Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) invited Donald Trump to join him at a Capitol Hill rally in opposition to the Iran deal, and the leading Republican presidential hopeful accepted. Yesterday, organizers added a similar figure to complete the triumvirate.
Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck is joining 2016 presidential contenders Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at a “Stop the Iran Deal Rally” at the Capitol on Sept. 9.The rally, organized by the Tea Party Patriots, Center for Security Policy, and Zionist Organization of America, takes place a day after lawmakers return from their recess and ahead of a vote on the deal.
In a statement, Tea Party Patriots CEO and co-founder Jenny Beth Martin boasted, “Glenn Beck’s decision to speak on September 9th at the Stop the Iran Deal Rally underlines the momentum behind the movement to stop President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.”
In reality, of course, the opposite is true. Supporters of international diplomacy appear to have all of the “momentum” – new Democratic proponents announce their endorsement every day – and the fact that conservative event organizers persuaded a far-right media personality to attend an event isn’t all that impressive.
It is, however, excellent news for those who hope to see the diplomatic agreement move forward.
Remember, as we discussed last week, the key votes in this fight will be Democratic – the right can’t kill the agreement on its own. Republicans will need a minimum of 13 Democratic senators and 44 Democratic House members. As of this morning, the GOP is far short of both goals.
And next week’s right-wing gathering on Capitol Hill will almost certainly discourage on-the-fence Dems from siding with the far-right. As the vote nears, wavering Democrats will have to take a side – they can vote with the White House, nearly every U.S. ally on the planet, nuclear experts, diplomatic experts, and Republican elder statesmen. Or they can side with Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the Tea Party Patriots.
If you’re Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and you’re genuinely conflicted, which of those two camps seems more credible?
Iran deal critics had a strong incentive to make their appeals as broad and bipartisan as possible, but the Republicans’ outreach muscle atrophied quite a while ago. It seems conservatives no longer know how to try to persuade Democrats, so they don’t even try.