Dealing with Opposition

By: Danielle Apfel

It comes as no surprise that the debate over the potential nuclear agreement with Iran is an ever-present topic of conversation. However, this argument is quickly becoming just another polarized Congressional topic.


As is consistent with a split Congress or a Congress controlled by the opposite party of the White House, major political issues quickly become separated by party lines. Rather than compromise and establish the best possible outcome, representatives are keen to follow party lines and avoid moderate results. This leads to the ever-present issue of a bipartisan government; where representatives are more concerned with keeping to their side of the isle than they are working to find the best solution for their constituents and the American people.


The Iranian Nuclear Deal is no exception to the growing issue of bipartisanship. The Obama Administration, along with Secretary of State John Kerry, has championed this new agreement, fighting for a Congressional resolution that would allow the US to officially sign the new treaty. Naturally, because President Obama has endorsed this deal, many Democrats are eager to demonstrate their support and their loyalty, and agree to vote in favor of the deal. Of course, not every Democrat in Congress is in favor of supporting this treaty, but many are willing to consider it and discuss its potential merits and/or faults, without instantly disregarding it.


On the other hand, as the Democrats largely accept the new proposition, the Republicans are quick to dismiss the entirety of the deal. Of course, there are some Republicans who may see the benefits of this nuclear agreement, but the leading GOP members have formed a strict stance against the deal. As the Republicans have control of both the Senate and the House, the evident rigid stance against a deal makes compromise increasingly difficult.


The constant battle between left-winged leaders and right-winged leaders leaves very little room for compromise, or for moderate solutions for that matter. The ever-growing opposition is often beneficial to the media, as coverage can mirror that of a competition, eliciting a more entertaining form of the news. Because it has become customary and expected for a Congressional representative to vote along his/her party lines, there is no surprise that Republicans, especially those seeking to enter the upcoming GOP debates, are utterly against the agreement.


Fighting this deal, and by proxy, the Obama Administration, appears to be a great way for a hopeful GOP nominee to gain ground in the polls and increase their media coverage. Therefore, President Obama is forced to counter the mounting opposition by those using this debate as leverage for their own potential candidacy. Not only does this take away from the actual substance of the debate – the details of what the deal actually contains and how it would affect Americans and American policy – but it also demonstrates that elected officials are willing to blindly fight for or against something simply due to where the issue falls: conservative, moderate, or liberal.


Understanding the strict contrast in both parties’ opinions perhaps explains why many leaders, especially GOP hopefuls, have voiced such strong remarks in opposition to the deal. While many in opposition to the agreement, including party leaders and hopeful nominees, have revealed how little they know of the deal for having not thoroughly read the details and facts, others insult the concept as a whole yet cannot articulate what should or could have been done better.


The debate regarding the new Iranian deal is long from over. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Congress can manage to compromise over such an important piece of legislation, or whether they will continue on their strict bipartisan paths.

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