The obvious error of the president's defenders calling President Obama's outreach to Iran a "Nixon goes to China" moment is so great that I have missed pointing out one big and obvious comparative mistake.
The America-China understanding initiated by Nixon allowed us to concentrate on a greater common enemy--the USSR--to cement our friendship. Where is the comparable common enemy that unites America and Iran?
If you say ISIL, are you nuts? We can handle ISIL without empowering Iran to take part in that war.
The point of Nixon going to China was that the USSR was so strong that our efforts with our NATO allies were not enough to defeat Moscow in Europe if it came to war.
We needed China to tie down Soviet power in the Far East so that our efforts in NATO would have a greater chance of success. And a China stronger in the air and on the ground to face the Soviets didn't threaten us with our aero-naval supremacy in the Pacific that would still defend our allies.
And with China increasingly angry with the Soviets, it made no sense for America and China to waste effort fighting each other when the USSR would benefit.
Unless you tell me that the president's deep plan is to arm Iran with nukes and turn them into a major foe opposing China, the Nixon goes to China analogy is just nonsense no matter how you want to argue it applies.