For opponents of the international nuclear agreement with Iran, there’s been a not-so-subtle push to draw sharp partisan lines around the entire debate. The strategy has largely backfired – Republicans needed Democratic allies, who were curiously pushed away – but just as importantly, it’s also built on a bogus foundation.
Because, whether the right likes it or not, the GOP’s elder statesmen keep announcing their support for the diplomatic solution.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed support for the nuclear agreement with Iran on Sunday, calling the various planks Iranian leaders accepted “remarkable” and dismissing critics’ concerns over its implementation.“It’s a pretty good deal,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Powell, a veteran of the Bush/Cheney administration and the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, described the provisions of the Iran deal as “remarkable” and praised the “very vigorous verification regime [that] has been put into place.”
And though it may seem at a distance as if Republicans are unanimous in their opposition to the policy, the evidence to the contrary is hard to ignore. Powell joins a respected club of GOP proponents of the international agreement, including former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Brent Scowcroft, a veteran National Security Advisor to several Republican presidents, who also served as the chairman of George W. Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; and former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Max Fisher recently explained, “What we’re really seeing here are the last vestiges of a Reagan/HW Bush-era Republican Party that took foreign policy seriously on its merits.”
Agreed. These foreign-policy grown-ups have taken a good long look at the Iran deal; they’ve heard all the arguments from congressional Republicans; and they’ve decided to back the White House’s policy.
Of course, it’s not just respected, high-profile Republicans who continue to throw their backing to the policy; the list of wavering Democrats who are also siding in favor of the Iran deal is also growing. The Miami Herald first reported over the weekend:
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, who heads the national Democratic Party, has announced she will support the controversial Iran nuclear deal that is a top priority for President Barack Obama but has faced widespread voter criticism, including in Florida.In a five-and-a-half page statement released exclusively to the Miami Herald on Sunday morning, Wasserman Schultz wrote that after wrestling with the agreement she still has concerns but will support it.
Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, was under intense pressure from more than one direction. Nevertheless, the Florida Democrat wrote in a lengthy statement, “I am confident that the decision that I am making with the information I have is the correct one.”