Republicans’ unpatriotic resistance to New START

There is simply no modern precedent for the behavior of Republicans in the U.S. Senate. They are not only hyper-partisan, but they are also petty, petulant and unpatriotic, willing to jeopardize national security if they think they can hurt President Obama. Witness their growing resistance to a nuclear pact with Russia, the New START treaty.
The pact represents minimilist, mainstream downsizing of the nuclear weapons arsenals of the United States and Russia, a continuation of policies first envisioned by none other than Ronald Reagan. New START has been endorsed by every living secretary of state. That includes, obviously, Condoleezza Rice. George H.W. Bush has endorsed it.
But Republicans continue to come up with excuses, including an insistence that Obama is trying to “jam” the treaty through a lame duck session without giving them enough time to consider it. The treaty was signed by the U.S. and Russia in April; they’ve had months to read it.
Some Republicans, such as Jon Kyl of Arizona, claim the Obama administration hasn’t set aside enough money to modernize our remaining nuclear weapons. That, too, is nonsense, according to Linton Brooks, who ran the National Nuclear Security Administration under George W. Bush. Brooks said (via ThinkProgress)

you’ll hear concerns by some that the treaty may or may not be a good idea but you can’t possibly accept it because the U.S. nuclear weapons program is in disarray. And I think the administration’s answer to that is the fiscal 2011 budget with a very substantial increase for my former home, the National Nuclear Security Administration. And I will say flatly, I ran that place for five years and I’d have killed for that budget and that much high-level attention in the administration and I just – nobody in government ever said “my program has too much money” and I doubt that my successor is busy saying that. But he is very happy with his program and I think it does put us on a very firm, firm basis… I don’t think there’s any question this is in our interest and should be ratified.

So, what’s really going on with GOP opposition? They don’t want to give President Obama another victory (even if it also means a victory for the United States). There have been a few too many end-of-year stories written that depict Obama rising from the ashes, with the end of DADT and a stimulus package as a result of the tax deal.

As Mitch McConnell has said, his number one priority is making sure Obama doesn’t have a second term. He doesn’t care how much damage he does to the national interest in pursuing that goal.

435 comments Add your comment

Darwin

December 20th, 2010
10:59 am

After winning the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan, who accused Jimmy Carter of negotiating with terrorists, started selling spare jet fighter parts to Iran. The profits were then funneled to fight an illegal war in Nicaragua. During the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. sided with the Iranians. This was mainly due to the secret dealings with the spare parts. Once that was exposed, the Reagan administration did an about face and started supporting Iraq. This was to ensure the American people that we were not dealing with those Iranian terrorists. Google “Saking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984.” If HBO wants to tell me something I don’t know, that’s good. But let’s put it in context with the entire U.S. policy toward the middle east.

ajcs

December 20th, 2010
10:59 am

“The Fallen” – you are mistaken. sorry. everyone that makes less than $20k that still goes out and buys new electronics (like a big screen tv), new clothes and new wheels for their cars deserves that money more than you. are you stupid? just because you worked for it and already paid taxes for it, just think of how a Congress with a 13% approval rating could come up with better ways to spread that money around.

I mean, all that passing of the wealth around has helped poor black people so much, right? yeah, just because now more young black men are in jail than are in college shouldnt deter you from sacrificing for the common good.

geesh, you really need to be more patriotic and less racist.

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
10:59 am

Someone needs to real the blog a little more carefully….. a treaty around since April is now “rammed”?

What is unprecedented Tucker, is that a lame duck session of congress trying to enact major pieces of legislation, that simply is not done and flies in the face of the election

Yeah, especially when you ignore realities like the Party of No, the unprecedented use of the filibuster process and other vote blocking processes to require a supermajority.

Again, explain why of course a simple majority in the Senate cannot be allowed to pass laws does not fly in the face of elections.

