It has been interesting to watch the debate against the Iran nuclear deal. That’s because it is entirely faith based. No one has anything of substance against it. They constantly say that the alternative to this deal is a “better deal.” Generally, they never say what that better deal would consist of. But when they do, we find out that their “better deal” is one where Iran capitulates not just about everything regarding its nuclear problem but other things as well — like officially declaring support for Zionism. And the truly annoying thing is that even if such a deal came, the same people would reject it because they would say Iran can’t be trusted.
So what we have here is the same old argument that conservatives have always made: they just don’t want a deal of any kind. These were the same people who didn’t want to talk to the Soviet Union and communist China. And they are the people who still don’t want to talk to Cuba. And in none of these cases will they admit to what they really want: war. To them, war should always be like World War II with the total capitulation of the Germans, Italians, and Japanese. I think it comes from some sense that the “good guys” must always vanquish the “bad guys.” I don’t think we need to dig too deep to see the television western roots of such arrested development.
Brian Beutler wrote an excellent response to this last week, Republicans Who Oppose the Iran Deal Are Making Promises They Can’t Keep. He noted that the implication of the “better deal” argument is that they are all for diplomacy, it is just that all the negotiators of the P5+1 are incompetent and gave everything away. If only they had done the negotiations, then Congress would now be voting on the “better deal.”
This is a curious claim coming from people who were against even negotiating with Iran in the first place. What’s more:
Beutler went on to compare the “better deal” line to the Republicans’ constant claims that they will replace Obamacare with a better law. Of course, that better law never shows up. That’s because all this complaining that we can get better laws and better deals is just a stalling tactic. It’s very much like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to a two state solution with Palestine. For years, he’s been claiming that he’s holding out for a better deal. But it’s clear what he’s actually doing: destroying the possibility of any two state solution. Because again: total capitulation is the only kind of “deal” that he thinks is good enough.
The question is how long we as a nation are going to put up with these fantasies from conservatives? I’m the first to admit that Obamacare is suboptimal. I would indeed like to replace it with something better: single payer healthcare. The Republicans want to replace it with something worse: what we had before with some long wished for conservative ideas that have nothing to do with making healthcare better or more available. In the case of the Iran nuclear deal, it’s even worse. If Congress manages to kill this deal, all the other countries will back away from us and side with Iran. And they will be right to do so.