Scott Walker argles and bargles on Iran deal, suggests possible military action on day one of presidency

Scott Walker has some thoughts and feelings about President Obama’s recently-announced and UN Security Council-endorsed nuclear deal with Iran, which lifts economic sanctions on the country in exchange for long-term freezing and close monitoring of its nuclear program.

On Saturday, Walker told reporters in Iowa that the next president will need to be prepared to use military force against Iran, “very possibly” on their first day in office. The suggestion is seemingly a dig at President Obama, who in Walker’s (and conservatives’) view will have irresponsibly overlooked the country’s military capabilities and ambitions, failing to initiate such attacks during his presidency.

Earlier in the week, Walker promised to “terminate” the Iran deal on his first day in office.


Of course, neither of those claims are possible, and Jeb Bush — whose brother knows a thing or two about nuclear agreements — spent much of the weekend reminding Walker of that. You can’t simply undo treaties entered into by previous presidents, especially not via immediate and unchecked executive action on your first day in office.

Bush, of course, was then forced to say that he was very sorry for daring to utter a fact about foreign policy, telling The Weekly Standard on Sunday night that if elected he “would begin immediately to responsibly get us out of this deal.”


The foreign policy skirmish between Bush and Walker is but the latest variation of one of the foremost themes in the GOP race: The reporters covering Scott Walker are convinced that his lack of foreign policy experience and expertise is one of his most glaring weaknesses, while Walker and his opponents know full well that, as far as Iowa Republicans are concerned, it’s one of his biggest strengths. Feeling no need to tie himself to what is “true” or “possible” in the realm of global affairs, because he is literally unable to distinguish the true and possible from the false and impossible, Walker can plant his foreign policy flags wherever he sees fit.

A new poll out today shows Walker with a significant lead in Iowa, holding 22 percent of the vote to Donald Trump’s 13. Jeb Bush is in fourth, behind Walker, Trump and Ben Carson, with 7 percent. What’s more, if and when Trump implodes — he can’t get away with being in favor of universal healthcare forever — Walker stands the most to gain from his implosion. After all, he was angling for the angry, racist, facts-optional vote long before Trump jumped into the race.

Jeb’s got his work cut out for him if he hopes to win while remaining at least somewhat grounded in reality — both on foreign policy and other issues, like immigration or education, where he breaks (very) slightly with the conservative base in favor of the general electorate.

Lucky for him, he’s got the cash necessary in order to do it.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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