Jeb Bush’s Laughable Position on the Iran Deal

Jeb Bush, like all of his fellow Republican presidential candidates, is speaking out against the nuclear deal just worked out between the U.S. and Iran (along with six other countries), but his position is so ludicrous that no one could possibly take it seriously (no one except Republican voters, that is). He tweeted:

History is full of examples of when you enable people or regimes that don’t embrace democratic values, without any concessions, you get a bad result. It’s called appeasement.

That tweet has since been deleted and a video of him opposing the deal before it was even announced because it’s wrong to ever negotiate with dictators has been made private. There’s good reason for that: His position is so deeply un-serious that it would make a modestly educated 15 year old giggle (not to mention the fact that Iran made massive concessions in this deal, so we’ll just chalk that up as a lie).

Does Bush actually think that Ronald Reagan was wrong to negotiate with the Soviet Union? Or that his father was wrong to sign the START treaty that Reagan negotiated? Is he going to criticize his brother for signing a similar agreement with Libya, but without all of the verification protocols? If he becomes president, will he stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia? Will he rescind the cooperative arrangements we have with Pakistan? Will he throw the U.A.E. and Jordan out of the coalition fighting ISIS? Will he end diplomatic ties with China?

No, of course he won’t do any of those things. “Never negotiate with dictators” sounds so principled, doesn’t it? But the real world is just a tad bit more complex than that. Or as Max Fisher put it, that platitude “sounds nice if you live in a parallel dimension where the only dictator who ever existed was Adolf Hitler.”

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  • Al Dente

    Or as Max Fisher put it, that platitude “sounds nice if you live in a parallel dimension where the only dictator who ever existed was Adolf Hitler.”

    Oh FSM, now SLC will be invoking Nostradamus and Schuschnigg’s “appeasement”.

  • cptdoom

    In hindsight, even Hitler might have been neutralized if the victors in WW 1 had renegotiated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles at the beginning of his rule, before the German military had been reconstructed and removed one of his major grievances.

  • llewelly

    The real question is, what with all the big name Republicans masturbating the war drums, can the Democrats convince enough of the congressional Republicans to switch sides and support the deal so that it can pass?

    I doubt it. Maybe after they hopefully pick up some seats after the 2016 election, but not now.

  • colnago80

    It’s going to be interesting as to which Rethuglicans will announce that they will cancel the agreement when they are elected POTUS. Scott Walker has already made such an announcement. Apparently Bush fils is testing the winds before making such an announcement.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    can the Democrats convince enough of the congressional Republicans to switch sides and support the deal so that it can pass?

    I doubt it.

    I’m not certain, but my understanding is that congress could pass legislation to block the lifting of sanctions, but Obama could veto that effort to block the deal. It’s unlikely Republicans would have the votes to override the veto, so the deal will go forward.

    After 2016, who knows? A Republican president and Republican congress could reverse the deal, though by that time a reversal wouldn’t work. Unless Iran has done something incredibly outrageous, there’s no way that others key participants in the embargo would even consider reinstating the embargo. The only effect of unilateral America revocation of the deal would be the nullification of Iran’s obligations under the deal.

  • eric

    I have no idea why they are even bothering. They won’t be running against Obama and AFAIK Hilary is still keeping a fairly low profile, letting them basically eat each other. These anti-Obama rants made sense before 2014 but don’t make much sense for presidential candidates now. Come out shooting on the other side, saying why it stops Iran nuke development and how as President you will strongly and hawkishly enforce the inspection regime, and not only do you distinguish yourself from the GOP field, but you beat Hilary to the punch, making anything she says about the deal look like she’s “me too-ing,” and you pull in a lot of moderates. Which probably gets you the support and financial backing of the RNC.

  • garnetstar

    Jeb is wrong: *always* negotiate with dictators (well, almost always). That’s how you get them hooked in and can exert ever-increasing influence over them. Get them to think that a relationship with you is important, and give them motivation to want to keep it smooth by pleasing you.

    Don’t these guys ever watch TV? House of Cards, maybe? They’d even be able to learn something from Game of Thrones: the characters who just chop off heads as a first move often get into trouble.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    … his position is so ludicrous that no one could possibly take it seriously (no one except Republican voters, that is).

    No one except Republican voters and the media, which is a huge problem for the functioning of American democracy.

  • llewelly

    Dr. X.

    I’m not certain, but my understanding is that congress could pass legislation to block the lifting of sanctions, but Obama could veto that effort to block the deal.

    Well, that situation is the reverse of what I had been thinking – I had somehow gotten the (incorrect, I hope?) impression that congress had to pass legislation to support the deal. If they have to pass legislation to block the deal – then, I agree, they probably can’t do that.

    The only effect of unilateral America revocation of the deal would be the nullification of Iran’s obligations under the deal.

    Sure. But in addition to that, I suspect China and Russia might see it as an opportunity to make the USA look bad, while the UK, France, and Germany would be upset.

    But here’s the thing: If Iran’s obligations are nullified, they probably will build a nuclear weapon soon, and then the Republicans will crow “SEEE! We were RIGHT!”

    “wreck the plan and then blame the Democrats” is a favorite Republican strategy. It’s not too reliable, but it works often enough that they love it dearly.

