This may be the single most brazen lie he’s told since the glory days of “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” In fact, I might go one better than that. For sheer lack of believability, this may be the most transparent garbage he’s pushed at the public since he assured voters in 2008 that he had no choice as a deeply religious man but to oppose gay marriage because “God’s in the mix.” No one took him seriously then. No one’s taking him seriously on this either.
And by “no one,” I include former Obama administration staffers in that. Even Team Hopenchange is now worried about a gigantic Obama/Kerry sellout to Iran.
Over his 30-year political career, Kerry has long been knocked for delivering more talk than results. Achieving a nuclear deal he first began pursuing even before he became secretary of state could redefine his place in history.
And that, Republican critics, foreign officials, and even some ex-administration officials say, is a big problem. Kerry’s eagerness for a deal, they argue, risks that the Iranians will seduce him into a bad one.
“I don’t know how anyone who has observed Kerry over the past two years would think differently,” says a former administration official who worked on Iran issues.
He can’t stop Putin, he can’t get Israelis and Palestinians to the table, but he’s going to make rapprochement with Iran work one painstaking sellout at a time. Go read Stephen Hayes’s compendium at the Weekly Standard of how far the goalposts have moved, inch by inch, since the Obama White House first began laying down terms for a nuclear settlement with Iran several years ago. If they make a deal on nukes, it’s a fait accompli that Kerry will start prodding his new friend Javad Zarif to see what the terms of a “grand bargain” with Iran that formally restores diplomatic relations between the two countries might look like. (“Do it now or you’ll never have a chance under a Republican president,” Kerry might tell him.) Frankly, a nuclear sellout in which sanctions are lifted immediately and Iran gets to keep its military sites away from UN inspectors makes more sense with a grand bargain than without. If you’re going to bless the idea of Shiite fanatics having nuclear weapons, you’d better make nice with them.
Anyway, I hope O enjoys the little job approval bounce he’s getting this week while it lasts.
CNN Poll: Approval of Obama's handling of Iran plummets twenty net points in two months, falling to 38-58. Was even at 48% in April.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) June 30, 2015
Exit question: If Obama’s prepared to walk away, why did he and Kerry extend the deadline for talks from today to July 7? Iran’s had month upon month to come around to our terms knowing full well that the deadline for a final deal was (supposedly) June 30. They refused to concede. So we’re giving them another chance. Why? You know why. A bad deal is better than no deal.