Last night (6 August 2015), Senator Charles M. Schumer (D-N.Y.) electrified official Washington and likely American Jewry also. He said he would oppose the Iran deal on nuclear development. But does his vote against the Iran deal really count? The White House boasts it can win without him.
Schumer becomes a shomer?
Recall what many Jewish and other supporters of Israel said of Schumer two weeks ago. (Our own contributor, Joan Swirsky, set that forth in detail.) “Schumer is not a shomer!” they said. Meaning: Chuck Schumer talks loudly and insists he will protect Israel. But as of two weeks ago, he had not decided whether to support or oppose the Iran deal.
Last night he separately told The New York Times and CNN he would vote for a resolution to disapprove the Iran deal. And he gave this salient reason: Iran will not change. The deal will let them get rid of sanctions and still develop The Bomb. And after ten years, he says, the Iran deal will make the world worse off, not better off.
He pointedly addressed Barack Obama’s “Iran deal or war” speech, though without talking about the speech itself. He said he did not like war any better, nor think diplomacy a bad path. But he seemed to deem diplomacy futile when dealing with Iran.
The excuse-making begins
Current and former White House aides, according to CNN, criticized Schumer almost at once. But half those who spoke about Schumer seemed to contradict the other half. Said Jon Favreau, who once wrote speeches at the White House:
Chuck Schumer, who said it was a mistake to pass Obamacare, now comes out again the Iran Deal. This is our next Senate leader?
But White House officials insisted Schumer came out against the Iran deal, only after he knew one-third-plus-one Democrats would support it in the Senate.
The White House might be taking a risk they don’t want to take with that arithmetic. Representative Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also plans to vote against the Iran deal.
Besides: whatever made him say it, Chuck Schumer said some true things about the Iran deal, and Iran itself. Iran will not change. A cadre of Twelvers (who look for the Twelfth Imam, who disappeared as a boy of five, to return to the world stage, maybe as Iran’s new supreme leader) governs Iran now. (Schumer did not say why Iran will not change. Which is: the United States had the chance to change Iran in 2009. And worse than blew it.) Iran will use this deal to get rid of sanctions and still “get The Bomb.” And the world will face greater danger with the Iran deal than without it.
Even if Barack Obama gets his deal, he’ll now have to get it without the support of a prominent Jewish voice in the Senate. Obama should blame himself for that, for surrounding himself with so many Muslim advisers and other officials. Sooner or later someone had to notice. And even Chuck Schumer would have to listen. And think.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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