As we reflect back on the politics of 2013, no, it wasn't President Obama's best year (although his bad years still seem better than Bush 43's "good" ones, but whatever...), but there were a few things to grasp onto headed into 2014. One was that -- as noted here earlier -- he belatedly kept his promise to talk to our enemies, and his administration reached the framework of a deal to avoid war in Iran. Now, as the Christian world prepares to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, your friendly Democratic U.S. senator would rather incinerate his fellow man (and woman) in the Persian Gulf:
WASHINGTON -- As the United States finally puts a decade of war behind it, a group of senators, including 15 Democrats, is defying the White House and threatening to push the country into a fresh war with Iran.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is leading the charge to pass legislation in January that would impose tougher sanctions on Iran, despite dire warnings from the White House, Iranian leaders, 10 Democratic committee chairs and a host of liberal groups that such an effort could sink a delicate nuclear agreement already in place. Under that Nov. 24 deal, Tehran would curb its nuclear program in exchange for some relief from economic sanctions for a period of six months.
The Senate bill, which has 19 Republican cosponsors, takes a hard line, levying new sanctions on Iran unless the country's leaders agree to abandon all uranium enrichment -- what some have called an "absurd" stance. In the past, both John Kerry, then a U.S. senator, and Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, have said that Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.