Counting to 42

Sorry for the late posting, but it’s been a very long day and I’ve been away from my computer for most of it.

While yours truly was taking a break, Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Democratic Senator to declare support for the Iran deal, which means that President Obama’s promised veto of a planned Congressional resolution to reject the deal will be upheld. With that important milestone in the bank, deal supporters went to work trying to get 41 committed supporters, enough to sustain a filibuster of the resolution and thereby obviate the need for a veto at all. Well, a steady trickle of new supporters over the past week turned into a flood today, and we now have 39 (Oregon’s Ron Wyden)…40 (Michigan’s Gary Peters)…41 (Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal)…42 (Washington’s Maria Cantwell)! 42 Senate Democrats who have declared their support for the Iran deal!

(ignore the flashing seven; this was the best YouTube of the Count laughing that I could find)

42 votes in support of the deal means that a filibuster is very much in play, but more importantly it means that a veto is virtually certain to be upheld even if a couple of Democrats flip-flop between now when the bill to reject the deal comes to a vote, a turn of events that seems to have made the Bomb Bomb Iran Caucus pretty damn mad. For example, there’s the emeritus World Heavyweight Champion of hyperbolic warmongering, Dick Cheney, speaking today in a totally reasonable, not at all batshit crazy way at the American Enterprise Institute:

“This agreement will give Iran the means to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland,” Cheney said. “I know of no nation in history that has agreed to guarantee that the means of its own destruction will be in the hands of another nation, particularly one that is hostile.”

That Cheney was willing to spout this bullshit in public just two days after being humiliated on the subject of Iran on the Republican Party’s in-house news network says something about Cheney, or about AEI, or maybe about both, and I’m not sure exactly what it says, but it’s not good.

Given the choice between watching Cheney (a mistake I’ve already made once too often, thank you very much) and watching Harry Reid speak in favor of the deal at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, I opted for Reid, which I then wrote about for LobeLog:

In remarks delivered to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) forcefully expressed his support for the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and the P5+1 nations (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China). Calling the deal “our last, best chance” to “avoid one of the worst threats in today’s world – a nuclear-armed Iran,” Reid declared that “America will uphold its commitment and we will seize this opportunity to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Reid’s rhetoric is too “Iran is the Devil” for my taste, but part of that is generational and part of it is political theater, so I get it. He comes to the right end point, and that’s really all that matters, isn’t it?

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