Reid noted that since the beginning of our Republic there has been 168 filibusters of judicial and executive nominees; half of them occurred during the first four-in- half years of Obama Presidency. Actually, that should not come as any big surprise. The twenty or so Tea Party members and sympathizers in the Senate have managed to shut down government, oppose anything Obama wanted including their support of the Affordable Care Act fashioned by a Republican Governor of Massachusetts, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Republicans have been critical of Obama’s foreign policy regarding Syria and Iran. Yet, as I write this, Sec of State Kerry was on his way to Geneva to work on an agreement with Iran to rid itself and the world of its chemical weapons. Republicans pray that Obama will fail, giving them more fuel to fan the flame of prejudice and hate within the party. But they’re not the only ones praying for his failure to negotiate with the Iranians. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to the assembly at the United Nations warning Obama and all Americans not to sign any agreement with Iran because they could secretly stockpile chemical weapons and turn them towards Israel.
Netanyahu toured the U.S. media circuit, preaching his opposition to any agreement with Iran. Like obstructionist Republicans, he called Obama foolish. Saying Israel was ready to go to war against Iran, with or without U.S. support; talk about a Bully Pulpit. But maybe, in the not too distant future, he will have the opportunity to get his wish. Since the 1960’s many people thought we should arm the Arabs, Jews and Palestinians in particulate, and let them kill each other leaving us to deal with the winner. Meanwhile, Iran’s newly elected President Hassan Rouhani also made his rounds in the media claiming he wanted peace—peace for his country and all of the Middle East.
Obama’s sanctions against Iran are proving to be good policy. His dealing with Syria and Iran has demonstrated his capabilities as Commander of Chief. His willingness to negotiate and not be bullied by Israel demonstrates his resolve as President. Netanyahu failed in his effort to influence Obama’s foreign policy. The Republicans have failed to bully Obama or break President Obama’s resolve.
This action taken by Sen. Reid could be the first step towards bringing Democrats and Republicans together to negotiate and actually “vote” on what is best for our country. As Reid said, the Senate is broken and this is the crucial time to fix it; it’s time to get the Senate working again for the good of our country, not a political party. Reid will need more than a “nuclear option” to unite the Republican Party. Enter stage right – Chris Christi.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist.