The Nuclear Option to Stop the Nuclear Iran?

No, I’m not talking about using nuclear weapons to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, though I have several times over the last few years heard from very knowledgeable and well-placed people in the defense and foreign policy community that if it comes down to Israel having to defend itself alone against the imminent deployment of Iranian nukes they might have to resort to using their nuclear capacities to stop it, because they lack our conventional capacity to penetrate Iran’s hardened nuclear facilities. It would be an awful moment for the world as well as Israel itself, but it serves as a prompt to ponder the consequences of Obama’s obvious decision to take U.S. military action off the table.

Rather, I’m speaking of using the so-called “nuclear option” in the Senate to abolish the filibuster for a vote on the disapproval of this terrible agreement, which right now Senate Democrats will block with a filibuster so they don’t have to go on record with a vote, and so Obama won’t have to cast an unpopular veto. With polls showing that public support for the Iran agreement is as low as 21 percent, Senate Republicans can quote Harry Reid’s arguments for invoking the “nuclear option” for confirming judges last session: surely having the Senate cast a vote on this treaty is way more important than confirming judges? Make Obama veto the bill disapproving the deal, and make Senate Democrats vote against overriding the veto.

If the Senate GOP took this step, it would go a long way toward showing the conservative grassroots that they can indeed stand up to Obama and the Democrats on the Hill. Plus they’d be reasserting their constitutional duty to render “advice and consent” on treaties, even if Obama has evaded this constitutional requirement by calling it an “executive agreement.”