Back before the August recess, you could occasionally hear opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal cackling with glee over the heat Senate Democrats would get while back home from constituents upset over the deal. So the recess ended and Democrats promptly split 4-42 against a motion to proceed with a resolution of disapproval.

Indeed, the whole saga would be over if not for the strange doings of House Republicans, who would have in the normal course of affairs passed a disapproval resolution yesterday. Instead, they are preparing votes on a resolution approving the deal (which is kinda beside the point now), a resolution denying the deal was ever properly submitted to Congress (good luck in court on that one!), and still another measure seeking to stop the administration from easing sanctions on Iran (ditto). The whole Republican effort seems mainly designed to remind the international community that they’ll blow up the deal if they win next year’s elections.

I guess the other way to look at it is that House Republicans believe they haven’t lost this fight if they don’t admit it’s lost! I just hope this principle does not extend to how Republicans would respond to a presidential defeat in 2016.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.