As I noted in my column today, President
But Obama has another ace in the hole that is likely to frustrate
The same polarization that has produced congressional gridlock and frustrated occasional attempts to strike a fiscal "grand bargain" will be the president's ally in the case of Iran.
Here's why: To block the Iran agreement, Congress must pass a resolution of disapproval — and Obama has already said he will veto any such bill.
To override the veto, opponents of the deal will need to assemble a two-thirds majority in both the
In the Senate, if all 54 Republicans voted to kill the Iran deal, 13
In the House, the obstacles are even higher. To override a veto, opponents of the deal would need at least 44 of the House's 188 Democrats (assuming all members voted and all 246 Republicans stayed together).
But the House has been even more polarized than the Senate, mostly because so many members come from lopsidedly partisan districts.
House Democratic Leader
One more factor may prevent many Democrats from bolting: Hillary Rodham Clinton. The presidential front-runner announced on Tuesday that she not only supports the Iran deal, she intends to campaign for it.
That means any Democrat who votes against the deal would be going up not only against the party's incumbent president, but against the party's most likely presidential nominee.
So while Obama has often bemoaned the partisan polarization that has made bipartisan cooperation impossible, in this case he may be (quietly) grateful for it.