Dr. Omar Hamada press release: When I was a Major in the United States Army Special Forces, I learned a thing or two about strategy. One of the strongest tactics you can use on the battlefield is to confuse your enemy. Unfortunately for Tennessee’s conservatives, US Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) seems to view them as the enemy. He deserves credit. For someone that has never stepped foot on a battlefield to serve his country, Corker sure knows how to confuse his enemies. One may ask why someone that has never worn the uniform of America’s armed services is chairman over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Perhaps it’s because Corker is nothing more than a brilliant politician– they also know how to confuse their enemies. Corker has used every weapon in his arsenal to mislead Tennesseans on the details of President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. Tennesseans should know how a Washington politician has been fast at work deceiving them for months. The truth is, Obama needed Corker to save his Iran deal and Corker delivered.
Note that Corker and Obama have a close relationship. They have teed off on the golf course and enjoyed dinner together on more than one occasion. They aren’t exactly enemies. Actually, many in Washington would say they are close. Therefore, when Corker introduced legislation to “give Congress a vote” on the Iran deal, eyebrows should have raised. Initially, Obama said he would reject the bill, but quickly flipped and said he supported Corker’s bill. As Obama has said, he has a pen and a phone. He has no qualms when it comes to sidestepping Congress. So, why would Obama support Corker’s bill that supposedly gives Congress the power to kill his negotiations? Again- the stated purpose of the bill was to stop Obama’s Iran deal, but Obama couldn’t wait to sign it. Odd. The plain and simple truth is that Congress had a vote before Corker’s bill and Obama never actually rejected the bill. In fact, Obama wanted and needed Corker’s bill. Now the bill is law.
Here’s what really happened. Obama’s Iran nuclear deal was considered a treaty. Plain and simple. Of course, that was before Corker’s bill. It’s important to note that treaties require 67 votes from the Senate for approval. The Senate is currently composed of 44 Democrats, 54 Republicans and 2 Independents. In order for Obama’s Iran treaty to pass, he would need every single Democrat, both Independents, and at least 21 Republicans to vote in favor of it. As of today, not a single Republican and 2 Democrats stand against the deal. That’s 56 no votes and 44 in favor. So, the deal is dead– right? Wrong.
Corker’s bill legally allowed Obama’s Iran deal to be presented as normal legislation instead of a treaty. Even worse, Corker’s bill allows for Obama’s nuclear deal to activate unless Congress disapproves the deal. Meaning Congress must pass a Resolution of Disapproval to kill the deal. Democrats have enough members to prevent a Resolution of Disapproval from being voted on because 60 votes are required to force a vote on legislation. Because Republicans only have 54 votes (maybe 56 if the two Democrats opposing the bill stand with them) they don’t have the votes to force a vote on a Resolution of Disapproval. Without the resolution, the deal is set in stone. Even if Republicans can get 4 more Democrats to flip, Obama now has the power to veto the resolution. To override the veto, 13 Senate Democrats and 43 House Democrats have to stand with Republicans against Obama. It won’t happen. Obama knew this going in, and that’s why he couldn’t wait to sign Corker’s bill.
Corker now has the audacity to visit Tennessee and tell his constituents that the Republicans won’t be able to stop the Iran deal, but he tried so hard. He should be ashamed of purposefully misleading his constituents when he knows it was his actions that guaranteed Obama’s and Iran’s success.
A chance exists that Corker didn’t mean to pave the road for Obama’s Iran deal. Perhaps he didn’t know what he was doing. I’m not sure what’s worse. Corker saving Obama and blatantly lying to his constituents about what he did, or the off chance that the Chairman of one of the Senate’s most powerful committees didn’t know what he was doing when he gave Obama exactly what he wanted. Regardless, Tennesseans are not receiving the representation the deserve.
Omar L. Hamada, MD, MBA, (FAAFP | FACOG | FICS), USASOC, a heavily decorated, veteran Major of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne), is an accomplished physician and business executive in both civilian and military healthcare markets living in Tennessee with his wife, Dr. Tara Hamada, and their four children.