There’s Nothing Unpatriotic About Challenging Obama on Iran

By David Harsanyi, The Federalist

The Obama administration values a future relationship with Iran more than it values the historic relationship it has with Israel.

Unless there’s a reversal in the reported deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, all the superficial talk about this extraordinary friendship between Israel and the United States isn’t going to mean much. And the histrionics surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech in front of a joint session of Congress only confirm that there are plenty of people who are happy about it.

First, Americans were supposed to be outraged because Netanyahu engaged in a breach of protocol. Then we were supposed to be outraged because the speech would be given too close to the upcoming Israeli elections. (Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is still using this excuse for his own boycott.) But if the Israeli elections — and President Barack Obama’s done about everything possible to weaken Netanyahu’s position — are so problematic, then the controversy should be centered on the behavior of the prime minister, not the substance of his argument. That’s not the case, is it?

Administration mouthpieces warn us that the once-special relationship between the nations will collapse under the weight of a single speech — and some of those warnings have come with a hint of anticipation. The real victims of Netanyahu?

American Jews. Critics suggest that challenging the president while he is in the middle of foreign policy deal-making is both a bit unpatriotic and dangerously partisan.

But the problem isn’t protocol, Israeli elections, patriotism or partisanship. It’s the fact that Netanyahu is going to make a powerful argument against enabling Iran to become a nuclear power. Many Americans will hear it — or of it. Many Americans will agree.

Devotion to Obama is not the same as loyalty to your country. The opposition party, in fact, has a responsibility to disrupt the president’s agenda if it truly believes that it’s the wrong path for the nation. This is why we have political parties. And this is why I’m pretty sure many anti-war liberals believe that the Hillary Clintons and John Kerrys of the world failed the country leading up to the Iraq War.

And seeing as I brought it up, Secretary of State Kerry sure did offer us a jaw dropper Wednesday: “The prime minister … was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush,” said the former presidential candidate. “We all know what happened with that decision.”

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