Fake Quote of the Day:

“Tell Obama we’ll take one more day. And have Kerry pick me up a sandwich.”

– Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (joke courtesy of White House Dossier)

Laughing through the apocalypse—I am trying to track down that phrase.

But it does seem to capture what we are doing right now as President Obama’s nuclear negotiations with Iran drag on absurdly. Or at least, we’re laughing through a pre-apocalypse.

We probably won’t find things a bit funny if a bad nuclear deal with Iran triggers a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Meanwhile, we’re punch drunk (and maybe a little afraid).

But I can’t resist referring you to John Podhoretz’s hilarious column in today’s New York Post:

The only remaining leverage the United States has in negotiations with Iran is the central presence at those negotiations of our secretary of state, John Kerry.

Long after anyone else in the West saw value in the continuation of these discussions, and two days after a deadline that apparently means as much to this administration as the “red line” it drew in Syria, Kerry has insisted on staying in Switzerland.

And staying. And staying.

Please spare a moment’s sympathy, if you can, for Mohammed Zarif, his Iranian counterpart. Sure, he’s the representative of a ghastly theocratic regime, but he’s a person.

But Podhoretz, who is also a movie critic, humorously makes a devastating point:

Obama is like the executives back in 1980 at United Artists who agreed to make “Heaven’s Gate” and then continued pouring money into it even as it became a bottomless well of expense.

To acknowledge the mistake and cancel the production in the middle would have been to admit a mistake so profound it would have humiliated them beyond measure.

Of course, once the picture was done, they weren’t just humiliated — they were fired, en masse, and United Artists literally went out of business.

Obama won’t be fired, and the United States won’t go out of business. But whatever happens at the end of this negotiation, he and Kerry and the nation they represent will have been humiliated, United-Artists style.

Either they will get a piece of paper of some sort indicating that they have capitulated on nearly every point of contention over these past few weeks, or Kerry will leave Lausanne empty-handed despite willingly assuming almost any position Zarif wanted him to assume.