One of the defining features of modern American liberalism is its inherent dishonesty. Despite conservative despair over liberal electoral successes, the fact is that the American left rarely says what it thinks, particularly at election time.
Lies are their bread and butter. The current most obvious example of this is Hillary! Clinton's deceptive campaign for president. Like all liberals, she supports 'the little guy' and she is now bringing up the evils of the 1 percent and unequal income distribution. Of course she has no intention of leaving the 1 percent, but she'd like to you to join her in hating everyone who has more money than she does.
American conservatives, by contrast, try to mean what they say and honor their promises. This is because their base demands it. The American right will tolerate a certain amount of subterfuge, but generally they adhere to the old saw that honesty is the best policy.
This dichotomy tends to give Democrats the upper hand when they negotiate with Republicans. Because they have no sense of honor or shame, Democrats can break an agreement with no ill effects and will happily lie about doing so. The only animating principle of the left is: "The ends justify the means." The fact that one of their more radical allies uses the name "By Any Means Necessary" speaks volumes as to their true moral character.
In practice, Republicans are reduced to being Charlie Brown to the Democrats' Lucy: Forever trying to kick the football and always watching it get pulled away.
The current confirmation deal for Attorney General represents perhaps a rare moment where the deal got done: The GOP got a bill out of the Senate and the president got to keep his Justice Dept. firewall in place.
Of course the president could still veto the deal, which would pretty much be par for the course. Once again he could congratulate himself on his cleverness.
But what happens when the other side lies as well? What if the playing field is even?
Iran is now showing the Obama Administration just how awkward that can be.
The mullahs hate America and always have. The Iranian people don't, but they aren't actually in charge of the country. What is more, the mullahs probably have even more contempt for Barack Obama than any American leader - including Jimmy Carter. For one thing, Obama is (wait for it) black, and Iranians are famously Aryan (just ask them).
For another, Obama has now made it the stated goal of the United States to defend homosexuality around the globe. That's actually part of our national security strategy. Go ahead, look it up.
It is a rare thing for another country to openly declare its allegiance to moral degeneration, but as far as Iran (and the Muslim worlds cares), that's exactly what we've done.
All of this makes it blindingly easy (and highly enjoyable) for the Iranians to torment us at every turn. The fact is, Obama needs a deal with Iran - any deal. He has too much invested in this.
Iran, by contrast, needs nothing. They are willing to offer a deal, but want all of their benefits up front so that they can immediately renege.
Iran's leaders have no intention of being a strategic partner and quite openly say so.
The spectacle of the White House press secretary explaining that chants of "Death to America" by Iran's Supreme Leader are only for "domestic consumption" would be hilarious if the stakes weren't so high.
But this is what happens with the amateur liars run into the professionals.
It is too much to hope that the administration might gain a glimmer of how it feels to be the GOP - trying to find common ground only to get tricked and abused for the effort.
Still, for all the hand-wringing about Congress having approval over the final document, we should take comfort in the fact that it will be immediately be violated by Iran, no matter what is in it.