Maddow, Hayes Fawn Over Iran Deal: ‘The Achievement...of This American Generation’

Following the announcement of a deal reached with Iran to lift economic sanctions in exchange for ostensible restrictions on their nuclear program, MSNBC’s primetime hosts slobbered over the “historic” nature of the agreement. All In host Chris Hayes, on Tuesday night, labeled the deal “one of the most historic days in the Obama presidency and a potentially transformative moment for American foreign policy.” 

Not to be outdone, Rachel Maddow came on the following hour to claim that the deal could represent “the major foreign policy achievement, not only of this presidency, but of this American generation.” She suggested that “people in the not too distant future will look back at this presidency, they’ll look back at this presidency and they’ll say, of course they gave him a Nobel Peace Prize.” 

After mentioning some criticism of the Iran deal, Hayes said the prolonged negotiations “demonstrate the value of a commitment to the transformative power of American diplomacy.” Hayes then made an odd comparison between opposition to the deal and opposition to ObamaCare. He declared: 

Politically, it will become to foreign policy what ObamaCare has been to domestic policy. There will likely be total unanimity among Republicans in opposition, but just as a Republican nominee will rail against ObamaCare and pledge to repeal it and find it almost impossible to do so, so it will be with this agreement. Unless you think the opposition will be sober and serious, but never hysterical. 

Maddow lamented that the right has been “going nuts” about the Iran deal. She claimed the “vast majority of Americans” want the deal and like it. The MSNBC personality dismissed fears from the right about the deal, arguing the deal will prevent war with the world’s leading state sponsor of terror: 

But it might work. In which case, no war with Iran, which has been the threat of my lifetime, I'm 42. I have expected a war with Iran my entire life. If this works, no war with Iran. It also means no nuclear bomb in Iran.

The long time MSNBC host opined that, if the deal works, the president will have “achieved the only diplomatic world-transforming achievement big enough to make us forget all about him [Obama].”

Reaction to the Iran deal was a bit more muted on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. MSNBC contributor and Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter trumped up the deal as a “historical moment.” Guest Matthew Bunn of Harvard University dubbed the deal “an important breakthrough” that will reduce the spread of nuclear weapons.  

The relevant portion of the transcript is below.  

All In with Chris Hayes

July 14, 2015

CHRIS HAYES: We begin tonight with one of the most historic days in the Obama presidency and a potentially transformative moment for American foreign policy. Today's announcement of a deal between Iran and six nations, led by the U.S., to limit Iran's nuclear ability in exchange for the lifting of brutal international sanctions. The deal represents the culmination of an approach to foreign policy that dates back to Barack Obama's first presidential run. When the then-candidate was lambasted for saying he would be willing to meet with Iran's leaders and those of other hostile nations without preconditions. 

[...]

HAYES: Today, seven years later, George W. Bush's brother, Jeb, echoed those very words, releasing a statement saying the Iran deal quote, isn’t diplomacy, it is appeasement. We’ll have much more on the attacks on the agreement later in the show. But for a president who told hostile nations in his first inaugural address he would, quote, extend a hand if you're willing to unclench your fist, today's announcement of a deal after 20 months of intense, grueling negotiations demonstrates the value of a commitment to the transformative power of American diplomacy.

[...]

HAYES: The opposition to the Iran nuclear deal has basically been gearing up for this moment for six years. The deal in many ways really does represent everything opponents fear. Everything they hate. Everything they want to defeat. Politically, it will become to foreign policy what ObamaCare has been to domestic policy. There will likely be total unanimity among Republicans in opposition, but just as a Republican nominee will rail against ObamaCare and pledge to repeal it and find it almost impossible to do so, so it will be with this agreement. Unless you think the opposition will be sober and serious, but never hysterical. 

The Rachel Maddow Show

July 14, 2015

RACHEL MADDOW: The goal under president Barack Obama was to use those sanctions to instead get Iran to talk, to get them to the table to negotiate. And it worked. They came to the table, and they negotiated for 20 straight months. And lately, for 18 straight days without a break. And they've got a deal on the Iranian nuclear program and, yes, the right is going nuts. And The Washington Post editorial page will feel hot to the touch for several days. And Republicans will run ads about how terrible it is, and Congress will be full of people giving very excited speeches about it, even though they sometimes mix up Sunni and Shia and Iraq and Iran. And there will be noise in the beltway like you can't believe even as the vast majority of the American people continue to say they actually want this deal, they like this deal.

And, as yet, Washington might, as yet, screw this thing up. The Iranians might screw it up, in terms of their own government and their own hard liners. The Iranians might also cheat and blow the deal that way. There's all sort of ways this might yet get screwed up. But it might work. In which case, no war with Iran, which has been the threat of my lifetime, I'm 42. I have expected a war with Iran my entire life. If this works, no war with Iran. It also means no nuclear bomb in Iran. And it means this president will have achieved the only diplomatic world-transforming achievement big enough to make us forget all about him. Also ending 50 years of cartoonishly failed and ridiculous foreign policy toward Cuba, which he also did a few minutes ago. We don't know if the Iran deal is going to work. If it does, it will be the major foreign policy achievement, not only of this presidency, but of this American generation. At which point, people in the not too distant future will look back at this presidency, they'll look back at this president and they’ll say, of course they gave him the Nobel Peace Prize, of course they did.

NB Daily Iran Rachel Maddow Show All In Chris Hayes Rachel Maddow

Sponsored Links