Congress has until September 17 to complete their review of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, but a new Pew Research poll shows that the American people have already spoken. Support for the deal has dwindled considerably in the last couple of months, with only 21 percent of Americans now claiming to approve of the deal. That’s down from 33 percent in July, and Democrats are largely responsible for the plummeting numbers. Among them, support has fallen from 50 percent to only 42 percent. Obama, more than ever, is out on a limb with this one.
The poll numbers come as opponents of the deal gathered on the National Mall Wednesday for a Tea Party rally. Luminaries included Sarah Palin, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Speaking to Breitbart, rally organizer Jenny Beth Martin said the time was right to let Congress know what Americans thought of the deal.
“We hope that Congress, especially the senators who have come out in favor of the deal, will vote to put America and America’s security above party loyalty,” said Martin.
Trump himself went a step further, slamming the deal in a USA Today op-ed:
It is hard to believe a president of the United States would actually put his name on an agreement with the terrorist state Iran that is so bad, so poorly constructed and so terribly negotiated that it increases uncertainty and reduces security for America and our allies, including Israel.
Well, students of Washington will not find that hard to believe at all. Obama’s name has graced any number of bad deals over the last seven years, though it’s true that this one may prove to be the worst of them. Whenever this president has an opportunity to work directly against the American people, he seizes it. You can draw your own conclusions as to why that is.
But he hasn’t done it alone. He’s done it with the tacit support of congressional Republicans, most of whom lack the integrity necessary to challenge the White House in any meaningful way. It looks like history is about to repeat itself in that respect, as the House GOP devises a strategy on how to best approach the final vote. Conservatives claim they shouldn’t vote until the administration provides them with the details on any “side deals” Tehran has negotiated with inspectors.
Rep. John Fleming said, “Let’s say that something comes out that’s so hideous and so egregious that even Democrats wouldn’t dare go along with this deal. You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Other Republicans, meanwhile, believe it’s a mistake to try these delaying tactics at the last minute. “You know what, I think it’s pretty clear that a month and a half ago we understood that Sept. 17 would be the drop-dead date,” said Rep. Pete Sessions, the House Rules Committee chairman. “And the week we’re doing it is a little bit late to bring up the argument.”
Amen to that. The fact of the matter is that Republicans have lost this one; even if a vote against lifting the sanctions were to pass the Senate – slim as those chances are – it would die a swift death on Obama’s desk. Republicans don’t have the numbers to overturn such a veto, meaning that all of this – every bit of it – is theater. And we’ve had just about enough of this particular show. If this is the best the GOP can do, the need for a major overhaul in the party is clearer than ever.