The Iran Deal: Can You Hear Us Now?

Picture this: your family's at the mall, shopping for school clothes and supplies.  You're dragging your pre-teen away from GameStop, where he's desperately clinging to the latest first-person shooter game, when the ground shifts beneath you.  The entire mall rumbles, and you think earthquake.  You pick up 4-year-old Amy and shove your son toward the stairs.  It's already a mob scene, but you push through to get your family to the lower level. 

You're barely out the exit when the sounds of crashing glass and collapsing floors echo from inside the shopping center.  Hard to think, kids crying, others screaming, sirens, so bright, too hot, not an earthquake. 

You make it to the car and, with trembling fingers, turn the key.  Thank God, the engine springs to life, but now what?  The exits are blocked, traffic backed up as far as the eye can see.  Your only hope is to circle around and then try to cut into the solid line of cars.  You swipe at the tears streaming down your face as you turn to drive toward the fiery mushroom cloud.

A dark, depressing scenario, but one coming to a neighborhood near you soon.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but the Iran Deal guarantees this end.

How can I say that?  Because Iran has told us so, repeatedly.  With hate-filled passion and raised fists, they promise to destroy Israel and the Great Satan, America.  They chant "Death to America" in their streets; they burn, hang, and dismember our president in effigy.  Iran's the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, which means they kill people for their religion, for their nationality, or because they refuse to worship Allah.  Iran is the terrorist enemy we send our military to defeat, the enemy who murders our soldiers.

Yet one by one, Democrat senators step forward to support this bill, to lock in this unthinkable deal with Iran – a deal to remove all sanctions, to give Iran billions to accelerate their nuclear program.  A deal that promises we won't peek at their work in progress. 

The American people aren't stupid.  We see the threat, and we're doing everything in our power to stop the deal.  We call, write, tweet, and protest, openly plead for sanity, but we are met with deafening silence from Washington. 

Déjà vu, anyone?  Yes, this is exactly what happened with Obamacare in 2012.*  Parts of the law  were leaked, passages that warned of dire consequences.  Americans wrote, called, used every possible means to stop the bill.  In a last-ditch effort to stop the legislation, nearly a million citizens traveled to the Capitol to protest Obamacare.  During the protest, Obama arrived at the Capitol to buy Representative Stupak's vote.  As that deal went down, reporter Howard Fineman blogged the following on his Newsweek site:

I'm sitting in the House Press Gallery writing a piece for Newsweek.   It's almost 10 pm and the House is moving toward a vote.  On the plaza below, outside the Capitol, I can hear the remnants of a raucous Tea Party crowd.  They are chanting "Nancy! Nancy!" and "Kill the Bill." They just sang "God Bless America." I've been around a while, and don't remember a crowd of foes trying to shout down a bill from outside as the vote approached.  Maybe it's happened.  Though the voices are faint, they're worth noting--and remembering.

No, Howard, patriots begging their government to listen shouldn't just be remembered; they should be heard.  And the reason you don't remember crowds trying to shout down a bill is because once upon a time, in a faraway land, we the people had a voice in our government.  Once upon a time, when voters spoke, the government listened. 

But now Congress has erected a firewall to insulate itself from its constituents.  Congressmen have staff to write responses, interns and volunteers to deliver those responses, secretaries, administrative assistants, and the list goes on.  All these people have one central job: to stand between the people and their elected officials. 

That might be okay if Congress were immersed in research, engaged in meaningful dialogue to determine what's best for their constituents, but they're not.  Their meetings are purely strategic to map their votes to a predetermined outcome.  They spend their precious time in the Capitol determining which of their members are in safe seats (no real opponent or recently elected).  Those identified as safe can then publicly announce their opposition to the people's will.  Then leadership calls in those members at risk to tell them they can vote against the bill, show solidarity with their voters. 

But it's all Kabuki theater, over-the-top, over-acted drama for the people.  Senator Schumer is our latest performer.  Up for re-election in 2016, he's been released to oppose the Iran deal.  "Released" is political speak for giving a senator permission to vote against his party.  Could anything be more disheartening?  Our leaders aren't considering the legislation; they're waiting for instructions.

So Schumer dons his costume and dramatically delivers his lines.  After agonizing over this decision, he's voting against his own president to oppose the bill.  He's deadly serious – such passion, such angst, such a crock.

Then Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz comes forward.  She says her decision as a Jewish mother was "gut-wrenching."  But, she says, choking back tears, she has to come down on the side of a nuclear holocaust. 

You know what, Deb?  Save your tears for your children, neighbors, friends, and the eight million people in Israel as you vote lockstep to incinerate Iran's enemies.  By the way, Deb, that enemies list includes us.

But these are just two traitors.  Every member of Congress who supports this deal is equally guilty.  Same with party leaders who advance the bill, who play games with our lives and our children's future.  And now our illustrious president's bragging that no one can stop his Iran deal because he's got Congress in his pocket.  He's gloating over a deal to destroy the country he swore to protect, and every single member of Congress who supports him is his accomplice.

History shows that we're not the first people to be shut out by their leaders, not the first to be denied a voice in their government.  There was a group back in the 1700s, colonists, who, like us, had their grievances shelved, their rights trampled by arrogant British rule.  They faced impossible odds yet came together to throw off their chains.

Am I suggesting a revolution?  Yes.  This isn't business as usual; it's our lives and our family's lives.  It's our future, your future, and we only have a week, one week to reach two or three senators who still have a conscience. 

But how do we make them hear us?  How do we get through to a government that has intentionally locked us out?

There is one thing we can do: a protest they won't be able to duck.  We can tweet (#NuclearNote), text, or email a picture of a mushroom cloud to every senator who voted for this deal.  There could be hundreds or thousands of nuclear messages before the deal is final and even after they pass it.  Not just to tell them we know what they're doing, but that we know what they did.  And who knows – maybe a virtual nuclear holocaust could jar two or three senators back to the real world.

Oh, and the text for the tweet or subject line should be: CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?

List of Senators supporting the bill

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.) 

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.)

Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.)

Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.)

Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.) 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)

Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)

Sen. Mark Warner (Va.)

Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) 

Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.) 

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)

Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) 

Sen. Shred Brown (Ohio)

Sen. Maze Hirono (Hawaii)

Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.) 

Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) 

Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.)

Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.)


Sen. Tom Carper (Del.)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.)


Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (Pa.) 

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) 


Sen. Chris Coons (Del.) 

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)


Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.)

Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) 


Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.) 

Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)



Pic here.

*date corrected

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