    A paranoid fear of certain Muslim nations is the primary selling point of Republican foriegn policy views, so for them, anything that makes Iran more threatening is good.

  • raven

    It’s real simple. Once again.

    Jeb Bush is just as stupid and vicious as his idiot brother!!!

    This theory explains Jeb Bush and has proved predictive.

    Whenever I hear about Jeb whose real name is John Ellis Bush or Idiot President Bush, my heart drops about a foot. Two of my friends died in Iraq. My 401(K) plan died along with millions of others. The 401(K) plan was resurrected by Obama but the two friends are still…dead.

    Electing John Ellis Bush would be evidence that the USA has been taken over by mindless lemmings intent on self destruction. And time to give up and flee (mentally,into internal exile.)

  • raven

    John Ellis Bush calls himself Jeb because for some weird reason, he likes to pretend to be a backwoods Hooterville hillbilly,

    Oddly enough, he is one of the GOP leading candidates. Mr. Moonshine for breakfast made a few phone calls and raised $115 million already. The selling point:

    I’m Jeb (not John Ellis) and I’m not completely crazy and only pretend I’m a wild eyed religious fanatic looking for Canaanites and nonvirgin brides to kill. While this is true, he is still stupid and vicious.

    The rest are assorted sociopaths, idiots, wild eyed religious kooks, uneducated con men and so on.

    I’m baffled. 30 of the world’s top 40 research universities are in the USA. An American university education is highly prized elsewhere. Virtually the entire Iranian leadership was educated at US universities.

    So why are we imitating lemmings? Toynbee pointed out that all civilizations fall. 19 out of 22 fell from within. The last one was the Soviet empire. Someday there will be a another one to add to the list.

  • llewelly

    eric:

    I have no idea why they are even bothering. They won’t be running against Obama …

    They’ve spent 8 years hatemongering against Obama. So of course they want to keep using it. People who don’t know anything about Hillary will mostly vote based on their perception of Obama, and people who do know anything about Hillary know that on most topics – and especially with respect to foriegn policy and Iran in particular – Hillary is nearly identical to Obama.

    The Republican nomination quest is mostly an anit-Obama hatemongering contest anyway. It’s possible someone could come in 2nd place thanks to going too far, but for all of these characters, except perhaps Jeb Bush, even coming in second place is a step up in the Republican popularity hierarchy.

    I’m sure it will come back to haunt them after the nomination – but they probably do not understand how popular Obama really is, and they are really not long term planners.

  • colnago80

    Anyone who wants to understand the evil of Jeb Bush should refresh himself/herself relative to his behavior during the Terri Schiavo affair. At one point, he was considering sending in Florida national guard troops to spirit her away from the institution where she was existing (one would hardly call it living) but thought the better of it when it was pointed out to him that if she died during the “rescue” (really a kidnapping), he could be charged with murder. He fomented false stories about her husband, Michael, accusing him of trying to have her die so he could inherit the settlement she won, a ludicrous charge as the money was completely spent long before the affair blew up.

    He has never acknowledged that his assessment of her condition was wrong. The results of the autopsy showed beyond any doubt that her husband and the neurologists who had examined her and assessed her condition as an irreversible vegetative state were right and the “experts” hired by her relatives were seriously in error (one of them, a Dr. Hammesfahr, is on quackwatch). By the time of her death, her brain had liquified and weighed 1/2 of a normal human brain. He has never apologized to Mr. Schiavo for the false accusations he made against him. The only thing that could have restored Ms. Schiavo to health would have been a brain transplant, an operation that is not possible given current technology.

  • karmacat

    It was actually 19 neurologists who diagnosed Terri Schiavo as being brain dead. Her EEG was basically a flat line. The silver lining in that fiasco is that it prompted more people to write a living will for themselves

  • colnago80

    Re karmacat @ #14

    I should have made it clear that at the last set of hearings before Judge Greer, there were five, 2 chosen by the Schiavo team, 2 chosen by the Schindler team, and one by the judge. The 2 chosen by the defense and the 1 chosen by the judge were well qualified board certified neurologists. One of plaintiff’s “experts” was a radiologist, the other was a neurologist who is listed on quackwatch. The pathologist who performed the autopsy was a board certified pathologist, who is the chief medical examiner for the State of Florida. The consensus amongst neutral observers was that the Schindlers were grifters propped up by the Fascist News Network and cretins like Sean Hannity.

  • StevoR

    That tweet has since been deleted and a video of him opposing the deal before it was even announced because it’s wrong to ever negotiate with dictators has been made private. There’s good reason for that: ..

    But does that mean Jeb! (Bush!!) has realised how silly he was there and has now changed his mind and so that is no longer his position on the Iran deal? If so, then what Is Jeb! (sh..BUSH!!) ‘s current view on it?

  • colnago80

    Re StevoR @ #16

    IMHO, ole Jeb will try to thread the needle, opposing the agreement but not promising to scuttle it if he is elected, as Scott Walker has done. Whether one thinks that the agreement is good or bad, promising to scuttle it a year and a half from now, not knowing whether, it is working is idiotic.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ colnago80 : Yup. Seems likely.