The tiresome, partisan New York Times editorial board is terribly unhappy with Republicans, which means it's a day ending in 'y.' This time, they're upset over vigorous, substantive opposition to the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, which they cast as borderline treasonous:
The exaggerations and half-truths that some Republicans are using to derail President Obama‘s important and necessary nuclear deal with Iran are beyond ugly. Invoking the Holocaust, Mike Huckabee, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, has accused Mr. Obama of marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.” Tom Cotton, a senator from Arkansas, has compared Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped negotiate the deal, to Pontius Pilate. What should be a thoughtful debate has been turned into a vicious battle against Mr. Obama, involving not just the Republicans but Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The unseemly spectacle of lawmakers siding with a foreign leader against their own commander in chief has widened an already dangerous breach between two old allies. Policy considerations aside, what is most striking about the demagoguery is how ahistorical, if not downright hypocritical, it is. Negotiating with adversaries to advance a more stable world has long been a necessity, and Republican presidents have been among its most eager practitioners.
Because the Times' editors and Democratic lawmakers were famously loyal to the previous Commander-in-Chief, right? Benjamin Netanyahu believes the accord profoundly endangers his country's safety; many Republicans agree, and have also concluded that the deal imperils the United States. President Obama likes to tout other foreign leaders' support for the agreement, even pressing British Prime Minister David Cameron to lobby the Senate on its behalf. Is this an "unseemly spectacle," too? An American politician siding with foreign leaders over his own Congress? It's a nonsense argument, designed to re-imagine principled opposition on a crucial issue as illegitimate and unpatriotic nihilism. End of Discussion. It's also amusing that the Times editorial explicitly sets aside "policy considerations," which are the entire basis for most opponents' critiques, in order to showcase the brilliant insight that past Republican presidents have engaged in diplomacy with US adversaries. They present this as a "gotcha." It's nothing of the sort. Republicans aren't opposed to fruitful and productive negotiations that advance American interests and make the world safer and more stable. They're opposed to lopsided agreements that give away the store to fanatical terrorist regimes while actively destabilizing the world. The editorial also ignores the substantial cohort of Democrats who are assailing the accord as weak and unacceptable. The Times would like its readers to believe that opposition to the deal is just another partisan project from wild-eyed know-nothing Republicans. In fact, it's serious, informed and bipartisan.
The Times concludes that the "preponderance of responsible opinion" supports the agreement as "the best way to ensure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon." This assertion ignores the bipartisan group of foreign policy heavyweights -- including multiple former Obama administration officials -- who've laid out 'red line' Western demands that must never be conceded to Iran. The White House crossed every one of them. It ignores nuclear experts who've spoken out against inspections loopholes, and who've debunked Obama's central defense of the deal. And it ignores the overriding point, effectively admitted by the president himself, that at best, this agreement delays Iran's nuclearization by a number of years. It does not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; it virtually guarantees it, while bestowing the West's blessing on Iran's rogue program, breathing life into the regime's economy, funding their international terrorism, and easing restrictions on other illicit endeavors. The administration has given Iran almost everything it could have dreamed of, secured precious little in return, and moved its own goalposts dramatically. Republicans are treacherous for noticing, it seems. One wonders what the Times editors think of Iran's cheating, Obama's previous false assurances -- or this:
Amano's trip comes amid Iranian accusations that Washington is violating the deal by suggesting that that the enhanced IAEA surveillance would bring the benefit of making any potential attack on Tehran's atomic program more potent. Reza Najafi, the IAEA's chief Iranian delegate, quoted White House spokesman Josh Earnest as saying that would result in more pinpointed U.S. or Israeli military action against Iran — if needed — "because we'd been spending the intervening number of years gathering significantly more detail about Iran's nuclear program."
When in doubt, blame the Israelis. The Times editors can't be pleased with these numbers, which we'll explore in further detail later: