“Legacy” … that’s what Iran was about
Abe Greenwald explains:
As far as legacy, what politician doesn’t want one? For Obama, a nominal nuclear deal may make him feel as if he’s earned the Nobel Prize once furnished him as election swag. John Kerry’s own efforts to earn a Nobel by brokering Middle East peace became another footnote in the story of Palestinian obstinacy. He too had something to prove.
From the administration’s standpoint, the deal was a grand slam. If it left Iran as an official nuclear power on the perpetual verge of a breakout, well, that was always the bargaining chip to get everything else. And with the United States having shown extraordinary cooperation and forgiveness, the thinking goes, even a nuclear Iran will become a less bellicose and more collegial member of the community of nations. What good the deal has already done, the administration believes, will continue to pay dividends. As is his wont, Obama is now declaring as much. But by the time his vision is upended by facts, he’ll be out of office, and we won’t have the luxury of fighting reality with abstractions.
Obama is desperate for a positive legacy. Obamacare is the White Elephant in the room. It will, one day, be declared the disaster it really is (but that will require the time for it to really demonstrate how horrendous a piece of legislation it truly was … it’s getting there). The man who wanted to make “government cool” has managed to make it not only cool but the butt of jokes. Ratings for all branches of government have plunged on his watch. Race relations and corruption are worse on his watch. And his foreign policy has been clueless. It has also be reactive and rudderless. Just as respect for government has plunged, so has respect for the US (even Jimmy Carter admits this).
So yeah, two guys who have accomplished little or nothing in their lives are wanting to leave a mark.
Too bad it will more likely resemble a skid mark in a pair underwear, when all is said and done, than any mark of accomplishment. But then, we’ve always known the left was more into style than substance. And Obama and Kerry have built in some blame shifting room in the Iran agreement. If, 8 or 10 years out, Iran has the bomb, it will be the fault of whoever is in the White House (and GW Bush, if they can swing it), not them.