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

Mike K.

December 20th, 2010
12:12 pm

@uga63
That’s basically my read of the treaty as well. Maybe we really do get some advantage out of it, but it’s not like the treaty is necessary to avert WWIII. If it limits our ability to respond to 21st century threats (like Iran, N. Korea, potentially China, etc.) then it’s not in our best interest. As you indicated, Republicans shouldn’t ratify the treaty unless it’s actually in the country’s best interest. Giving liberals a warm, fuzzy feeling isn’t enough of a reason.

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
12:14 pm

Get Real…Reid has offered to have 7 days of debate. Seems that should be more than enough. But I guess you are telling me that none of the staffers or Senators have bothered since April to review this or more precisely, no Republican Senators. None of them have supposedly have time to read it but they have comments about it? Again, historically, there has not been much about the Party of No that has ever happened previously. Frankly the argument rings very very hollow and ignore the fact that the Republicans have had a great deal to do with the delays.

JKL2

December 20th, 2010
12:15 pm

Mary Elizabeth- 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.

What good is the treaty if we’re the only ones that go along with it? It’s just another worthless scrap of paper at this point. Russia already knows obama won’t back up anything he says, so they’ll sign about anything at this point.

All this means is obama will get to make another “apology tour” and the chance to throw more money at people who hate us. He probably blew a load in his pants just thinking about the possibility.

Get Real

December 20th, 2010
12:18 pm

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
12:14 pm

Obama has not checked in and made it a priority until now. If after 7 days of detailed debate and the treaty is fully vetted then the chips should fall where they may.

Mary Elizabeth

December 20th, 2010
12:29 pm

“Warm and fuzzy” is not the issue. The issue is whether we want to continue to work toward controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or not. We can still build our weapons regarding Iran.

If the Senate does not pass this bill – more than creating the perception the the President and the Congress do not work together – will be the worldwide perception that the U.S. President does not speak for the American people. That perception will diminish the influence of the U.S. worldwide.

Debating internal affairs in Congress is one thing – and a good thing – but being fragmented as a nation in something as important as this worldwide attempt to limit the proliferation of more nuclear weapons is lacking in vision. Those voices with vision, such as those of the first President Bush, Sen. Nunn, and the Secretaries of State who support it, should be listened to and heeded.

Good day.

Libby

December 20th, 2010
12:33 pm

We don’t have to know all about it – if you and our commie pres are for it we know it’s bad news.

The alarm clock is ringing now.WAKE-UP you fools

December 20th, 2010
12:34 pm

How much more of our country and freedoms do the liberals want to give away? Our arms is what stopped the Japanise in WW2. They have done a good job of keepimg the enemy off our lands untill the liberals open to boarders up for us to be invaded from people we let in.
Now they want to give the country away to people that have come to this country illegley and want to stay here. They want to tax us from birth to death and then take the rest away.
Why did the demorats wait untill the lameduch session to do all the things that should have been done before November? It is to make the country bow down to them and take notice of them. They act like they are for the people while tieing the hands of the republicans to make them look bad. How long it it going to take untill people of this country finds out that the liberal way of doing thing is not the only way? If things do not change soon, the next war this country will be in, will be within its own soil by it’s own people, then all we will have left is to pray that God help us all.

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
12:39 pm

We don’t have to know all about it – if you and our commie pres are for it we know it’s bad news

Now there is the insanity of the Party of No that we have all come to realize is responsible so many of the problems of this country.

Obama has not checked in and made it a priority until now.

How exactly do you know that this was not being discussed? Again you seem to willingly ignore the obligations of the Senate. Is it really the claims of the right that only those matters that the President checks in on are what they should be working on? The excuses are being more and more nonsensical. First it was “this is lame duck”, “we’ve not read the signed treaty” now its “well Obama did not check in”. When do we encounter the “its a lunar eclispe week” defense?

B Cosby

December 20th, 2010
12:44 pm

Keep, your point about delaying a vote is just crying. Did the dems delay the OSAMA (in your own words) health care bill? Did Pelosi & Reid say you can read it after it passes? Hello, McFly are you there?

Keep up the good fight!

December 20th, 2010
12:46 pm

Cosby…Osama and Obama are not the same but nice try on the lie. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste…trying read AND comprehension.

gator24

December 20th, 2010
12:46 pm

I think as Citizens and Voters in America we get a government which is dysfunctional because of the people we elect to congress. This Senator John Kyl wants more Nuclear Weapons than we have at present. He is doing the same as he did with Health Care which is do everything he can to stall legislation. This guy wants the country to spend more money on building new nuclear weapons, which it doesn’t have. I think you can pretty much destroy a country with 5 or more. These weapons haven’t been used since world war two, so why are they still needed since they haven’t been used in sixty five years. No wonder the country is broke

Grob Hahn

December 20th, 2010
12:48 pm

This seems to totally ignore the fact that substantial strategic arms reductions have been taking place for many years already. We are destroying not only nuclear weapons by also chemical and biological stockpiles as well. Some of the fuel in American reactors at this moment was once part of a Soviet warhead. As a race, humanity has made an amazing change in what we have all come to know as normal. Instead of building and building piles of weapons we are reducing the bulk and improving the quality. All in an effort to reduce the potential for innocent casualties. These negotiations have never stopped and this effort by republicans to buy time isn’t much of a surprise. Where nukes are involved what’s the rush? Even if we could eliminate them all, the lead time to make more is dreadfully short. We can’t un-make knowledge. Everyone who has tried has failed.
Grobbbbbbbbbbbb

B Cosby

December 20th, 2010
12:49 pm

Keep, are you sure? You referred to them as the same. The next time you are out there on the down-low, look up to see who you are with, it may be CT.

