Should Chuck Schumer’s position on the Iranian nuclear deal make us rethink his becoming the next leader of the Democrats in the Senate? After all, he isn’t doing what many pundits thought he would: just voting against it but not lobbying other Senators. He is instead actively lobbying other Senators. It’s a concern, because I am really worried about the deal. The thing is that the deal is a no-brainer. And the arguments make no sense. And as Josh Marshall pointed out last week, Schumer isn’t stupid. So why is he standing against the deal?
I’ve come to the conclusion that being against the deal has nothing whatsoever to do with the Iranian nuclear program. It is simple bigotry. The people against the deal just hate Iran and they are against this deal because it is good for Iran. It isn’t just that it helps the country economically. It also establishes it as a regular country. Over time, I’m sure the international reputation of Iran will be improved because of this deal. This is what those who are against the deal are actually against. They really don’t care about nuclear weapons. In fact, they probably think Iran having nuclear weapons will further isolate it.
To a large extent, this bigotry toward Iran is just a bank shot off Israel. The Israeli government wants to do everything it can to hurt Iran, and so many in the US follow along. I really do think that Israel is being shortsighted about this. This deal is good for Israel in the long term. Of course, it may not be good for the current Israeli regime. But who cares about that? And if Schumer had to admit to that — that his real concern is for Likud and not Israel — he would be laughed out of polite company.
This isn’t just about Schumer, of course. There is no sense in any argument against this deal if your actual concern is nuclear proliferation. So the real reason that people are against the deal is simply because they are against Iran. And look: I’m no fan of the current Iranian regime. But I am a friend of the Iranian people. And as we’ve seen over the last 50 years with Cuba, playing this kind of petty game doesn’t cause regimes to fall. It just makes the people’s lives worse without any up side — to anyone at all.
So I’m with Josh Marshall: I think Chuck Schumer should be disqualified for the job of the Democrat’s Senate leader. It’s certainly not because he disagrees with the president. I am very much in favor of that. We aren’t authoritarians like the Republicans. And it isn’t because I disagree with him. It is that his argument makes no sense on its own terms. And the only way to explain that is to see that — just like every single Republican in Congress — he’s just a hate monger who can’t see past his own rage and support a deal that ultimately is in everyone’s best interest. Yes, let’s dump Schumer.