Secretary of State John Kerry’s disastrous performances before Congress might just be the worst “sales pitch” in modern history. Few of the GOP candidates for president have done as much damage to the deal as Kerry has.
The result is a new Quinnipiac poll that shows an astonishing 57 percent disapproval for the Iran deal, with only 28 percent in favor. That’s a 2-1 margin of opposition. Furthermore, respondents said by a margin of 58-30 that the deal would “make the world less safe.”
As Quinnipiac notes, there is “only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition for Republicans and independent voters.” Democrat support is only 52-32, while Republican opposition stands at 86-3, and independents oppose the deal 55-29. Considering how hard Obama has pushed for the deal — he and his surrogates have openly insulted critics as mindless warmongers — that’s a shockingly weak level of partisan support from Democrats. They’re not exactly stampeding to renew their loyalty oaths to the Dear Leader on this issue.
The Washington Post hastily updated a look at the Iran deal’s declining poll numbers to include the latest Quinnipiac results but still clings to the last-ditch talking point that polls including lots of “details” about the deal tend to produce better numbers for the president than general “do you support or oppose the Iran deal?” questions. At this point, after weeks of saturation coverage — which was supposed to be a triumphal procession for Obama, before it all blew up in his face — are we really supposed to think poll respondents don’t know any of the details unless the pollster recites bullet points for them?
Also, which details should poll respondents be given — the phony Administration talking points, or the full picture, including Iran’s gloating interpretation of key points, the quick U.N. votes Obama arranged to bypass Congress, and the secret side deals American voters and congressional representatives weren’t supposed to know about?
One of the reasons public opinion, including from Democrats, has turned so sour is the growing — and accurate — perception this deal was negotiated dishonestly, with America’s interests an afterthought at the bargaining table. It’s a deal between Barack Obama personally and his new best friends in Tehran, with no room in those posh hotel conference rooms for the American people, especially not the families of all the American troops Iran helped to murder.
“As the Administration became more yielding with Iran, it became more dishonest with Americans,” writes George Will at Investors Business Daily. He catalogs various Administration deceptions and backpedals, including the bald-faced lies about “anytime, anywhere” inspections — promised to the American people for years as a vital component of any Iran deal but then breezily dismissed as mere “popular rhetoric” once the deal was in place.
Will recommends rejecting the agreement as a slap against this president’s “Wilsonian arrogance” and “to rebuke Obama’s long record of aggressive disdain for Congress — recess appointments when the Senate was not in recess, rewriting and circumventing statutes, etc.” Could that be a factor in public disapproval? The steps Obama has taken to bypass Congress are obvious. Perhaps even some Democrats are growing uncomfortable with the way Congress has been marginalized, especially as they face the prospect of losing the White House, and perhaps even remaining the minority in both House and Senate.
Obama and his crew have a massive blind spot when it comes to Iran’s involvement in the Iraqi insurgency. They believe their own weird alternate history about how everything was George Bush’s fault and forget that people who aren’t left-wing extremists remember Iran’s role in years of American casualties, as well as Iran’s ongoing sponsorship of terrorism around the world. The American people are not appreciative of Iran reaping billions of dollars in rewards, plus priceless international influence and atomic weapons, after years of dirty deeds forgotten by no one outside the Obama Administration.
There is no sense among the American public that Iran has been rehabilitated in any way. (That’s even more painfully clear to informed voters who have been watching Iran’s behavior since the nuclear deal was announced.) Obama’s team portrays Iran as a responsible nation-state that can be trusted to honor its side of the bargain, without any real consequences for treachery. Virtually no one outside the Obama Administration believes that. They look at what Iran actually is and find the Administration’s rhetoric about its partners-in-peace laughable, if not deranged. (Kerry isn’t helping matters by running around and telling everyone what a great guy the Iranian Foreign Minister is.)
In Monday’s New York Times, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton runs through the ugly reality behind Obama and Kerry’s false promises of “snapback” if Iran violates the deal. Bolton notes that Iran gets all its economic rewards up front, and rescinding them would cause at least as much pain to the Europeans as it would to Iran, while the bureaucratic mechanisms for prosecuting Iranian violations are so slow and convoluted — with built-in mechanisms for extending them even further — that Iranian violations are far more likely to be ignored than addressed.
“Thus the inexorable pattern will not be: Iran violates the deal; sanctions snap back; Iran resumes compliance. Quite the reverse. The far more likely future is: Iran violates the deal; sanctions snap back; Iran tells us, using a diplomatic term of art, to take our deal and stuff it,” Bolton concludes.
Obama and Kerry thought their Iran deal would be greeted with a round of applause for their peacemaking prowess, but Iran’s history and behavior are so dire that they’ve been forced into a gloomy fallback position of wailing that nobody could do better than their lousy deal, and the only alternative is immediate war. Maybe that baloney gives Administration mouthpieces a jolt of phony righteousness before they take the Sunday talk-show stage, but to normal Americans, it sounds like they’re saying Iran defeated the United States in a conflict, and this was the best surrender agreement Obama could negotiate. The Iranians certainly seem to see it that way.
What’s killing Obama in the polls is that the American people remember what Iran has done over the years, and they remember Obama’s copious 2012 promises that sanctions were bringing them to their knees, and he’d never let them get up without taking their nuclear weapons program away. It’s not just the details of the Iranian nuclear deal that are causing it to crater in the polls. It’s the details of this president’s political history and of his negotiating partners’ murderous history.
The punch line is that all this dire polling probably won’t matter, because Obama cut the American people and their representatives completely out of the process, with a little help from the Republican leadership in the Senate. It doesn’t matter what you people out in flyover country think of the deal. You weren’t represented at the tables in Lausanne or Vienna, and you won’t be getting any seats at the table now.
“Regardless of the reasons, public support for the final Iran deal is clearly weaker than before it was announced, making it a tougher sell for President Obama to solidify the one-third support in either chamber of Congress needed to keep it in-place,” reads the hilarious closing paragraph of the Washington Post article. Do you think a hyper-partisan president will be able to hold one-third of Congress together, when every member of his own party knows that scuppering the deal would be one of the greatest rebukes any president has ever been given?
This news has been published by title Approval For Obama’s Iran Deal Craters In The Polls
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