[Ed. – Mess that Trump inherited]
President Trump and his administration are approaching a make-or-break May deadline for deciding whether to stay in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Lawmakers, analysts, and journalists have been struggling to reestablish something approaching a healthy debate in the aftermath of the factitious salesmanship of the Obama “echo chamber.” That was the mutually reinforcing and mutually credentialing network of ideologues, wannabe wonks, and callow journalists run by Obama’s deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes, who infamously bragged about how he had created it to drown out veteran journalists and experts.
If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, is a coherent cluster of policies in the service of a modest arms-control strategy, there might be a basis for building on it as policy. But if it is a mess of contradictions that can’t be integrated into any coherent policy advancing American interests, then there are a dozen different scenarios in which the deal’s collapse becomes inevitable long before it begins sunsetting in the mid-2020s, and Donald Trump should just withdraw from the deal and shake everyone out of their slumbers.