Jeff Flake plays four-dimensional chess on Iran

If one of the signs of a person being raised to the maximum level of incompetence is a focus on minutiae, then sheer, bloody-minded incompetence is the order of the day in that august body, the Senate.

Let’s review the bidding.

Barack Obama negotiated what, to all intents and purposes, looks, smells, and tastes like a treaty with a known state sponsor of terror, which is illegally holding Americans as prisoners, to give them a nuclear weapon. In the process, he obligated the United States to come to the defense of Iran if their nuclear facilities are attacked. From the agreement:

“Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”

Essentially, we are military allies of Iran.

Then [mc_name name=’Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001071′ ] came up with the idea that sacrificing the US Constitution to appease the angry god, Bipartisanship. By Corker’s machinations Obama was able to achieve passage of the agreement with only 34 votes in the US Senate.

Then [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] dreams up the idea of appending two amendments to the agreement, mandating recognition of Israel and requiring US prisoners to be released, to “put Democrats on the record.”

No one, especially McConnell, was surprised when Senate Democrats went lockstep in support of Obama and filibustered.

Now we have [mc_name name=’Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’F000444′ ], a man I actually had high hopes for when he became a senator, talking nonsense:

[mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] should have taken [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ]’s deal on Iran, GOP Sen. Jeff Flake said in an interview Thursday.

The Arizonan said that it “does not make sense” to hold repeated procedural votes on Iran that are sure to fail, as the Senate is doing on Thursday with amendments that would require Iran to recognize Israel and release Americans held in Iran.

Instead, Flake said Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) and his lieutenants should have reached an agreement with Minority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) to have a final vote on a resolution disapproving of the Iran nuclear deal at a 60-vote threshold. That would have failed as well, but would not have technically been a filibuster.

“I don’t agree with my leadership on this,” Flake said as he headed to the Senate floor to make a speech criticizing the GOP’s focus on forcing President Barack Obama to veto the resolution. “It does not make sense.”

Granted, this whole exercise was meaningless. But as it was meaningless is one way of achieving meaninglessness more efficient or correct than another. Because the end state is exactly the same. Somehow, Flake thinks that we can’t hold Democrats accountable for voting to filibuster but we could hold them accountable if they had voted against the bill using Reid’s rules:

“To not have a final vote on this? If our purpose is to put people on the record where they are on this, then you only do that with a final vote, not a cloture vote,” Flake said.

The only way this makes a lick of sense is that if while we weren’t looking someone appointed an Accountability Commission that gets to rule on what counts for putting people on the record. If Flake thinks that his view of what “on the record” means is going to stop anyone from using this vote in a political ad he is more deluded that he appears.

Sometimes I just despair of the quality of men and women we have in the US Senate. The ‘world’s greatest deliberative body’ is chock to the gills with room temperature IQs who can’t bother to be worried about the US Constitution being gutted by their actions but who can bitch about a pointless exercise in pointlessness.

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