The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the ongoing negotiations with Iran. The Washington Free Beacon has obtained the audio of a talk to progressive activists last January by Deputy National Security Adviser and MFA in creative writing Ben Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes told the group that a deal with Iran is very important to President Obama as he attempts to establish some sort of positive legacy. Unfortunately, as is usual with this administration, President Obama is willing to take some shortcuts.
The article reports:
“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.”
The article concludes:
According to Rhodes’ logic, any move by the Americans that strengthens the hardliners at the expense of the other two groups decreases the chances of a deal. Our foreign policy is left hamstrung, in a vain and counterproductive and quite likely futile attempt to put Obama in the history books as the man who reestablished ties between the United States and Iran.
A Republican Congress would not only find itself ignored by the White House. It would find itself powerless to stop détente. The Democratic Congress voted repeatedly for timelines for withdrawal from Iraq. Bush vetoed them. Obama would do the same.
But there is one x-factor: Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, whose anti-Americanism is as deep as his Shiite radicalism. He has thwarted the ambitions of past American presidents who hoped to reconcile our two nations. There is no reason to assume he has had a change of heart. He is as aware as anyone of the president’s waning political fortunes.
Repudiated, isolated, ineffective, stymied, Obama cannot persuade the Iranians of the strength of the American position. So he will move as far as he can in the direction of the Iranian one. Unable to make Iran pro-American, he will settle for making America pro-Iranian. It is part of his dismal, pathetic, ill considered, shortsighted, and injurious “legacy.”
For the sake of America, I hope Congress will have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to any attempt to allow Iran to go forward with its nuclear program.