Colorado GOP Looks To Keep Iran Boogeyman Alive

Former Rep. Mark Waller (R).

Former Rep. Mark Waller (R).

As 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman reports, local Republicans aren’t taking the news that President Barack Obama has obtained enough support in the U.S. Senate for the Iran nuclear weapons agreement to kill a resolution of disapproval lying down:

The plan is to attempt to pass a ballot initiative which explicitly bans the investment of state funds in Iran, with the aim of setting up a direct conflict between the state and the federal government’s Iran deal.

“The nuclear deal requires the Obama administration to lobby on behalf of the Iranian government,” said former Republican state House minority leader Mark Waller.

He’s referring to language in the text of the deal’s preface (paragraph 25), aimed at discouraging state laws from interfering with the lifting of sanctions.

“If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions,” the agreement’s text states. “The United States will take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities, with a view to achieving such implementation.”

The agreement goes on to say “the United States will actively encourage officials at the state or local level to take into account the changes in the U.S. policy reflected in the lifting of sanctions.”

The idea that the federal government would encourage state and local governments to ease local laws passed in recent years to ensure American money doesn’t fund anything involving Iran’s military, government, or economy apparently greatly upsets our local Colorado Republicans. As Rittiman reports, the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association already has an explicit policy against Iran investments. Even though sanctions at a national and international level have a far greater impact on the Iranian economy than anything we could do in Colorado, this is something that local talking heads can grandstand.

Bottom line: current sanctions and our local policy against investment in Iran are based on that nation’s longtime hostility to America’s foremost Middle Eastern ally, Israel. The Iran nuclear agreement’s purpose, however, is to reduce those hostilities–and if it succeeds, that reduction in hostilities will constitute good reason to roll these sanctions back. That’s how diplomacy works.

So why the hell would you try to undercut this diplomatic solution before it has a chance to succeed? If Colorado’s potential for investment in Iran weren’t a meaningless drop in the bucket, this act of flyover-state political theater might actually threaten a multinational diplomatic agreement brokered by the world’s most powerful nations, considered crucial for peace and stability in the Middle East.

But fortunately for the rest of the world, nobody is likely to care what Mark Waller thinks.

31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Ahhh, Mark Waller…..the man who will be forever known as the wedge between Douglas Bruce and Gordon Klingenschmidt in the history of El Paso County legislative delegation.

  2. BlueCat says:

    And, surprising no one (at least I hope no one is dumb enough to be surprised), Miss Lucy with the Football herself, Susan Collins, always holding out hope that this time she might really break with the party of opposition to anything and everything just because and be the one Republican vote to come over when it actually matters, has finally announced a definite "no" on supporting the Iran deal.  

    What a surprise? How much time has been wasted over this lady in the past 6+ years? Sure, once in a blue moon she may vote against her party but only when doing so makes no difference.

    In this case, it's still possible that Dems won't get 41 out of the 41 votes to support the deal to also support filibuster. With Collins making 42, or even 43 if Cantwell joins the supporters of the deal, it would very likely be enough for a filibuster even if Coons refused to join it and of course Collins never would. Collins is what passes for the most moderate R in the GOP caucus and even she falls in line whenever the rest need her to. Always has. When push comes to shove there is no difference between having her or the most rabid rightie wacko in that seat. 

    • BlueCat says:

      Don't know what I did wrong. The second is my edited version with an addition at the end that I somehow lost or at least it didn't seem to post. So I reposted my original which I had copied as I do these days because of glitches to be on the safe side. I see they both posted. Sorry.

  3. Moderatus says:

    It's not just Colorado, several states are joining together for the Defund Iran initiative. If this bad deal can't be stopped at the federal level, individual states can choose not to participate. Unfortunately, that won't save those states from an Iranian terrorist attack that the deal makes much more likely.

    • mamajama55 says:

      So Modster, if several states decide to withhold practical support for a duly voted-upon foreign policy involving high stakes diplomacy, how is that not treachery?

      Would you not have been all a-dither about "unpatriotic liberals"  if Colorado, say, or the Republic of Boulder, had voted not to allow the state to send soldiers to Iraq, or to allow contractors to contract for supplies?

      Just once, I'd like to see one of these guys swagger up to a mic and sneer, "I'm a goddamn traitor. I'm not patriotic, and I'm proud of it."


      • Moderatus says:

        You don't think liberals would have voted for that if they had the chance? Of course they would. And you would defend their right to do it.

        This isn't about winning a UN popularity contest, it's about protecting our ally Israel and not rewarding terrorists. I will always stand up for a strong America that doesn't give away the farm to our enemies. That doesn't make me a traitor, it makes me a patriot.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          Ah, yes.  Israel.  That nation with one of the more liberal abortion policies in the entire world.  How about you promote a ballot initiative to ban abortions in Israel or cut off their aid? 

          • BlueCat says:

            And completely socialized medicine. In fact a far more socialist country than many of the right's favorite countries to bash for socialism in Europe. An economy more government regulated than anything even the most liberal Democratic President or Congress member, including "extreme" Bernie Sanders, has ever come close to suggesting. Not very big on freedom in terms of guaranteed rights either. Certainly not religious what with 90% of Israeli Jews being entirely secular. Why is it again that the right's so staunch for Israel? Oh yeah. End times, etc. 

        • OrangeFree says:

          Liberals would never get a chance to vote against a deal because Conservatives would rather bomb than negotiate. I know geopolitics and international relations are a tough subject for someone with a worldview that doesn't extend beyond their front door, but your gunboat diplomacy got Iran closer to the bomb then this deal ever will. 

          Stall their nuclear weapons ambitions, open them up to the free market. Freer markets create free people – isn't that what you conservatives are supposed to believe?

