Congressman Chris Gibson makes no bones about the fact that he’s strongly considering running for New York Governor. In an interview with Susan Arbetter on her Capitol Pressroom radio show, where he said that New York needs leadership by example, Arbetter asked him “Is that governor you?” Gibson answered, “I’m looking at that…” He went on to make a case for himself.
He also seems to be making a political case for himself as governor when he says, regarding the Iran nuclear deal, “…I will vote AGAINST the agreement…” He cites numbers saying that 55 percent of respondents to a poll on his own Facebook page agree with his opposition to the deal. But wait…that’s his own Facebook page. It’s hardly an indicator of the way his district feels on the question. You could surmise that 55 percent agreeing with him on his own page is a pretty slight endorsement. After all, most people tuning in to your page, tend to “like” it.
His arguments are inconsistent. “I think we should keep the pressure on. Those sanctions have made a difference. The reason why Iran wants to make a deal is because the sanctions have worked…” he told Arbetter.
Yes, they have worked and brought about a deal. That was the whole point, right? Writing in the Atlantic, dated August 4, Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, says “Before negotiations halted its nuclear advance, Iran had marched relentlessly down the field from 10 years away from a bomb to two months from that goal line…In the absence of this agreement, the most likely outcome would be that the parties resume doing what they were doing before the freeze began: Iran installing more centrifuges, accumulating a larger stockpile of bomb-usable material, shrinking the time required to build a bomb; the U.S. resuming an effort to impose more severe sanctions on Iran.”
Gibson said, “We all want to make sure this is solved peacefully…We all want to keep talking and have a negotiated settlement. This just isn’t it.”
Allison, in the Atlantic, counters, “At this point, a ‘better deal’ is an illusion. One can always imagine a better deal. But if the U.S. Congress rejects this agreement and proposes sending Secretary of State John Kerry back to the negotiating table, Kerry will most likely find no one else there. Partners who have negotiated and compromised over 20 months to achieve this accord will conclude that the U.S. government is incapable of making agreements.”
Gibson is worried about “How Israel is responding to this. Not just Netanyahu, but the leader of the opposition…” He says it will create “instability because of how it looks in Israel to both the left and the right…”
That would be a position taken by someone running for statewide office in New York State, courting the state’s considerable Jewish vote and the campaign contributions that come with it. The issue has got Senator Schumer all in a twist, and Gibson thinks he, too, will come out against the agreement.
The deal does what it is supposed to do, what the President said he would do…keeps Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
What’s odd is that it appears that the position the usually thoughtful Gibson is taking is out of character for him, politically motivated, and dubiously supported by his constituents. He offers no alternative other than the status quo, which has us continually on the brink of avoidable armed conflict, the type of which he says his combat tours in the Middle East have stood him in opposition. It appears easy for him to take this position. His party wants him to. The likelihood of an Obama veto of a congressional thumbs down should allow the deal to go through, so he stands little chance of scuttling the deal.
But taking a chance on peace is where, based on his words since he’s been representing us for the last three years, we’d expect to see him, and we’re sorry we don’t.
See https://www.theatlantic.com/, 9 Reasons to Support the Iran Deal by Graham Allison for what we find to be a particularly well reasoned article