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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

'The Obamacare of the second term'

In a tape uncovered by the Washington Free Beacon, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes tells a private meeting of 'progressive activists' how the Obama administration intends to circumvent Congress to make a deal on Iran's nuclear program (you can hear the tape here).
"Bottom line is, this is the best opportunity we’ve had to resolve the Iranian issue diplomatically, certainly since President Obama came to office, and probably since the beginning of the Iraq war,” Rhodes said. “So no small opportunity, it’s a big deal. This is probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy. This is healthcare for us, just to put it in context.”
Rhodes made the comparison as the White House was reeling from the botched rollout of the $2 billion Healthcare.gov. Polls continue to show that the health law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, remains unpopular.
Rhodes also said the White House wants to avoid congressional scrutiny of any deal.
“We’re already kind of thinking through, how do we structure a deal so we don’t necessarily require legislative action right away,” Rhodes said. “And there are ways to do that.”
That is similar to what an unnamed senior administration official told David Sanger of the New York Times last week for a piece headlined “Obama Sees an Iran Deal That Could Avoid Congress”: “We wouldn’t seek congressional legislation in any comprehensive agreement for years.”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz denied the Times story. But it is not as though the Obama White House has fallen out of love with executive action.
Matthew Continetti is seriously concerned.
And I am going to express fear. Fear that the chances of some sort of dangerous and misguided détente with Iran are high, and that they increase if Republicans capture the Senate and improve their majority in the House. Fear that the worse things get for Obama at home, the better the odds that he will hand the keys of the Middle East to Ayatollah Khamenei.

Fear that Obama sees an Iran deal not just as health care reform for the second term, but as his version of George W. Bush’s surge: a Hail Mary pass thrown in the fourth quarter in a long-shot attempt to salvage a legacy.

Bush ordered the surge despite having just lost an election. Obama is on the verge of losing another. And Obama will be no different from Bush in the pursuit of his desired ends.

Iran is Obama’s Iraq. It occupies the same place in the thinking of his administration that Iraq held in his predecessor’s. The desire for détente with Iran, for comity and diplomatic accord between longtime enemies, for a new Middle East in which security is left to regional stakeholders, and Shiite and Sunni alike see the United States as “evenhanded” in its treatment of Israelis and Palestinians, holds immense sway over the alliance of progressives and realists that conduct American foreign policy. It has for a decade.
He's not the only one who's concerned. Here's the Weekly Standard's Steve Hayes on Fox News.

Let's go to the videotape.

I have to disagree with one thing Hayes said. Hayes said that Obama would regret making a deal to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.
“A top U.S. official boasting about having stopped an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities are not going to look good when Iran has a nuke.”
I disagree. Obama is betting that by the time Iran threatens to use or uses a nuclear weapon on the United States, Obama will be out of office and will not be blamed.

What could go wrong? 

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