Gooooooooooood Morning Tehran!
1 Goodbye to an illegal—hence unethical— treaty. To get the pure ethics issue out of the way at the start, the argument from critics of President Trump’s rejection of the Iran nuclear deal that, as MSNBC partisan-hack-disguised-but-none-too–well-as an-objective-journalist Andrea Mitchell wrote,
“So no matter what happens now, what they have basically said to the rest of the world is that we are not obeying an agreement that we signed. Now the United States of American under one administration can sign a deal, but it may not be accepted by future presidents.”
What was always the most undebatable objection to Obama’s deal was that it was a treaty that bypassed the Constitutional requirements for treaties. Such a significant agreement with such major risks and implications should have been submitted to the Senate as the Constitutional process demands. Thus it was illegal, as with so much of what the weak previous President foisted on the nation, the theory was that wrong and illegal or not, once “the deal” was in place it was a fait accompli. Note the irony of Obama’s worshipful congregation expressing fears that Trump is autocratic. All Trump could do was to submit the already established deal to Congress to un-do, and despite a majority in favor of doing just that, a filibuster by Democrats blocked it.
Verdict: This time President Trump has the Constitution on his side, and when the Constitution doesn’t suit Democrats, they ignore it.
2. An Ethics Hero for candor: Blogger Ann Althouse concluded her comments about the big news yesterday by saying, “I’m just looking at the public theater, of course. I have no idea what is really going on.”
Brava! And neither do I. And neither do you. Moreover, whether President Trump’s gambit turns out to be regarded as a brilliant masterstroke or a tragic blunder is entirely moral luck, just as his apparent success with North Korea is. All sorts of consequences, good, bad, and currently unimaginable, are possible.
3. Bias makes you CNN. This morning both CNN and CNN’s HLN were fearmongering with viewers, flogging the likelihood that Trump’s rejection of the Iran deal would raise gas prices, and also lose jobs because U.S. airline sales of passenger jets to Iran cannot be completed. Think about the ethical nature of that argument for keeping the deal in place. Lifting sanctions on Iran has allowed the nation to fund terrorism across the region, but its all worth it to Americans if gas prices stay low. Nice.
Then there was CNN’s openly partisan White House correspondent Jim Accosta, who tweeted this:
“Obama policies dumped by Trump: Iran deal, Paris Climate Agreement, Trans-Pacific Trade Deal, DACA, Obamacare Individual Mandate.”
Accosta apparently really thinks that this is res ipsa loquitur for how bad Trump is. A journalist so isolated by his political biases from reality can’t be a competent political reporter. I’m not a Trump supporter, but with the possible exception of the trade deal, I view all of the rest as positive developments, or at least arguably so, especially since most of them were examples of Obama skirting the Constitution or governing by edict.
4. Psychic News Update. Axios and AOL, among others, have announced that “President Donald Trump is reportedly feeling good about his decision to withdraw the US from the Iran deal on Tuesday — because experts are freaking out about it on CNN.” I’m sure glad objective journalists are on the job telling me what anonymous sources know what the President “feels.”
How can anyone trust or respect an institution that publishes crap like that as “news”?
5. Boy, is Trump lucky or what? (He couldn’t possibly be smart, could he?) It is especially hard for the President’s critics to declare his exit from Obama’s Iran deal as doomsday when his newly confirmed Secretary of State is returning from North Korea with three freed hostages. It is also hard to get too misty-eyed about the end of a dubious deal with a nation that reacts by its legislature chanting “Death to America!”
I don’t trust nations that feel that way about us. I think it is foolish, indeed nuts, to trust such nations. I’m funny that way.
6. How did the New York Times let THIS get to press? Bret Stephens, the unpredictable pseudo-conservative op-ed columnist who advocates the repeal of the Second Amendment, may have prepped himself for a reader lynching or paid leave with today’s column titled, A Courageous Trump Call on a Lousy Iran Deal.
Nothing is in it that wasn’t argued back when Obama unveiled the thing, but the piece is an excellent brief for Trump’s decision, for those who have an open mind.
I was more fascinated by the comments, which seem little substantive support the average Times reader, generally well-educated, generally Democrat, has for Obama’s “legacy foreign policy achievement.” Let’s see:
…John Reynolds says that Trump’s action is just like Bush and Cheney starting a bogus war with Iraq.
….D.J. Long says that Stephens is choosing Israel over the U.S.
….Richard says that Stephens is a Trump sycophant.
…Turgid writes, “I’m sure Bret Stephens will be on the front lines when war breaks out between Israel and Iran. Go get ’em Bret.”
….About 19 out of 20 of the rest boil down to “Trump is an idiot/fool/asshole/creep and anything he does must be wrong” and the exact same fearfulness that greeted Trump’s hard line approach to North Korea.
See #2 above.