In other news, Chuck Schumer announced yesterday that he would oppose the Iran nuclear deal. Since Schumer is a longtime friend of Israel and an influential guy among Democrats, this is seen as a big deal. But I don’t think it is. Here’s why:
- He announced just as Congress was going into recess.
- This means he has a good excuse for not twisting arms over the next few weeks, but can still meet with donors and voters without having lots of awkward discussions about why he hasn’t come out against the deal.
- He also waited until Democratic support for the deal was nearly airtight. At this point, Schumer would have to persuade virtually every undecided Dem to vote No in order to kill the deal.
- And just for good measure, he made a low-key announcement on the same day that the big Republican debate dominated the news cycle.
To me, this has the smell of someone who wants to oppose the deal, but doesn’t really want to kill it. Schumer will go through the motions when Congress reconvenes, but I suspect he won’t be trying all that hard to undermine support for a deal negotiated by his party’s president. Far from taking this as bad news, I’d say it’s a very good sign that the Iran deal will survive when it goes to Congress.