By Matt Rooney
Bob Menendez is a shady character.
The only reason he didn’t get convicted and go to jail for it was a jury’s indecision over his criminal culpability; that says a lot more about the state’s case than the defendant’s actual innocence, Save Jerseyans.
What is undisputed? Even if you don’t think Bob Menendez is a criminal, a bipartisan panel of his colleagues has concluded that he’s unethical, so much so that his behavior warranted a ‘severe’ admonishment.
But let’s set all of that aside for a moment as difficult as that may be to do.
Notwithstanding his slimy antics and horrendous domestic policy positions, reasonable people at all ends of the political spectrum used to be able to count on Menendez, senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as a level-headed and often articulate supporter of U.S. interests and our allies in the foreign policy context:
“‘At the end of the day, what we appear to have is a rollback of sanctions and Iran only limiting its capability, but not dismantling or rolling it back,’ Mr. Menendez said in a speech at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. ‘If Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it,’ he added. ‘I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto.”
That was Menendez back in August 2015. He was one of just four Democrats on Capitol Hill to oppose then-President Obama’s recently abandoned nuclear “deal” with Iran.
Back then, Menendez was even willing to take the Obama Administration head-on over the issue. Many continue to insist, with a wink and a nod, that Obama allies catalyzed some of Menendez’s legal troubles over the New Jersey senator’s fopo independent streak.
He went even further earlier that summer, saying he was “concerned the red lines we drew have turned into green lights: that Iran will be required only to limit rather than eliminate its nuclear program, while the international community will be required to lift the sanctions.”
Now he’s singing a different tune.
“With this decision President Trump is risking U.S. national security, recklessly upending foundational partnerships with key U.S. allies in Europe and gambling with Israel’s security,” declared Menendez declared shortly after Trump’s withdrawal announcement.
What’s different… now?
That’s not clear. The Iran Deal is as bad as it was when Menendez first opposed it during a Democrat administration. The only new variable is a somewhat hobbled Menendez facing reelection in a “blue” state.
It’s shame. Not only for the weighty substantive issue at hand, but doubly so because Bob Menendez is officially out of redeemable facets.