In a tweet on Thursday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) made it clear that if the choice is between standing behind the American president and making excuses for Iran’s misbehavior, he’ll be on the side of the Islamists.
“The place we have arrived at tonight on Iran is Donald Trump’s choice,” Murphy wrote. “He chose escalation over diplomacy, without any idea how to get out of the downward spiral he set in motion.”
Murphy’s tweet came after reports that President Trump authorized, and then withdrew, an order to carry out limited military strikes against Iran in retaliation for a drone the Republic shot down earlier this week. His commentary on the situation stands as a fair representation of the Democratic Party’s stance. If we have trouble with Iran, it’s Trump’s fault. Why? Because he withdrew from the precious, Obama-authored nuclear deal, of course. And that was a bad thing, even though everyone with a beating pulse could see that Iran was failing to live up to the explicit terms of the deal.
Trump, Murphy said, “put Iran back on the path to a nuclear weapon.”
Wrong. Iran put Iran back on the path to a nuclear weapon, a path that the Trump administration has been very clear about: It’s absolutely unacceptable. With their vow last week to ramp up the production of enriched uranium, Iran has been in the driver’s seat. They have been the aggressors. Their attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and their decision to blow an American drone out of the sky further escalated the aggression.
At a time like this, for any America lawmaker to take sides against the president is not just distasteful, it’s unpatriotic. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for disagreement. It doesn’t mean that Democrats and Republicans have to rally around the most extreme use of force possible. Not at all. But if you’re going to look at these building tensions and conclude that our president is giving Iran no other options, well, you’d probably be better off keeping those opinions to yourself.
The fact is, the Iran nuclear agreement was never worth the paper it was printed on. Not only did it unfreeze billions of dollars for Iran to use in their international funding of terrorism, it did little to contain the Republic’s ability to produce a nuke. Indeed, it put the United States and the international community in the unenviable position of pretending as though we had a handle on Iran’s nuclear ambitions while, in actuality, leaving Iran with plenty of wiggle room. And according to every report that explains the truth about the situation, Iran took full advantage of that wiggle room.
Trump has been clear: He does not want a war with Tehran. But it is up to Iran’s leadership to come to the negotiating table and cease this pattern of military escalation. Pressuring them to do so requires the American government to be on the same page, within reasonable boundaries. By blaming President Trump for this situation, Sen. Murphy and other Democrats are providing Iran with the space they need to ramp up tensions and, ultimately, turn war into an inevitability.
We know Democrats are willing to take sides against America when it suits their agenda, but with this much at stake, they should seriously reconsider.