Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, November 26th, 2013.

When Republicans Negotiate

Obama Administration

Dana Milbank notes that Republicans began screeching about “appeasement” and “distracting attention from O-care” before any of the details of the recent temporary deal with Iran were announced.

A couple of minutes after 9 p.m. on Saturday, word crossed the news wires that negotiators in Geneva had reached an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Then, at 9:08 p.m. — before any details of the pact were known — Ari Fleischer delivered his opinion on the agreement, via Twitter.

“The Iran deal and our allies: You can’t spell abandonment without OBAMA,” he wrote. …

… Three minutes after Fleischer’s tweet came one in agreement from Ron Christie, another veteran of the Bush administration. “Precisely,” he wrote, also without the benefit of knowing what was in the agreement. “A disgraceful deal.”

An hour later — still before Obama detailed the accord in a statement from the White House — John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, had analyzed the administration’s motives in reaching the deal.

“Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care,” he tweeted at 10:15 p.m., 19 minutes before the president spoke.

Of course, the fatal flaw in the recent deal was that it was negotiated by the Obama Admnistration. Milkbank goes on to document the mounting worse-than-Hitler hysteria in the rightie echo chamber, but most of you know about that, so let’s go on …

Charles Pierce reminds us what a Republican-negotiated deal looks like.

I am a simple man. Years ago, I made it a policy of mine that I would approve of any deal with Iran so long as it didn’t involve selling missiles to the mullahs. I developed this policy in January of 1981, when I was in Washington covering the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, and the Iranians, in one last attempt to stick it to Jimmy Carter, refused to release the remaining American hostages until Reagan had taken office. Almost immediately, the propagandists in the employ of the new president started floating to a credulous media that the Iranians had done so because they were terrified of the awesome awesomeness of Ronald Reagan. Turns out, of course, that they did it in exchange for Reagan’s unfreezing their American assets and also because Reagan’s people opened up a yard sale at the Pentagon where the Iranians could get good deals on TOW missiles. Ronald Reagan, as we all know, would never negotiate with — let alone sell weapons to — nations that sponsored terrorism. That is why Ronald Reagan was a great man who has many large and ugly buildings named after him.

(Whether or not these deals were cut by officials of the Reagan campaign prior to the election — in other words, whether or not Bill Casey et. al. committed something like treason by undermining American foreign policy in order to win an election — is still very much an open question. But there were, ahem, precedents.)

So, unfreezing assets as part of a deal that might make the world safer from nuclear weapons is bad. Unfreezing assets as part of a deal to elect a Republican to the White House is good. Let’s remember to keep that straight.

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