Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Has McConnell Found The Hook For "Going Nuclear" Over Iran "Deal"?

by JASmius

I'll won't believe it even if I see it.  Tomorrow is Barack Obama's Corker-Menendez deadline for congressional action, Senate Democrats have successfully run out the clock, and it's all over but the....well, no, the crowing will never be over until the Iranian atomic bombs start to fall, but you get the idea.

But I suppose for some of us, hope insists upon springing eternal:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to force Democrats to walk the line on the Iran nuclear agreement, teeing up a vote on a contentious amendment on the deal.

The Republican leader scheduled a procedural vote on an amendment that would block [Barack] Obama from lifting sanctions against Iran under the nuclear deal until Iran publicly supports Israel and releases Americans currently held in Iranian prisons.

Under Senate rules, the vote would occur Thursday, which is also the deadline for Congress to pass legislation on the Iran nuclear agreement.

In other words, this amendment prohibits Obama from lifting sanctions period, because Iran will never comply with its two demands.  Which is why Obama would veto it if it ever got to his desk and why Harry (G)Reid will filibuster it to death as well.  21% public approval rates of O's "deal" with the mullahs didn't make Senate Donks too squeamish to filibuster the GOP disapproval resolution; why would the fate of the four U.S. Bible-thumpers he's left to rot in Iranian jails be any more likely to move them to at least allow a vote on a bill that has no chance of making it into law?  Clearly congressional conservatives are overestimating the PR damage they can do to the Dems by these, admittedly, tried and true tactics.

Or, put another way, their (mostly) predecessors didn't give a rat's ass about fifty-three American hostages in Iran thirty-five years ago; why would today's Jackasses get all worked up over a mere quartet of them?  And remember, there will never be any media campaign against them as there always is the Republicans in similar circumstances.

Which is why McConnell using this amendment as grounds for nuking the filibuster - even if he was capable of doing so - would most likely prove a PR disaster for the GOP:

Multiple House Republicans want Senate leaders to “go nuclear” over the Obama administration’s deal with Iran now that Democrats have stymied efforts to derail the accord by conventional means.

A small but growing number of GOP lawmakers say that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) should invoke the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules and prevent a filibuster on a resolution to kill the deal. …

“This was something with the Iran deal, the fact that it didn’t get debated, it didn’t get voted on — there’s a lot of people that are very, very upset about this,” said Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL16) in an interview on Tuesday, a day after he sent a letter asking McConnell to change the Senate’s rules.

Buchanan said that he wants to see the upper chamber eliminate the filibuster entirely, though others are calling for a more modest step to get rid of the procedural holdup only in specific cases, such as with the Iran deal.

Representative Steven Palazzo (R-MS4) wrote a letter to McConnell last week calling for a change in rules for the Iran bill. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX21) — chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee — is currently circulating a letter among fellow lawmakers with a similar call.

“Some pieces of legislation, like the Iran nuclear deal, are simply so consequential that they demand revisions to the Senate’s procedures,” Smith wrote in the draft letter.

Please don't misunderstand me, folks, I wholeheartedly support selective abolition of the filibuster - on judicial confirmations, as should have been done back in 2005, and certainly on this deal-that's-a-treaty that puts the U.S. and its allies in mortal peril of nuclear annihilation.  We control both Houses of Congress and Barack Obama should at minimum be compelled to put his veto where his big, fat mouth is.

But I'll remind everybody that nuking filibusters would never have been necessary if the Republican majorities on Capitol Hill had not forfeited the Senate's Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 treaty ratification power last spring - nearly unanimously, if you'll recall.  Which leads to their current pathetic squalor wherein they passed Corker-Menendez to create the illusion that they had a say in whether or not the "deal" would be implemented, and now they're not even being allowed to vote on a disapproval resolution that would be vetoed anyway and ignored if the veto ever was overridden.

Or, in other words, the same spot they were in pre-Corker-Menendez.

I'd wager "GOP Failure Theater" is going to become as big a cinematic universe as Marvel's.  Maybe Mitchie The Kid can play a ninja turtle....

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