Tommy Maddox

December 20th, 2010
11:00 am

Our nukes protect my daughter from their nukes.

cosby

December 20th, 2010
11:00 am

Yawn..another hate blogg against the Republicans…START…does anyone really know what is in it…have all the documents of negotiation been released and read by congress…another “We have to do it now” push without thoroughly examining the affects – see Health Care- tired of congress neglicting their job just to rush a bill through. Sure, lets cut our defense and watch what the likes iof Iran and N. Korea do…The most important job congress has, given them by The Constitution, is to protect this country and what happens, they rush a treaty through at the last second without knowing what it says or its affect.And the Republicans get the blame for not wanting to do that.

granny godzilla

December 20th, 2010
11:01 am

Lame duck? ah nope.

Got the tax deal, got DADT repealed, got the radio bill passed, got the food bill passed, and we will get START.

Oh and GET REAL

The Bush taxs were passed by RECONCIALIATION during a LAME DUCK session.

Blathering is not a good look for you.

George W

December 20th, 2010
11:01 am

Darwin….And your point? Ever hear of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer?”

The Fallen

December 20th, 2010
11:01 am

AJCS….thanks for smacking me back into line… I can’t believe that I let myself stray that far.

George W

December 20th, 2010
11:02 am

Granny….you are exactly right. Obama did EXACTLY what the repubs wanted him to do. A few more of these and he may become a repub!

retired early

December 20th, 2010
11:04 am

Joel

“Now it’s more like a shipping container…”
Exactly!!!
Our future problem is nukes still unaccounted for in these former USSR countries, who will surly receive considerable offers form Iran and others for them. If this treaty does ANYTHING to protect us from this happening…like at least “counting” them, it’s worth it.

ajcs

December 20th, 2010
11:04 am

and if you want to see welfare abuse, sign up for a local toy drive and deliver the toys. it is sickening that some of these people are on welfare. some of the insides of those houses and apartments were better than what i live in now.

but, at least when i look in the mirror, I can honestly say that I tried to earn every dollar that I made.

George W

December 20th, 2010
11:06 am

HERE IS A QUESTION FOR YOU ALL!! Ok, Clinton inacted DADT. Before that gays were not allowed in the military at all! So if we repeal DADT doesn’t that still mean that gays cannot serve? There was not a new bill passed allowing gays to serve.

Get Real

December 20th, 2010
11:06 am

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
10:59 am

Hey Pal….I am not saying the Republicans are clean. The treaty has not been brought up prior to this time, at least not to be debated in detail. However, at the end of the day it is not something that should be ratified in the lame duck, get over it.

Get Real

December 20th, 2010
11:08 am

granny godzilla

December 20th, 2010
11:01 am

Oh and Granny, how much does Obama tip when you are doing a lap dance?

Billybob

December 20th, 2010
11:08 am

It’s official and proven by Cynthia Tucker……Far Left Radical Socialist Democrats will never stop ‘agitating’ until they control everything through ‘their’ ideas of fairness. Keep talking tucker and all your usual socialist/social justice minions, because trust me when I say you are continuing to lose independents in this country. Tucker’s hit squad need not apply…..and merry Christmas to all

ME

December 20th, 2010
11:10 am

Cynthia, you dumb hussy. START also requires we cut back on other military things not nuclear. This means ships and many others. But to hell with defending the USA.

ajcs

December 20th, 2010
11:10 am

“The Fallen” – that is okay. And just for the record, if you are a CEO that works 100 hour work weeks, spends most of your life in the office or on the road to help make money for your company to keep people employed, that wake your kids up at 11pm on some nights just to say hello once a week, went to school and worked two jobs to pay for college, eating ramen noodles and taco bell to get by, who could not afford a honeymoon because he took a low earning job that had potential, who gives thousands of dollars a year to charity, who stresses out all the time and needs blood pressure medication because he is worried about having to cut his workforce if he does not sell enough product …if you are that guy, you also should be paying a heck of a lot more in your taxes for the folks that choose welfare instead of the low paying job. you should cough it up for those that vote for the black guy or female because they know that their vote will keep the unearned entitlements coming because, although their ancestors werent slaves, they still should get reparations and because their victim status is the white man’s fault.

ronald

December 20th, 2010
11:11 am

“and if you want to see welfare abuse, sign up for a local toy drive and deliver the toys. it is sickening that some of these people are on welfare. some of the insides of those houses and apartments were better than what i live in now.”

