When Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that he would vote against the nuclear deal with Iran, he didn’t just take a position -- he rejected every major argument President Obama has made on the agreement’s behalf. Schumer argues this is not a deal that prevents Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but one that brings it to the threshold of nuclear weapons capability. He states that its verification and enforcement mechanisms are flawed. Finally, he points out it provides Iran with tens of billions of dollars it could spend on subsidizing terrorism and other violent pursuits.
If Schumer’s goal were to lose the fewest friends possible, he could have provided a tepid rationale for his position that did not lend so much credibility to the arguments made by the deal’s opponents. But Schumer also makes his arguments in a thoughtful, even courtly manner-- in sharp contrast to President Obama, who insisted in a mean-spirited address on Thursday that the merits of the deal are so obvious that one should dismiss any criticism as “knee-jerk partisanship” or mercenary opposition bought and paid for by wealthy donors.
For those in the House and Senate who remain undecided about the deal’s merits, little could be more instructive than a side-by-side comparison of Schumer and Obama’s statements, set forth in the table below:
Schumer vs Obama