Senator Ben Cardin announced that he will oppose the deal negotiated to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear bomb. As a Marylander who voted for Senator Cardin, this is supremely disappointing. The negotiated deal is the world’s best shot at preventing a nuclear Iran. In addition to the backing of arms control experts, former military, and a majority of the world – including England, France – the deal is a step toward preventing yet another bloody war in the Middle East.
Cardin put himself on the same side of history as Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol and the league of Iraq War hawks. He knows better. Cardin, when he was in the House, opposed invading Iraq when far too many others supported it. Now, thirteen years later, Cardin has thrown in his lot with the war party.
He made it worse by acting in a cowardly manner. Rather than announce his decision earlier in the year, he waited until his fellow Maryland Senator, Barbara Mikulski, revealed that she would be the deciding vote in favor of the deal. Cardin refused to announce his decision before, while still publicly commenting on the legislation when it is now clear all along he was opposed to the deal.
Cardin acted against the interests of Maryland and the United States by opposing this deal. He kicked off AIPAC’s policy session in March alongside warmonger Lindsey Graham, then did what they wanted six months later as they held a rally in front of his synagogue just this past Tuesday.
Speaking about the deal, Cardin said regardless of the outcome, “we’ve got to come together and support our president.” But on the vital issue at hand, Cardin is voting to cut President Obama off at the knees. The implications for Cardin’s vote are more important regarding the safety of America and Maryland in a world without a nuclear Iran, but it is worth noting that in 2006 when Cardin first won his Senate seat, it was with Obama’s visible backing, and Obama backed him again in 2012.
Who knew, when Obama told people in College Park that “you gotta put this guy in the Senate” that a decade later Senator Cardin would make the people of Maryland regret the decision?
Who knew, when Obama issued an endorsement calling Cardin “one of the good guys” who “works for solutions to the most important issues facing our nation” that it would turn out, on this key issue, to be completely untrue.
As a Marylander, American, and Democrat, I am ashamed of Senator Ben Cardin.
Photo via Edward Kimmel