A more confident president wouldn’t tar opponents as stooges and idiots

Apparently not. Apparently, the president figures that the politics work better when he projects Olympian confidence about his diplomacy than when he acknowledges some measure of uncertainty. Apparently, he thinks it’s wiser to tar opponents of the deal as partisans or idiots or paid stooges than to engage them as sincere, thoughtful people who came to their own conclusions. Apparently, he thinks there’s nothing amiss in suggesting that the only thing standing between the present moment and the broad, sunlit uplands of a denuclearized Iran is the Jewish state and its warmongering Beltway lobbyists.

That slur in particular was the loudest dog whistle heard in Washington since Pat Buchanan said in 1990 that the Gulf War —advocated by columnists like Abe Rosenthal and Charles Krauthammer—would be fought by “American kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales and Leroy Brown.” Then again, Mr. Buchanan wasn’t the president.

It says something about the crassness of Mr. Obama’s approach that the New York Times noted that allies of the president fear he “has gone overboard in criticizing” opponents of the deal. But it also says something about the weakness of his deal. Right behind Mr. Obama’s salesmanship is a battalion of apologists who admit that the deal is a stinker but the realistic alternatives may be worse—particularly when there’s no hope of Mr. Obama’s punishing Iran should it sprint toward a bomb in the wake of the deal’s collapse.