Another round of welfare and benefits reform is just around the corner. The incoming GOP congressmen will push the issue in 2011 as part of the required spending cuts. Taxpayers are sick and tired of paying for everyone else’s problems. If the GOP doesn’t sharply curb entitlement spending, they will be pushed out of Congress just as quickly as they came in.

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
11:12 am

Get Real….again the purpose of Congress is to work and pass laws. The lame duck is hard at work which they should be. Do explain exactly how it is that laws and treaties should not be passed in a lawfully elected and sworn in Congress? Point me to the constitutional provision too while you are at it.

ctucker

December 20th, 2010
11:12 am

Rob@9:15, If the treaty does as you (and Fox News) suggest, why does Condoleezza Rice support it? Why does every living secretary of state support it? Why do Dick Lugar and Sam Nunn support it? Why does Bush 41 support it?

Kamchak

December 20th, 2010
11:13 am

I see that someone has a new sock-puppet.

ronald

December 20th, 2010
11:13 am

I also encourage all the conservatives on this site to send an email to Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski. Senator Murkowski voted YES on the Dream Act legislation.

Joel Edge

December 20th, 2010
11:16 am

retired early@11:04
“…like at least “counting” them”
And does this treaty allow us to count the nukes in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, or India? It’s not like all of the nukes have been built, and no more can be built. It’s not a finite number. The Russian nukes may all be accounted for….. so there is not some Venezuelan egg-head figuring out the trigger device from old documents smuggled out of the old Soviet Union. Our own documents?

uga63

December 20th, 2010
11:17 am

So being wary of a treaty that would prevent the US from developing ABM capabilities (ie, the ability to shoot down an incoming warhead) in the future is unpatriotic? Did I miss something? Please explain.
Reducing the deployed delivery vehicles to 700? The Russians are already below this number. This leaves the US as the only actor liable for a reduction.
Reducing the number of warheads to 1550 without capping the number of MIRVed warheads? This is smoke and mirrors. A single Russian MIRVed warhead can contain 3-10 nuclear warheads.
In sum, the US is prohibited from future investment in her own defense systems, volunteers to reduce deployment capabilities that the Russians can’t even meet, and in an accounting trick of the highest order agrees to limit warhead capabilities to an artifically low number.
What, pray tell, renders opposition to such a one-sided treaty unpatriotic?

ajcs

December 20th, 2010
11:21 am

uga63 – the reasons you pointed out are the same reasons the US has been trying to secretly deal with Russia for the past several months. exposed by wikileaks, the dealings were flatly denied by Clinton and Gates. Yet, some of the communications leaked were either written by are had clinton and gates courtesy copied. the leaked memos even show the time and dates of the secret and denied meetings.

but hey, support it to be patriotic and not racist.

Gm

December 20th, 2010
11:23 am

Good Grief: think they can help President Obama.
Why is doing something for the good of the country about helping Obama? Are there two Americans?
When will you idiots get it , when he fails everyone fails.
I did not hear this none sense when Bush was in office, does it take another 611 attack for you Obama haters to realize this is one country.
Thank you President Obama for passing Obama care because you care for Americans, dont ask dont tell, equal rights equal pay, unemployment for the 2 million families who Christmas might have been destroyed, middle class tax cuts, no matter what he does small minded southern whites will never appreciate you, history will no doubt, will show you were the greatest President of our time.

B Cosby

December 20th, 2010
11:23 am

keep@10:48, Obama could not be a republican, they do have standards. Although not as low as the dems, they still have standards!

