Is Iran Deal Opposition Political Suicide For GOP?

Jessica Renae Buxbaum
Republican presidential candidates have been vocal about their opposition to the Iran deal. But their rejection is leading the party to commit political suicide.

Iran deal

Since the historic Iran deal was made, Republicans have not been shy to denounce the agreement. Ted Cruz warned the deal “will result in the United States government becoming one of the leading funders of international terrorism” and Scott Walker announced he would order airstrikes on Iran on his first day of office.

The GOP has a clear Iran problem as their staunch criticism and their vow to veto the deal has demonstrated. But the GOP’s real issue with the Iran deal extends far beyond their immediate reaction and spells infinite trouble for the country and for the political party.

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, spoke to NPR of the disastrous consequences that could result if Congress fails to approve the deal.

"I'm telling you, the U.S. will have lost all credibility," Kerry told NPR. "We will not be in the hunt. And if we then decided to use military [after a deal fails], do you believe the United Nations will be with us? Do you think our European colleagues will support us? Not on your life."

He continued, "Iran will say, 'Aha, you see!' The Ayotollah will say, 'I told you, you can't trust the West. I told you you can't negotiate with these guys. They will lie to you. They will cheat you. And here they are, they let us down, and the Congress walked away. They have 535 secretaries of state. There's nobody to negotiate with.'"

Republicans’ fear and resistance to the controversial deal stems not from worry the deal is weak but rather that we as a nation appear weak by negotiating and comprising with a smaller country. In a nutshell, Republicans are afraid America has lost its unwavering power in the Middle East — that we can’t just do whatever we want.

But the GOP rejection, as Kerry so bluntly points out, will make the U.S. an even less trustworthy country and further decrease our power and influence on the world stage.

As conservative blogger, Patrick Buchanan, criticizes that not only will the rejection of the Iran deal send the U.S. to our utter downfall but also that the party's opposition is political suicide. 

“A Congressional vote to kill the Iran deal would thus leave the U.S. isolated, its government humiliated, unable to comply with the pledges its own secretary of state negotiated," Buchanan wrote in The American Conservative. "Would Americans cheer the GOP for leaving the United States with egg all over its face?”

A total rejection of the deal will win favors with Saudi Arabia and Israel, but we will lose our allies and damage our reputation globally. As Buchanan notes, “the world would unite—against us.”

As the 2016 race heats up with a conga line of Republican candidates, one would assume that with enough political awareness, their campaign strategy would lean towards supporting a deal that doesn’t fail the nation instead of warmongering. But it's the GOP and warmongering and attracting enemies is what they do best. 

Read more: Is Obama “Content” To Leave US Hostages In Iranian Jails?