        • mamajama55 says:

          Mods, I'm curious as to whether you would stand up as staunchly for the rights of  states or municipalities to cast liberal protest votes against Federal foreign policy.

          Bluecat's right that it's a fairly meaningless exercise, if it’s only a “protest vote”, but that hasn't stopped places like Boulder or Vermont or New Hampshire from declaring that they will divest state funds from apartheid, or the Iraq war, or now fossil fuels.

          . Divestment eventually turned the tide against apartheid in South Africa, and it’s having an impact on financing fossil fuel exploration ventures.

          Is it only treachery when liberals do it? Is it only treachery when it is anti-war? Is it only treachery when it undermines support for whichever brutal dictator the US is propping up? Is it only treachery when it cuts into corporate profits?  Inquiring mind (mine) wants to know.

          • FrankUnderwood says:

            "whether you would stand up as staunchly for the rights of  states or municipalities to cast liberal protest votes against Federal foreign policy…"

            Or even municipalities casting liberal protest votes against federal domestic policy. Look at what happened when D.C. tried to enact gun safety legislation at the local level. The wing nuts went to court to challenge it.

            • MichaelBowman says:

              …or legalizing marijuana in the shadows of Capitol Hill.  

              Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, told Bowser that if she continued with her plan to implement marijuana legalization she would face "very serious consequences," The Washington Post reported.

              "You can go to prison for this," The Post quoted Chaffetz as saying. "We're not playing a little game here."

              Don't you just love it when a smart, accomplished woman takes on a 19th-century moron and tells him to pound sand:

              Bowser was undeterred by the threat of prison time. "We are acting lawfully," she told reporters. "I have a lot of things to do, being in jail wouldn't be a good thing.


    • FrankUnderwood says:

      And poor Julesburg is in their missile sight line.

    • BlueCat says:

      Some Republican aren't "Colorado" and foreign policy can only be conducted by the government United States of America, the entity you righties all hypocritically claim allegiance to whose only government is the federal government. 

    • Duke Cox says:

      Iranian terrorist attack

      They run the Obamacare death panels, right…? Now I am beginning to see the connection….very clever…

    • BlueCat says:

      If this is what you believe, modster, then don't ever call yourself an American patriot again.  We aren't just a bunch of separate states. We are united in one nation, the United States of America, the federal government is the government of that nation and has sole authority in all areas of foreign policy. If you stand for states going their own way on foreign policy matters you are no different than those who waged war on the United States of America to go their own way on slavery and can in no way claim to love your country or claim to love the country's constitution. Period.

      We really need to start teaching civics in school again. This is getting ridiculous. Between this, claims that there is some kind of debate over whether the constitution guarantees birthright citizenship, Huckabee claiming that though the Supreme Court ruled that same gender couples can't be discriminated against when they seek to marry it doesn't count until states pass new legislation and that laws don't have to be obeyed unless you think they're right, the level of nutty nonsense and the gullibility of the ignorant populace that buys it has gotten completely out of hand.

  4. FrankUnderwood says:

    whatever reservations I had about this agreement ended today when Dick Cheney launched his verbal jihad against it……

    • BlueCat says:

      While Rs decided to be against anything Obama wanted, whether it was good for the country or not, because they were dedicated to his failure over all other considerations, being against whatever Cheney is for is always a good bet because … you know…. he's evil incarnate.

  5. Republican 36 says:

    There is a broader and more important narrative here, and it favors the Democratic Party. Since the Republicans in Washington, DC are against everything and anything President Obama supports and they block him at every turn, they have become more than obstructionists in the mind of voters. Through their never ending vitriol and corresponding failure to govern, they have painted themselves into a corner as the party that refuses to address our nation's problems and opportunities.

    The more Republicans complain and whine about President Obama's executive orders and federal agency regulations, they paint themselves even more into a corner and the contrast they draw is obvious: The Democrats are actually getting things done while the Republicans are not. The Democrats are governing while the Republicans let things drift. The Democrats address opportunities and problems while the Republicans refuse to do so.

    It is also why a person like Donald Trump is succeeding in the Republican race for the nomination. Look past his bluster. He has actually addressed some important issues. On taxes, he favors the graduated income tax and he said last week without it, the tax system is unfair and he said the rich should pay more than those with moderate or low income. On the treaty with Iran, he said he would treat it as a bad contract that he inherited and rather than ripping it up, he would try to improve it. Not a bad answer. Compare that to the other Republican presidential candidates. The others simply repeat the rote, staid ideology that boils down to one principle – the federal government should not exist. In other words, the federal government doesn't have any role to play in transportation, higher education, welfare or retirement policy (Social Security). At bottom, their positions are meaningless drivel that would require each of us to stick our head in the sand and deny reality.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Spot-on analysis, R36. And since Trump will most likely be the Republican nominee, much as he is despised, it's good that he has some redeeming qualities, or relatively moderate positions. I suppose that's why the Tea Party wing hates him even more than liberals do.

      • BlueCat says:

        Yes, he has some positions that make sense but he is completely detached from reality in what he thinks a President can do or what's remotely possible in the real world of American and international policy and diplomacy in general. That could be kind of a problem. Not unlike severe dementia. I don't share your view, however, that he will "most likely" be the Republican nominee.

  6. notaskinnycook says:

    I just hope John Kasich flames out. He seem s the least crazy of the lot. Although I suppose I needn't worry. Crazy is what the majority of Rs seem to want these days.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Kasich is following the Jon Huntsman strategy:  Write off Iowa because he's not nuts enough to be competitive with the tin foil hat crowd, finish a distant second in New Hampshire, and then drop out because that was about as good as it was going to get.

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