The more pertinent question is: would Schumer have taken this position if he were the decisive vote or if he had any legitimate shot at helping override President Obama’s veto of a motion disapproving the deal? It seems doubtful. In fact, it seems like Schumer waited long enough to make sure his vote wouldn’t matter much, if at all. Just ponder this statement: “There are some who believe that I can force my colleagues to vote my way,” Schumer wrote in another statement. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion.”
What does this even mean? Is there a time that politicians don’t come to their own conclusions or vote according to their own consciences? Does Schumer normally force other Senators to cast votes in a certain way? If Schumer believes Iranian hardliners are exploiting Obama’s deal to further their goal of obtaining a nuclear arsenal, and this reality is of “great consequence,” doesn’t he have a moral obligation to be a bit more persuasive—or at least as enthusiastic as he’s been on an array of far less consequential issues over the years?
Because, really, what costs does Schumer face if he opposes Obama on Iran but does nothing concrete to change the outcome? His constituents wouldn’t blame him for opposing a deal. No one would challenge him at home. The more people know about this deal, and the less vague the questions pollster ask are, the more Americans dislike it—and that’s exactly why the administration is consigned to offer false choices and ugly insinuations.