Yesterday President Obama gave a speech at American University in an attempt to further sell the Iranian deal to the American people and Congress. The deal, which isn't a treaty and can be ignored by the next president, has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans for lacking in substance, enforcement and detail. But regardless of bipartisan opposition, Obama took his international opportunity yesterday to compare skeptical Republicans with Iranian "hardliners" chanting death to America in the streets.
"Just because Iranian hard-liners chant 'death to America' does not mean that that's what all Iranians believe. In fact, it's those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status qou. It's those hard-liners chanting ‘death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus,” Obama said.
As Matt wrote yesterday, the comparison is absurd. But further, it isn't just some Democrats who are opposed or skeptical to the deal. In fact, it's some of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate.
After the speech, commenters noted how the president did this speech to possibly stop the bleeding on his own side of the aisle. Today, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), the highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in the House said he was a “no” vote on the deal, according to the Hill. They also report that Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) are joining him in opposition. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has signaled he might vote against the deal. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has been skeptical as well, saying that the Iran deal “preserves” its nuclear program. Moreover, ABC News reported in July that the deal made the New Jersey Democrat “anxious.”
Yet, Schumer is the highest-ranking Jewish Senator, and he’s probably going to be the Democrats’ leader in the Senate upon Harry Reid’s retirement. As the LA Times noted, if he decides to go against Obama, he will take a lot of Democrats with him.
Last time I checked Republicans weren't stoning women, killing Americans and Israelis through a world-wide terror network, chanting death to America or hanging gay men in the public square. Those are of course regular actions taken by the Iranian regime. Obama's efforts to paint Republicans as extremists on par with Iranian Mullahs only does a disservice to the Iranians whose human rights are being violated inside the terror regime daily.
Finally, when President Obama argues not all Iranians believe in chanting "death to America," he forgets to acknowledge his incredible 2009 failure of choosing to do nothing when pro-western Iranian students protested against the hardline regime in an effort to overturn it.
During their brutally suppressed protests in 2009, Iranian freedom fighters sent the White House an urgent memo calling for help. Under Obama, America ignored it.
'So now, at this pivotal point in time, it is up to the countries of the free world to make up their mind," Iranian opposition leaders told the Obama administration in an eight-page memo in 2009. "Will they continue on the track of wishful thinking and push every decision to the future until it is too late, or will they reward the brave people of Iran and simultaneously advance the Western interests and world peace."
President Obama made his choice, and like so often before it was to vote "present."
The memo, written by leaders of Iran's Green Party after the summer 2009 anti-government demonstrations, was obtained by the Washington Examiner.
Congress will vote on the Iranian deal after the August recess.