Schumer Breaks Ranks on Iran Nuke Deal

Bill Ingalls/Wikimedia Commons

So in a development that was leaked and reported late yesterday when the whole hep political world was focused on the GOP candidate events, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has decided to oppose the Iran Nuke Deal.

Now there are two very different reads on what this means. Republicans, of course, will suggest that it could be the beginning of the end for the deal, whose Democratic support is crumbling or stampeding or something or other. That’s kind of the New York Times‘ take, too, with its headline about the Democratic “firewall” being shaken.

But the other way to read it is that support for the deal in Congress is solid enough that Schumer can in affect cast a “free vote” against the deal without consequences. If that’s the case, however, you’d figure he might have waited a while before announcing his position until the deal was a lead-pipe cinch. But then if his vote really is significant, isn’t he potentially blowing up his easy ascent into the Senate Leader position upon Harry Reid’s departure?

Earlier this week Greg Sargent did his own count and argued that opponents of the deal will have to pull off a near-sweep of undecided senators to win. Schumer’s just one of them. And if he is behind the scenes twisting arms against Obama, we may see a revival of interest in Dick Durban or Patty Murray as Senate Democratic Leader in 2017.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.