- - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, a bathed-in-the-wool Democrat, announced Wednesday to nobody’s surprise that she will vote to uphold President Obama’s deal with the mullahs in Iran. That sent the pact’s supporters into the streets, or at least into the Capitol corridors, for a victory dance. Her vote would give the president the 34 votes he would need to uphold a veto if the Senate, as expected, votes to disapprove the deal when Congress returns after the Labor Day recess.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has said that he intends to schedule the debate in a way that will give every senator an opportunity to make his (or her) position and reasoning clear to his colleagues and to the public. If the resolution of disapproval should prevail, it would derail President Obama’s ability to dismantle the sanctions pinching the Iranian economy, as he promised Tehran he would do as part of his nefarious deal. The president has made it clear that he will veto the resolution if the Senate passes it.

It appeared earlier that skeptics of what they regard as sell-out might prevail. Rounding up the 34 votes to save the deal was the cause for singing and dancing in the White House, but it would turn out to be a hollow victory, because it would mean that 66 senators voted the other way. Mr. Obama would get his way only by ignoring the sentiments of two-thirds of the Senate, including a few Democrats like Chuck Schumer of New York who examined the deal Messrs. Obama and Kerry negotiated, and determined that it was only a deal for suckers. They could not in good conscience support it.

Only in the bubble where Mr. Obama lives in isolated splendor would this be the resounding approval he needs to to show the world what victory looks like. The president would prevail by persuading several senators that party loyalty is more important than national security. He and those who promise to stand with him are counting on the advice and good wishes of Pollyanna. If this deal, riding on the good faith of mullahs who have nothing in their past to suggest they understand good faith, succeeds in preventing an Islamic bomb in Tehran, it will succeed against the expectations of those who know the Middle East best.

Sen. Mikulski is retiring, and won’t have to face Maryland voters again if the deal goes south, but others of similar ilk who support the deal because to do otherwise would embarrass Mr. Obama, will have to rely on the short memories of the voters. That’s the kind of assurances Democrats got when they swallowed Obamacare. It’s always a mistake to underestimate the memory of the voters on important issues, and there has rarely been an issue as important as this one.

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