Thousands rally in New York to stop Iran, put Schumer on the spot
If you get your news solely from the New York Times, you may not know this
, but thousands rallied in New York's Times Square on Wednesday night to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, some 10 thousand are rallying in solidarity with signs and voices raised against the nuclear deal.
Protest organizers proclaim: “Washington is prepared to give Iran
virtually all that it needs to get to the bomb. To release $150 billion
to Iran will result in the expansion of worldwide terror.”
The Stop Iran Rally Coalition — which claims to be a bi-partisan
group — is also calling out Sen. Charles Schumer, saying he “has the
votes as presumptive leader to override this deal….If this deal is not
stopped, New York voters will know whom to blame.”
Sen. Schumer said in a statement Wednesday that he wasn’t ready to make a decision on the deal yet.
“I’ve read the agreement and I’m seeking answers to the many
questions I have. Before I make a decision, I’m going to speak at length
with experts on both sides,” the lawmaker said.
Schumer is on the spot
For once, Schumer must choose. But the question is not only what
choice will he make but also whether his attempts to keep his feet
firmly planted in both the pro-Israel camp and that of the
administration can possibly succeed.
Though the administration is seeking with the assistance of left-wing
groups to promote the notion that the Iran deal is good for Israel that
flimsy argument is deceiving no one. The pact grants Western approval
for Iran’s status as a nuclear threshold state enriches it via the
collapse of sanctions and provides few safeguards (a 24-day warning
period for inspections makes promises about monitoring cheating a joke)
against its eventual acquisition of a nuclear weapon once the deal
expires. The deal will not only enable Iran to give more support for
Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists but will assist Tehran’s goal of regional
It is one thing for those whose support for Israel has always been
secondary to their left-wing ideology or pro-Obama partisanship (such as
the J Street lobby or the National Jewish Democratic Council) to
endorse this brazen act of appeasement. For Schumer, a man who has
staked his career on being the shomer (Hebrew for guardian) of Israel’s
security in Congress, it would be a stunning betrayal that he would
never live down.
I'd rather see Schumer make the right decision than squirm. But either way, he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. Being pro-Israel and a Democrat is not easy these days.
It may be that the administration will give Schumer a pass for voting
against the deal provided that he ensures that other Democrats give the
president the votes he needs. But Schumer must also know that his
succession as minority leader may be threatened by a vote against Obama.
The Senate may be the world’s most exclusive club, but it is entirely
possible that his vote will be reason enough for some liberal colleague
to challenge him. Any senator that does so will be counting on the
active support of the party’s increasingly ascendant left wing that
regards Schumer as an ally of Wall Street.
On the other hand, the cost of doing Obama’s bidding could be even
higher for Schumer. New York has become a virtual one-party state and
Schumer faced only token opposition from Republicans while gaining
re-election in 2004 and 2010. But if he were to vote for the Iran deal,
it would virtually guarantee that his 2016 re-election race would become
very interesting if not competitive. While there is no obvious
formidable challenger on the horizon, Schumer knows that the GOP
wouldn’t have much difficulty finding one and that such a person would
have no trouble raising all the money needed for a race that would
become a referendum of Schumer’s possible betrayal of Israel on the Iran
But the real problem for Schumer and other Democrats goes beyond the
danger of alienating pro-Israel donors. Only those so blinded by their
support for Obama fail to see that the Iran deal vote is one of those
rare Congressional decisions that present a clear moral choice. If
Schumer sticks with Obama, that may secure his future as the Democrats’
Senate leader. But if will come at the cost of his reputation as a
defender of Israel and make his seat a lot less safe than it might
And if he isn't reelected in 2016, he never will be the party leader in the Senate.
Labels: Charles Schumer, Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, Senate's treaty powers, United States Senate