January 17th, 2019


Obama Wants Debate on Iran Deal. Just Kidding

Bernard Goldberg

By Bernard Goldberg

Published July 17, 2015

Obama Wants Debate on Iran Deal. Just Kidding

We all remember Barack Obama's bold promise on the eve of the election in 2008, when he said he would "fundamentally" transform the United States if he were elected president. Don't say he didn't warn us.

And he has gone about making good on his promise in many ways.

He started with the so-called Affordable Care Act, which he rammed through Congress without a single Republican vote — a massive bulk of legislation that was based on a slick marketing campaign about how we could keep our doctor and health plan if we liked them, which turned out to be untrue for millions of Americans. And there was the promise that our premiums would go down. Instead they're going up — and in some cases faster than even a lot of critics thought.

There were Mr. Obama's new ideas about getting our economic house in order, which mainly consisted of a nearly $1 trillion stimulus plan that didn't stimulate very much and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. But after more than six years in office, the economic recovery is still only limping along. As for the national debt, when Mr. Obama came into office it was around $10 trillion. When he leaves it'll be about double that. How's that for fundamentally transforming the United States of America?

And he wanted to pump life into the long-neglected middle class. Since he's been president middle class incomes have gone down, not up.

He wanted to transform America by ending the long war in Iraq and so he didn't push for a deal that would have left some American troops there to maintain stability. Now we have an unstable Iraq and something new — the Islamic State.

As the visionary he believes he is, he determined that climate change was Public Enemy Number One and unleashed the EPA on the coal industry. He has refused to green light the XL pipeline project. He spent truckloads of money on solar energy companies that went bankrupt.

He bypassed Congress and issued an executive order allowing illegal immigrants to stay in this country without fear of deportation.

He snubbed Congress again when he opened diplomatic relations with Cuba and didn't push for an end to political repression in that country.

And now, we have a deal with Iran — a deal that may very well transform America, and not in a good way.

But let's set aside for now whether the deal with Iran is, as Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu called it, an "historic mistake" — an assessment on which just about all Republicans and some Democrats concur. And let's focus instead on something President Obama told the American people during his remarks on national television right after the deal was made.

Mr. Obama acknowledged that, "on such a tough issue, it is important that the American people and their representatives in Congress get a full opportunity to review the deal. After all, the details matter. And we've had some of the finest nuclear scientists in the world working through those details. And we're dealing with a country — Iran — that has been a sworn adversary of the United States for over 35 years. So I welcome a robust debate in Congress on this issue, and I welcome scrutiny of the details of this agreement."

Too bad he didn't mean any of it, because here's what else the president said: "I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interest of the United States and our allies. So I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal."

So he wants the American people and Congress to go through the deal; he welcomes scrutiny of the agreement; he welcomes debate but for what purpose? Nothing the American people or their representatives in Congress say will matter to him. His mind is made up — and closed to any ideas that conflict with his.

Yet he gets away with this kind of thing. Journalists should have pointed out his hypocrisy. They didn't.

Nor did they hold him accountable for what he went on to say, a low-rent tactic he uses quite a bit.

"We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict," the president said. "And we certainly shouldn't seek it. And precisely because the stakes are so high, this is not the time for politics or posturing."

With Mr. Obama there can be no legitimate disagreement. Those who don't see things the way he does are unserious; they posture and play politics. He alone is above the fray.

This is the way of narcissists.

It may be unfair to believe that President Obama cares more about his legacy than he does about America, but one is tempted nonetheless to think just that. To secure his place in history he promised to fundamentally transform this country — and he clearly meant it.

Back then, tough questions should have been asked. Why the need to "fundamentally transform" America? What is so wrong with the United States? And if the media weren't busy slobbering, they might have also paid more attention to something his wife said, five months earlier.

"We are going to have to change our conversation; we're going to have to change our traditions, our history; we're going to have to move into a different place as a nation," Michelle Obama said on May 14, 2008.

There is a reason they're dancing in the streets of Tehran. And it's not because Mr. Obama made a good deal for the United States or its allies. The mullahs are not concerned about our wellbeing. Nor are they concerned about his legacy. Mr. Obama is on top of that one.

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