Another day, another tantrum from the illiterate Toddler in Chief. HOORAY! Time for us to blow up the Iran Nuclear Deal because it is BAD! TERRIBLE! An abomination worse than pineapple pizza!
Trump never spelled out his actual objections to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — we’d frankly be surprised if he even knows what JCPOA stands for. But The Black Guy signed it, so of course Donald Trump spent the entire campaign shouting to the rubes that it was a “disaster,” “catastrophe,” and “I’ve never seen something so incompetently negotiated.”
Congressional Republicans mostly opposed the Iran deal because Hello, OBAMA! But they managed to furrow their brows and make words about the deal not forcing Iran to dial back its support for terrorist militants in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Which is true, as far as it goes, but fails to acknowledge that tamping down the violence in the Middle East is a lot easier before Iran gets The Bomb than after. (See also: North Korea.)
As a final Fuck You to Barack Obama, Republican senators added a provision requiring the president to certify Iranian compliance with the bill every 90 days. Liddle’ Bob Corker championed the 90-day recertification requirement as a poison pill, but now President Makin’Shit’Up calls him the Iran deal’s Real Daddy. Because of course he does.
Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it. We need HealthCare, we need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
Ironically, it’s this 90-day recertification provision that’s causing Trump to bang his tiny fists on the table and shout, “NO, YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!” Per WaPo,
“He threw a fit,” said one person familiar with the meeting. “… He was furious. Really furious. It’s clear he felt jammed.”
It is NO FAIR that the Iranians tricked us and lived up to their side of the agreement! How dare they dismantle those centrifuges like they promised! You don’t see us lifting those financial sanctions like we promised, do you?
Donald Trump told the pitchfork mob that he was canceling that stupid deal, and those jerks McMaster and low-IQ Tillerson keep coming back and making him sign it again. Now he looks like a sucker, and Steve Bannon makes sad sighs on the phone and says, I’m not mad, I just guess you’re not the man I thought you were.
Plus Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson get to go out there and say Iran is violating “the spirit” of the deal, while they make poor Donald give it a big, wet kiss every 90 days. They’re all just out to get him!
So the White House Babysitters Club met up at Rex’s house for a slumber party. Mrs. T ordered pizzas, and they all braided each other’s hair and brainstormed how to let Donnie feel like a big man without causing a total breakdown of the global diplomatic order.
So White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other senior advisers came up with a plan — one aimed at accommodating Trump’s loathing of the Iran deal as “an embarrassment” without killing it outright.
To get Trump, in other words, to compromise.
“McMaster realized we just cannot come back here next time with a binary option — certify or decertify,” an exercise Congress requires every 90 days, said a person familiar with the July discussion. “He put his team to work on a range of other options, including a decertification option that would involve Congress” and would not immediately break the deal.
Trump can “decertify” the deal by saying that it’s no longer in the national interest. Maybe even schedule a rally where he shouts, Look at me! I stood up to the Ayatollahs! Check out these enormous hands! That will give Congress the right to impose new sanctions on Iran.
BUT THEN THE WHITE HOUSE WILL TELL CONGRESS NOT TO IMPOSE ANY SANCTIONS!
But Trump would hold off on recommending that Congress reimpose sanctions, which would constitute a clearer break from the pact, according to four people familiar with aspects of the president’s thinking.
Of course, this rests on the Senate being smart enough not to reimpose sanctions, which they could do with a simple majority. But if that happens, Mitch McConnell will get the blame. So who even cares, right?
There’s also the risk that the agreement might fall apart anyway if Iran and the other signatories feel that the US is acting in bad faith. WHICH WE ARE. And our diplomatic credibility will be totally destroyed. But at least our president will get to shout, “YOU SUCK, IRAN!” without immediately plunging us into war. And in 2017, that’s what counts as a foreign policy win!