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.”