The Klobuchar kludge, cont’d

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar specializes in avoiding outspoken stands on important issues. She looks for opportunities to lead the way on trivialities calculated to garner broad public support, such as her crusade against the threat to life and limb posed by “The crisis of the detergent pod.”

Senator Klobuchar is a reliable vote for the Democratic Party line, but she is quiet about it. She doesn’t want to upset anybody. She wants to preside over an era of good feelings — of good feelings about Amy Klobuchar.

It’s a form of inanity that has won Klobuchar followers among the mainstream media in Minnesota and Washington. She has even turned it into a book, The Senator Next Door: A Memoir From the Heartland. The book reveals “her own political philosophy grounded in her belief that partisan flame-throwing takes no courage at all; what really matters is forging alliances with unlikely partners to solve the nation’s problems.”

As a partisan Democrat, Klobuchar supported Obama’s catastrophic nuclear deal with Iran. She nevertheless acknowledged that opponents of the deal had a serious case in their favor. Unlike Obama himself, she did not question their good faith. She is a partisan Democrat, Minnesota style. Those in Minnesota who talked with her about the deal came to understand that her support of it is a product of pure political calculation.

It occurred to me to pose a couple of questions to Senator Klobuchar via her office’s email submission form. I submitted two questions. I asked her if she would explain how she thought it made sense for the United States to commit itself to the protection of Iran’s nuclear program (as the deal essentially does in annex 3). I also asked her what she thought of the provision for Iran’s self-inspection arrangement of the Parchin facility in the side deal that was integral to the agreement. I asked for answers specifically directed to these two questions.

Not surprisingly, that’s not what I got. What I got was old-fashioned form message regurgitating the Klobuchar kludge with which she had announced her support of the deal. What I got was this ever so thoughtfully formulated set of Obama administration talking points:

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Thank you for sharing your views on the Iran nuclear agreement. I appreciate hearing from you about the agreement as well as the votes related to it during the past month.

This was a difficult decision, and I have deep respect for those who have different views. I want you to know that I thoroughly reviewed the agreement before making a decision. I attended many briefings with national security and nuclear experts over the last few months. I spoke with Minnesotans who hold strong views on both sides of this issue. I met with the ambassadors from the other five nations involved in the negotiations and asked detailed questions about what their countries and others would do if Congress voted to disapprove the agreement.

Preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is one of the most important objectives of our national security policy and, as my votes and actions demonstrate over the years, I strongly supported the sanctions that helped bring Iran to the negotiating table. After a lot of thought I ultimately reached the conclusion that this agreement is our best available option to put the brakes on Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. That is why I voted against the resolution that would have blocked the Iran nuclear agreement.

I voted the way I did for four key reasons. First, the agreement curbs Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. The agreement requires Iran to give up 98 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, disconnect two-thirds of its centrifuges, limit uranium enrichment to a single research facility, open its nuclear facilities to continuous monitoring, and allow stringent inspections of its uranium supply chain. It also requires a commitment by Iran to never seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons.

Second, if Iran cheats on the deal, sanctions can be reimposed or “snapped back” and the military option remains on the table. This agreement by no means limits or lessens our country’s ability to use force against Iran if it violates this agreement and pursues nuclear weapons. If Iran attempts to develop a nuclear weapon, the terms of this agreement will have given us more information to better target nuclear facilities in the event that military action becomes necessary.

Third, rejecting the agreement would splinter our international partnership of countries that has been critical to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. I met with the ambassadors representing the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, and not one of them believed that abandoning this agreement would result in a better deal. Instead it would allow Iran more time to build up its nuclear infrastructure. The countries that have been our partners in this effort would no longer be unified. The sanctions regime would start to fray, splintering the international consensus on Iran and leaving its nuclear program unconstrained.

Finally, this agreement will move in parallel with increased commitments to security assistance for Israel and our other allies in the region. As I have proven through my votes and actions since coming to the Senate, I am deeply committed to protecting Israel’s security, including full aid funding and support for critical security measures such as Iron Dome. In conjunction with my support for this agreement I will push the administration and my colleagues in Congress for additional assistance to Israel and better coordination with our regional allies to strengthen their security. I will also continue to support efforts to combat terrorist groups in the Mideast. I hope that the upcoming meeting between our President and the Prime Minister of Israel is a productive one that will lead to commitments from the United States to increase security assistance for Israel.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I continue to be humbled to be your Senator, and one of the most important parts of my job is listening to the people of Minnesota. I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business. I hope you will contact me again about matters of concern to you.


Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator

Senator Klobuchar projects herself as Minnesota nice, but she is a most cynical politician.