Why GOP Congressional Leaders Support the Iran Deal in Fact: Follow the Money
“Why on earth would Republicans do that?” That is a question I’ve been asked at least a dozen times since illustrating that the GOP has played a cynical game in connection with President Obama’s Iran deal. “Follow the money” is a common answer to questions about political motivation. It may not explain everything in this case, but it is certainly relevant.
This spring, Republican leadership colluded with the White House and congressional Democrats to enact a law — the Corker-Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act — that guaranteed Obama would be authorized to lift sanctions against Iran (the main objective of the terrorist regime in Tehran). The rigged law authorized Obama to lift sanctions as long as Republicans could not pass a resolution of disapproval.
As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, and other GOP leaders well knew, there was no way they would ever be able to enact a disapproval resolution over Obama’s veto. But the process choreographed by Corker-Cardin meant they would be able to complain about the deal and vote to disapprove it — thereby creating the impression that they were staunchly against the lifting of sanctions that they had already authorized.
Why on earth would Republicans do that? Well, their incentive to obscure the earlier approval vote with the theater of a futile disapproval process is clear: The Iran deal is intensely unpopular among the GOP’s base supporters, just as it is unpopular across the country. Incumbents who hope to be reelected want to be perceived as staunch opponents of the things their constituents abhor. But why isn’t this perception the reality — why wouldn’t GOP congressional leaders actually be staunch opponents? Why wouldn’t they zealously use their every power to stop the deal?
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