Joel Edge

December 20th, 2010
11:23 am

ctucker@11:12
“Why does every living secretary of state support it? Why do Dick Lugar and Sam Nunn support it? Why does Bush 41 support it?”
Good question, why don’t you ask them. My guess- they know it’s a waste of paper, unless you get into the “way-back machine” to the 80’s. I’m also guessing they don’t believe this country will ever have the money to actually build and deploy a missile defense system. Not to mention the intestinal fortitude.

StJ

December 20th, 2010
11:24 am

CT went to Auburn? That explains a lot…

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
11:26 am

Cosby…Oh I know OBAMA could not be a republican. But that was not my comment. I guess you admit OSAMA could be if he wore the US Flag lapel pin.

Good Grief

December 20th, 2010
11:38 am

Gm @11:23 -

It’s funny to me how many liberals on this blog act as though George W. Bush was never impugned during his presidency. He was one of the most hated president in recent memory. As pointed out earlier, it was considered patriotic to debate the administration, but now it’s unpatriotic to dissent. And for the record, there were several conservatives (myself included) who were angry with Bush for a plethora of reasons (the drawing out of Iraq, the Patriot Act, etc.).

I seriously doubt that any President from 1980 onwards will be considered the greatest president ever, mainly because of the proliferation of media in which to praise or ridicule that person. Although, President who were poorly received during their administrations often get a more positive review in history.

But note that there was a complaint earlier that the Bush tax cuts were a lame duck meaure passed with Reconciliation, which was apparently a bad thing. But it was okay for Harry Reid to threaten to use reconciliation on ObamaCare.

And CT, was that just a one-time ban on the use of the “I” word? I’ve seen it used to reference both sides of the aisle recently, but I’ve not seen any bans come flying doen the pipe.

w in maietta

December 20th, 2010
11:38 am

CT, again, misses the point…we are now looking at another treaty that reduces our warheads and allows the russkies to increase theirs…hmmmm..only to a lib does that makes sense…let’s keep hurting the USA CT, you’er doing a good job of that

ctucker

December 20th, 2010
11:39 am

ronald@11:11, Perhaps “welfare abuse” is connected to the New START treaty, but I confess I’m having trouble seeing the connection. This post was about New START. Please stick to the subject at hand.

ctucker

December 20th, 2010
11:40 am

ajcs@11:10, Please see my response to ronald@11:11.

ButtHead

December 20th, 2010
11:43 am

A victory, CT you are on drugs, Obozo made a tried to make a deal that WE will dismantle a lot of our nukes but nobody else has too, is that what a dimacrat calls a deal? Maybe for everybody EXCEPT us… Just one more way Obozo shows how much he hates America..

George W

December 20th, 2010
11:43 am

CTucker….your “subjects” are so absurd that it is difficult to stay on topic.

Mike K.

December 20th, 2010
11:43 am

I haven’t followed the START treaty as closely as some other political issues, but I’ve read quite a lot of criticism of the treaty in the WSJ. Several Senators have expressed concerns that the treaty will limit America’s ability to develop and deploy missile defense shields.

Realistically, I’m not even sure why it’s in our interest to reduce our stockpile of nuclear weapons. I don’t think Cynthia’s being fair to Republicans about this issue.

Also, I notice she’s not concerned about the Democrats’ decision to block consideration of the Columbia Free Trade Pact. Isn’t that in the country’s best interest?

B Cosby

December 20th, 2010
11:46 am

Keep @ 11:26. You finally got it right. OSAMA. Is the last name Bin Laden? And nope, Obama still could not be a Republican, he belongs to the group in the Swamp his Biattch Pelosi wants to run out of Washington i.e. Charlie Rangel.

Mary Elizabeth

December 20th, 2010
11:48 am

If the START treaty is not passed, not only will it diminish President Obama’s standing in the United States, it will also diminish the United States standing in the world because the President has already signed for it to be implemented by the U.S.

If President Obama is handed this defeat by Republican partisan players, it will look to the world that the U.S. President and the U.S Congress are at odds with one another. United States credibility in world opinion will be lowered, and the possiblity of worldwide working together to curtail nuclear weapons may be forfeited for the near future, as a result.

