Today, Peter Baker and David Sanger inform us in The New York Times that we don't have to worry about the fearmongering demagoguery of Iran-deal opponent Dick Cheney because Hillary Clinton is his precise mirror image:
To hear Dick Cheney tell the tale, he and President George W. Bush were slowly but surely squeezing Iran into submission until President Obama and his team came along and recklessly let up the pressure.Right. One of these people is actually telling the truth -- the Obama administration did succeed in getting Iran to the negotiating table, in part by increasing pressure on Iran, as Clinton says -- but it doesn't matter because Both Sides Do It, "it" in this case being the formation of "narratives" that involve "rewriting" of history. All narratives are equal! Or at least no Democratic narrative can ever be closer to the truth than a Republican narrative. By definition!
To listen to Hillary Rodham Clinton, she and Mr. Obama succeeded where the Bush-Cheney administration failed by escalating pressure and forcing Tehran to the bargaining table -- and on Wednesday, she will outline a tougher stance to enforce the resulting deal.
The sharply contrasting narratives reflect not just the ideological poles of a divisive debate that formally got underway in Congress on Tuesday. They also illustrate the divergent goals of two political leaders with keen interests in writing, or rewriting, the history of one of the most consequential foreign policy initiatives of recent years.
So what else makes the two narratives indistinguishable? Baker and Sanger look at a speech Cheney gave yesterday and one Clinton plans to give today:
Both are selectively presenting the history of the Iran issue. Mr. Cheney left out the fact that Iran went from a few hundred centrifuges spinning early in the Bush years to more than 5,000 when the two of them left office -- a total the Obama deal would return Iran to. Nor did Mr. Cheney mention that the Bush administration ignored a diplomatic offer that would have limited Iran to just a few hundred centrifuges in a pilot plant.So Cheney is describing failure as success. Clinton is listing some of the reasons for success when she was in office, while not listing others.
Mrs. Clinton has her own spin on history. In the speech set for Wednesday, she will argue that she was a central player in escalating pressure on Iran through sanctions far tougher than anything the Bush administration put in place. Those included drastically limiting the country’s ability to sell oil and access international financing. She plans no reference to the other form of pressure: American and Israeli sabotage of the Iranian nuclear complex, a covert program that began under Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.
There is literally nothing Dick Cheney could say or do that would alarm the Beltway media, because everything must be offset by the words and deeds of a Democrat. That's just the way the universe is constructed.