory cutting and running.
Beyond that, what do the critics think we should do? Seek a different, tougher agreement with different goals (e.g., an Iran with no nuclear capacity at all)? This would almost certainly require that the U.S. go it alone diplomatically. Or are the Scott Walkers of the world ready to follow John Bolton into outfront advocacy of war with Iran? And if that’s the case, where does that leave the fight against IS, which a lot of the same people are anxious to expand as well? Who’s going to replace Iran and its client Iraqi Shia militia in that battle? US troops? Guess we just need to nuke Iran while we are at it, since there are just not enough available boots to put on the ground in both places. Or I guess we could bring back conscription. It’s hard to say, until the critics stop second-guessing Obama and the others negotiating with Iran, and start proving they’ve thought this through beyond tomorrow afternoon.
The sense of outrage Democrats had when Republican senators wrote an open letter to Tehran warning there was no point in negotiating needs to be revived. We’ll need it in the weeks just ahead.