Please call and write your representatives to urge the passage of this Senate Bill.

I want to wish Ms. Tucker, and all the bloggers and readers of her blog, a happy holiday season. May the Spirit of Christmas continue to bless our hearts with goodwill for all.

Joel Edge

December 20th, 2010
11:54 am

Mary Elizabeth@11:48
You forgot to mention: and unicorns and puppies will die.
Sorry, couldn’t help it. I really don’t know how much “diminished” we can get. We are pretty much the naive policeman on the block. Need money, protection? Sure, why not.
As for being “at odds”. That’s pretty much how it works. When all of these goons that we elect actually agree on anything, I’m heading for my bunker.

ButtHead

December 20th, 2010
11:54 am

I like that CT, stick to the subject that is too funny, anything could be it that treaty. Just like FDA regulation of vitamins in the Wall Street bail out, or any OTHER earmark the dimacrats stuck in there….

Joel Edge

December 20th, 2010
11:56 am

Mary Elizabeth@11:48
And Merry Christmas, BTW.

JKL2

December 20th, 2010
12:03 pm

Granny-

Let’s hurry up and pass more crappy bills before we get kicked out so we can say we did something. Doesn’t matter what it is (nobody read it anyway), they’ll fix it “later”.

ButtHead

December 20th, 2010
12:06 pm

There are NEVER unrelated earmarks in bills, never Obozo already told us that he would not sign any bill full of earmarks…..and Obozo never lies… NOT

JKL2

December 20th, 2010
12:06 pm

Gm- I did not hear this none sense when Bush was in office

Must have been a hell of a nap…

uga63

December 20th, 2010
12:08 pm

@Mike K — From a numbers perspective, I’d submit that it’s obviously not in our interest to reduce our stockpiles. If I could assess what exactly the Russians were giving up in exchange for a recuction, I could possibly get on board. As it stands now, the latest iteration of START appears to be all quid and no quo. However, meaningless, feel-good legislation seems to be the Zeitgeist of the current administration, so one shouldn’t be surprised.

Mike K.

December 20th, 2010
12:09 pm

@Mary Elizabeth
“If President Obama is handed this defeat by Republican partisan players, it will look to the world that the U.S. President and the U.S Congress are at odds with one another.”

They are at odds with each other. The Founders didn’t create a totalitarian monarchy; they created a representative government with divided powers. The key phrase there is “divided powers”.

By the way, I don’t hear you applying the same logic to the Columbia Free Trade Pact that Bush negotiated which Congress still hasn’t signed. Unlike START, that treaty was negotiated with an ally. Should Congress ratify that treaty to cement the USA’s world standing?

Get Real

December 20th, 2010
12:09 pm

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
11:12 am

I am NOT saying that Congress should stop working as part of the lame duck, I am saying that historically controversial pieces of legislation are not addressed at this time. Now, the tax compromise HAD to get done or the economic ramifications would have been disastrous. The only noise (although loud) around the passing of this bill was from the fringe elements on both sides of the aisle. DADT time had come, yes I supported the passage of that whole heartedly as all the debate had taken place and then some, so again I had no problem with the passage.

Regarding START, it does give me pause that Sam Nunn fully supports the ratification. I have great respect for Nunn as I always supported him as a Senator and was very proud that he was representing the great state of Georgia. I would just prefer that detailed debate take place and it is thoroughly vetted before we ratify…it is that simple

killerj

December 20th, 2010
12:10 pm

Sorry Cynthia,One Big A66 Mistake dug his own hole just like Pelosie,please go “underground sore loser”

quod erat demonstrandum

December 20th, 2010
12:11 pm

It appears that one stumbling block for Mr. Reid is the striping of powers from the Senate.

This treaty sets up a Bilateral Consultative Commission that can interpret the means and terms of the treaty without approval of the Senate. The senate has the Constitutional authority regarding treaties. This would run counter tot he Constitution.