On the Iran Deal: It’s “Bizarre that You Pass Something with a Minority, Especially what is Effectively a Treaty”

David Brooks is a BIG RINO. But on PBS and in the New York Times, he is what passes for a conservative, and at least on the Iran Nuclear Deal he seems to actually be siding with conservatives (which doesn’t happen often). On PBS Brooks was flabbergasted that the Iran Nuclear Deal could move forward without majority support in Congress.

It’s, first of all, bizarre that you pass something with a minority, especially what is effectively a treaty with a minority. Treaties are supposed to be ratified by two-thirds, but now we have got like 42 or whatever it was. But that’s the way the situation was set up.

He is exactly right. It is completely bizarre that the Iran Deal is moving forward.

HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, let’s take a look at the Iran deal.

There were kind of machinations in both sides of Congress this week, one side saying, hey, there’s this opportunity for you to pass this up or down, the other one saying, how about you block, that it not pass this forward?

It was just one of those moments where you realize what are you really voting for and how often is this going to come up? Is this going to become like the Affordable Care Act, where Republicans will continue to try to figure out ways to stop any progress on it?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes.

It’s, first of all, bizarre that you pass something with a minority, especially what is effectively a treaty with a minority. Treaties are supposed to be ratified by two-thirds, but now we have got like 42 or whatever it was. But that’s the way the situation was set up.

And once the Republicans agreed that they only — the Obama — the administration only needed a third of the votes in the Senate to pass the thing, then it was going to be a done deal. He was going to get a third.

And so they got that and a little more. And so the Republicans are going to hang whatever happens in the Middle East on this treaty, and not only whether Iran gets a nuclear option or whether they begin to cheat or fudge with the inspectors, but the most immediate effect and whether it postpones an Iran nuclear program, yes, it probably does.

But there’s an immediate negative effect and that is you’re enriching a power that funds Hezbollah. And so as, for example, Syria deteriorates and if Hezbollah gets stronger, then the Iranian regime will probably be funding it more and more and that will be a knock-off of this deal. And so the Republicans will be able to use that.

I think there’s a legitimate argument against something the administration did that, at least in the short term, destabilized the Middle East…

But on the Iran deal, if we conceded that Iran was going to get a nuclear weapon, that there was no way we could stop them, then maybe this was a good treaty to sign. I don’t think it was important necessarily to concede that. I don’t think it was inevitable. I think we sort of conceded a defeat basically too early, when the sanctions could have avoided that defeat.

But the larger issue here with both the Syrian and the Iranian thing is sometimes when you lean in and do something, you get blamed for it, the Iraq war. Sometimes, when you lean out and don’t do anything, you get blamed for it, Syria.

And so you got to have a foreign policy that is very tied to the circumstance at hand. Is this a smart move in this particular space? My problem, in retrospect, with the Bush administration, they were like leaning in all the time. My problem with the Obama administration is they’re leaning out all the time.

And so neither are that context-specific. And I think that’s just a lesson we have learned from the last two administrations.