Yesterday, the Obama Administration secured enough votes in the U.S. Senate to ensure a historic agreement that blocks Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
After months of painstaking multilateral negotiations to forge a historic nuclear deal, Republicans responded with their usual tactics: childish political stunts, extreme and hateful rhetoric, and a complete abandonment of the facts. Many Republicans in Congress and running for President registered their opposition within minutes of the deal’s announcement instead of taking the time to review the merits of the deal. From the Cotton Letter, signed by 47 Republican senators and supported by every major GOP candidate for president, to today’s rally, the Republicans’ campaign against the Iran deal has been a complete political exercise designed to score press coverage at the expense of a thoughtful discussion on the agreement.
This week, the GOP is putting its most prominent faces forward to oppose this deal – Dick Cheney, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck. But it’s important to remember that the rest of the 2016 presidential field has engaged in the same poisonous political chicanery. Here’s a recap:
- Scott Walker, who once said that taking away workers’ rights prepared him to deal with ISIS and that raising two teenage boys prepared him to deal with Iran, has been happy to answer hypothetical questions about his Iran policy. Scott Walker said he would cancel the deal on day one without support from our allies and even if Iran had been abiding by the terms of the agreement, saying ultimately that he would be willing to take military action against Iran on day one of his presidency.
- Jeb Bush referenced the Holocaust in his opposition to the deal, accusing the Obama administration of “appeasement,” saying that he would “immediately” move to undo the deal.
- Marco Rubio falsely claimed that the deal would force the U.S. to defend Iran in an attack (it wouldn’t), said that President Obama went through with the deal just to “build exhibits for his presidential library,” and vowed that he would rip up the nuclear deal on “day one” of his administration.
- John Kasich, who has called for American boots on the ground in the Middle East, said the Iran deal was “bogus” and that it “has to be reversed.”
- Mike Huckabee said President Obama will “take the Israelis and march them towards the door of the oven,” a hateful and historically inaccurate comment that the Anti-Defamation League called “completely out of line and unacceptable.” Predictably, Republicans rushed to defend him.
“This deal is a historic step forward in the international effort to permanently disarm Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but the Republican response has been one shameful political stunt after another. Instead of working with President Obama to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Republicans in Congress have actively attempted to undermine the administration’s foreign policy objectives and Republican candidates have engaged in extreme and poisonous rhetoric, all for political gain. Today’s rally featuring such foreign policy luminaries as Sarah Palin makes it clear that the Republican Party is more interested in partisan stunts and political games than actual discussion.” – Eric Walker, DNC Spokesperson