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What Eric Cantor’s Op-Ed On Iran Can Teach Us About The Health Care Debate

By Igor Volsky on February 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

"What Eric Cantor’s Op-Ed On Iran Can Teach Us About The Health Care Debate"

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Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)In October, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) cautioned President Obama against negotiating with Iran. “The unfortunate reality for President Obama is that there is absolutely no evidence that Iran is willing to reach any agreement acceptable on U.S. terms,” Cantor wrote in an editorial for POLITICO. “The key point is that we have been down this road before – and it has reached a dead end.” Obama should demand immediate concessions “No exceptions, no excuses,” Cantor insisted.

But his warning against negotiating with a stubborn partner does not extend to the health care debate. Although Republicans have chosen to demagogue the health care reform for the better part of a year, Cantor is still asking President Obama to abandon the existing legislation. While we’re not comparing the GOP to Iran, if the President were to adopt Cantor’s own policy for engagement, Republicans would be excluded from any further negotiations.

No illusions on Iran Health reform
By REP. ERIC CANTOR

It’s a defining moment for the administration and its new policy of engagement with our enemies Republicans. As Iran Republicans moves inexorably towards becoming a nuclear power obstructionist minority, the U.S. Obama will join Great Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday [February 25th] in Geneva at the Blair House in an effort to prod the Islamic Republic Republicans to change course. The unfortunate reality for President Obama is that there is absolutely no evidence that Iran is Republicans are willing to reach any agreement acceptable on U.S. terms – much less use negotiations for any purpose other than to buy more time for its illicit nuclear enrichment activities obstruction.

Engaging Iran Republicans on the nuclear health care issue is nothing new. Attempts by Great Britain Max Baucus, France Harry Reid and Germany Nancy Pelosi from 2003 to 2005 2009 to 2010 to negotiate a suspension of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program Republican filibusters were an exercise in futility. As both sides talked, IranGOP only stepped up its enrichment activities obstructionism. In the same vein, Iran Republicans rejected a generous U.S.-supported Western Baucus/Gang-of-six package of political and economic concessions offered three years several months ago by the West Democrats in exchange for a stop to Iran’sthe GOP’s nuclear program obstructionism.

The key point is that we have been down this road before – and it has reached a dead end. This time around we simply don’t have the luxury of time.

[...]

That’s why tomorrow on February 25h in Geneva Blair House our bottom line must be an immediate halt to Iran’s nuclear enrichmentGOP obstructionist capabilities. No exceptions, no excuses.

[...]
Yet even as we head into negotiations predestined to fail, the temptation remains to bury our heads in the sand, hope and pray that somehow this time Iran will act differently, and play along with Iran’s the GOP’s stalling game. This is a mistake because it gives Iran the GOP the idea that regardless of what it says or does, the West the Democrats will inevitably come crawling back to the table out of desperation.

President Obama is following through on his controversial pledge for the United States to sit down and talk with Iran Republicans. But in doing so he cannot be afraid to call Iran’s the GOP’s bluff and pursue a different course. [...]

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