Bret Stephens | All the president’s certitudes

Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal:

In a withering 1957 review of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” for National Review, Whittaker Chambers wrote that he could “recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained.” Of the author’s mentality, he observed:

“It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked.”

Which brings me to Barack Obama and his case for the Iran nuclear deal.

Who is it, according to the president, who supports the deal? It is, he said in his speech last week at American University, the unanimous U.N. Security Council, the majority of “arms control and non-proliferation experts,” “over 100 former ambassadors” and “every nation in the world that has commented publicly”—with one lone exception.

In sum, the forces of good, the children of light, the 99%.

And who’s against the deal? A “virulent” majority of Republicans. Lobbyists funding a multimillion-dollar advertising effort to oppose the deal. Partisans and pundits. Warmongers. The people who were wrong about Iraq. Hard-liners in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. And one stiff-necked nation, Israel, which doesn’t have the wit to see how terrific this deal is for them.

In other words, fools or knaves, the benighted or the willfully wicked, fighting a deal whose intrinsic benefits should be as self-evident as Bran Flakes or a good night’s rest.


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