Roger L. Simon

Animal Farm in the US Senate?

Well, it wouldn’t be the first time, but it’s a weird one. Here’s what happened on December 16 in an interchange between Senators Santorum (R-PA) and Wyden (D-OR) when Santorum was making a proposal on Iran to the Senate:

Mr. SANTORUM. Mr. President, I am going to propound what I hope will be two unanimous consent requests about one particular issue. The issue is on the anti-Semitic statements made by the President of Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad, who said, among other things, that the state of Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth. We have been working cooperatively to try to get this resolution cleared, condemning those statements. We had some concerns raised with the resolution which I will discuss in more detail. We finally have a version cleared, and I will discuss in detail how we had to work through that. Suffice it to say that it is good to see that we are going to finally get strong bipartisan support to condemn this conduct and call for Iran to be a constructive partner in the peace process in the Middle East.
I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. Res. 336, a resolution to condemn the recent destructive and anti-Semitic statements of the President of Iran which I submitted earlier today. I ask that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table.

Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, while I personally am vehemently opposed to the statements that have been made by the President of Iran, I have been asked by the Members on this side of the aisle to object, and I do so object.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

So what was Wyden (who happens to be Jewish) objecting to on behalf of those Democratic Members? Well, look at the lines that were struck from the proposed legislation in order for the Iran Freedom and Support Act to pass:

1. The Senate supports efforts by the people of Iran to exercise self-determination over the form of government of their country.

2. The Senate supports a national referendum in Iran, with oversight by international observers and monitors, to certify the integrity and fairness of the referendum.

Should I have titled this “Which Side Are You On” yet again?

UPDATE: More here.