A fun bit of cunning from Kurt Schlichter that deserves more attention. If Mitch McConnell finds himself stuck in the low to mid-60s on votes to override Obama’s nuke treaty with Iran, here’s a poison pill guaranteed to shake loose a few extra Democrats and get him the 67 he needs.
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) March 21, 2015
As of last year there were 10 countries that made homosexuality a capital offense. Iran, of course, is one of them. The left’s not going to run away from Obama’s big nuclear sellout over something as trivial as Khamenei leading “death to America” chants in Tehran — what self-respecting Social Justice Warrior could fail to see the merits of that? — but remind them that gays are apt to be hanged in public as spectacle in Iran and it might bring them up short. It’s one thing for a regime committed to wiping Israel off the map to have atomic bombs, but hanging people for the crime of being gay? Now they’ve really crossed a line. And of course, having Republicans spearhead this bill would discombobulate Pelosi and Reid insofar as Democrats pride themselves on leading the charge for gay rights. Bad enough that they haven’t proposed a bill like this, but to actually oppose the dreaded, retrograde GOP in passing it? Unimaginable. They’d have to sign on.
Or would they? The catch to Schlichter’s otherwise ingenious proposal is that Iran’s not the only country to punish gays with death. Two others are, er, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, ostensible allies with whom the U.S. will have lots of future business. If McConnell brought the Schlichter bill to the floor, Democrats could try to make Republicans choke on it by amending the bill to include Iraq and Saudi Arabia as well. Would the GOP support a bill like that, knowing that pulling America’s support for those two countries could imperil the governments in each? “Doesn’t matter,” you might say, “because Schlichter’s idea refers specifically to executive agreements. The U.S. government could still do business with all three countries so long as Congress gets to approve any deals.” Right, but if you pass a bill which establishes a baseline of not doing business with countries that hang gays, then Congress would be left in the position of granting exemptions to that rule every time the White House wanted to make a deal with one of those nations on some policy matter. No one in Congress, Democrat or Republican, wants to take a tough vote that explicitly excuses draconian penalties for homosexuality whenever we have business with Iraq or Saudi Arabia (or Iran). Congressional cowardice will stop them from doing the right thing here.
Or maybe we’re overestimating Reid and Pelosi. The left was willing to look the other way at Obama’s pretend opposition to gay marriage in 2008; why wouldn’t they cover his back on nuclear negotiations with Iran by filibustering a bill like this? They could plead basic consistency: If we’re willing to buddy up with two barbaric regimes in Riyadh and Baghdad, there’s no sense being tough on Tehran. Remember, apart from ISIS, the only truly evil actor in the Middle East these days among America’s smart set is Bibi Netanyahu. Exit question via Philip Klein:
Does Obama take Khamenei at his word when he calls for death to America? if so, why are we negotiating? If not, why are we negotiating?
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) March 23, 2015