In the classic film “Rebel Without a Cause,” as Jim and Buzz prepare to race two stolen cars toward the edge of a cliff, Jim asks Buzz why they’re doing it. “You gotta do something, now don’t ya,” answers Buzz.

The response a normal, rational person would give to Buzz Gunderson is, “well…okay…but how about doing something less stupid than this?”

Buzz’s instinct – we have to do something – is too often evident in making public policy; the simple act of “doing” is laudable, often in spite of what the “doing” actually does. Whenever someone is rational enough to point out that a proposed action is fraught with obvious peril, the “doers” always demand a proposed alternative. Even when there are perfectly reasonable alternatives, the appropriate answer to such a defeatist, unserious question is, “something less stupid than this.”

Aside from the people responsible for negotiating President Obama’s awful Iran deal and their most politically loyal lapdogs, no one even tries to pretend that the agreement is a good one. They tried at first. For about a week.

But with a $100 billion windfall for the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism, a “snap-back” provision that is so cumbersome it will never be used, a grandfather clause that immunizes new contracts from reinstated sanctions, an inspection system that allows Iran to take its own samples and falls inexcusably short of the anywhere/anytime setup we were promised, secret side deals that nobody will be allowed to look at, international acceptance of Iranian violations of its treaty obligations, total disembowelment of the UN Security Council by declaring worthless the sanctions resolutions it has passed over a decade, and an death blow dealt to the entire post World War II non-proliferation regime that has mostly kept a lid on nukes since the ‘60s, it’s probably just as well that supporters of the deal have stopped pretending their support is based on the details.

In desperate need of a way to defend the indefensible, supporters of the president (and there are almost no supporters of the policy, only supporters of the man) turned to perhaps the least-creative – and most strikingly un-American – argument I’ve yet heard; a virulent strain of the Buzz Gunderson combining the search for alternatives with defeatism and weakness. “Woe be unto us! We’re only the United States of America! What else can we do?” Every time I’m treated to this argument, I can hear Gen. George Patton in my head screaming to find him a bullwhip.

There are no alternatives, they tell us. The taxpayer-funded political campaign operating under the Twitter handle @TheIranDeal has repeatedly tweeted that, if the United States walks away, we walk away alone. Horrors!

First, if there were no alternative, it would only be because of the weakness, incompetence, and arrogance of the Obama administration. What kind of democratic leader takes his country in such a dramatically different and unpopular direction without any sort of Plan B? What kind of leader of the free world has built among our allies and partners absolutely no backup infrastructure in case of a meltdown? Last week, an Iranian navy vessel pointed its deck guns at a U.S. helicopter and then an American ship. What if they had fired? What becomes of the deal? What’s our fallback? According to repeated Congressional testimony of the president’s cabinet members, there isn’t one. If true, that’s inexcusable.

Second, the good news is, it’s not true. There are, in fact, a number of alternatives. Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE, responding last week to a question from Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' Iranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity MORE (D-Mo.) about forcing other countries not to unfreeze Iranian assets, said, “we have powerful, powerful unilateral tools, the United States is the world’s banking center, the dollar is the reserve currency, transactions that go through U.S. financial institutions are within our grasp.” While he went on to defend the preferability of multi-lateral sanctions, he concluded by saying “it’s not black and white. It’s not that we go from being able to do everything to doing nothing.” Lew gave similar testimony in other committee hearings last week. And, yet, other officials in the same hearings boldly declared a dearth of options.

The administration is pretending there aren’t alternatives in a despicable, cynical attempt to create a political environment in which Congress must do as the president wishes in order to stave off alleged disaster. This week, Sec. Kerry (who is having his own little personal Absurd Claim Olympics) groused that we were risking the dollar’s status as the reserve currency. That’s not the “robust debate in Congress” and “scrutiny of the details of this agreement” that the president claimed to “welcome” on July 14. It’s carefully crafting a fictional emergency and then telling Congress and the American people that they have no choice.

And, third, we were told repeatedly by the president and his representatives that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” They said it over and over and over again. At some point – probably when they realized that the political imperatives they had created at home and the leverage they needed in negotiation were mutually exclusive – they seamlessly transitioned to a very different argument: if you think it’s a bad deal, it’s your responsibility to come up with a detailed alternative that the Administration can summarily dismiss before calling you names (warning: the name-calling is worse if you’re a Jewish Democrat lawmaker).

The president wants to lead us in to a deal with Iran that is unpopular with the American people, will be rejected by a large, bi-partisan Congressional majority, and that even those who will support it acknowledge has glaring deficiencies.

So you want to know my alternative? Let’s do something less stupid than this.

Greenberg is an ordained Reform rabbi and the senior vice president of the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. A former staffer at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, you can follow him @JGreenbergSez.