Grob Hahn

December 20th, 2010
12:49 pm

Unpatriotic???? Seriously? No way to spin this one on race I guess.
Grob

Gm

December 20th, 2010
12:49 pm

Good Grief: Americans had a right to question George W. 4500, Americans troops dead, 5,000 Americans dead in Ny under his policies.
This is the same guy who did not know gas was $4 gallon, and said the American economy was strong when it was falling apart.
This comparision with Obama is not even close

GT/MIT

December 20th, 2010
12:50 pm

ctucker@11:12

Perhaps all those prominent names you dropped as supporters of this measure, do so because they tremble at the thought of your dubbing them, “unpatriotic”.

By the way, for all of you wondering just how stockpile verification will be accomplished, I have it on good authority that we have established a direct link to wikileaks, and may even be allowed to speak directly with Julian Assange.

George W

December 20th, 2010
12:52 pm

Gm….you are RIGHT Obama is MUCH worse!

Bob Flanagan

December 20th, 2010
12:54 pm

I don’t think its a question of patriotism or racism. The Senators have taken the measure of this community organizer in the White House and decided he was over his head. There is a genuine fear Obama will screw up this treaty like he has so many things in the past two years. I trust folks like McCain and Kyl more than this gang of screw-ups in the White House. National security is too important to be left to this hopey changy thing.

quick

December 20th, 2010
12:55 pm

what a bunch of partisan hacks!

Jethro

December 20th, 2010
12:56 pm

“They are not only hyper-partisan, but they are also petty, petulant and unpatriotic, willing to jeopardize national security….”

You’ve summed up the Democrat party too. Guess it’s only petulant and unpatriotic if they disagree with your position.

Scout

December 20th, 2010
12:56 pm

somewhereinga:

From the previous thread since they have apparently cut off debate ………………

I too love my children unconditionally and that’s why I would fight to keep them from going down the physically dangerous roads of alcoholism, illegal drug usage, homosexual lifestyle, driving too fast, picking up poisonous snakes, liberalism, etc.

REALLY loving someone takes “tough love” when necessary.

By the way, it’s a shame your son didn’t know and sit at the knees of his grandfather. He might have had a stronger male role model than you.

Scout

December 20th, 2010
12:57 pm

Cynthia:

You calling Republicans unpatriotic is like someone calling UGA a poodle. LOL !!!

Good Grief

December 20th, 2010
12:58 pm

Gm- Don’t you get tired of trying to blame Bush for 9/11? How did eight months of Bush policy cause 9/11, but 19 months of Obama policies has had no effect on America, and the only reason things are still bad is because of George Bush? You can’t have it both ways.

Not Chicken Little

December 20th, 2010
12:59 pm

Cynthia off her meds yet again, and her keeper obviously AWOL. She and the other mentally disordered libs/socialists refuse to realize that keeping Zero from having a second term is one of the best things the Republicans could do for the freedom and safety of our country and our Constitution.

Donald Goff

December 20th, 2010
12:59 pm

You, Cynthia, are an idiot I apologize to the idiots of the world, because calling you an idiot, gives idiots a bad name.

uga63

December 20th, 2010
12:59 pm

@Mary Elizabeth — I have to admit that that is a fairly impressive selective memory you’ve got there. All of a sudden there’s a need for the US to present a united front to the world lest we be perceived as divided? I guess I missed that bit of conventional wisdom during the last administration. Also, for your edification: we’re not discussing an NPT, we’re discussing an arms reduction treaty. That’s not exactly an inconsequential nuance. However, herein lies the “warm and fuzzy”. As far as I can tell, you’re uninformed as to the difference in the two yet you support them both with gusto simply because any combination of “nuclear” and “treaty” (while irrespective of merit) sounds good to those on the left.

Scout

December 20th, 2010
12:59 pm

P.S. to somewhereinga:

By the way, my son told someone recently that I was his best friend in life.

Reis

December 20th, 2010
1:03 pm

Tucker is one of the really stupid people in this country. She is an anti-auntie of everything White people do and anything not done by the far left left. Why the Constipation gives her space is beyond understanding.

williebkind

December 20th, 2010
1:03 pm

It is party over country and that is for sure. The progressive liberals have been doing it for decades. Now they are blaming others for the deeds and crimes against the constitution for fear of losing power–and they will. Until the democrats take back their party, I do not want the conservatives to invite the liberals into those closed smoke filled back rooms.

williebkind

December 20th, 2010
1:08 pm

The START Treaty–We will trade you fifty homosexuals for one nuclear warhead.

southern star

December 20th, 2010
1:13 pm

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph, and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman have all argued that New START actually weakens our defenses.
Speaking to the French Minister of Defense this February, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates purportedly said that “Russian democracy has disappeared” and that “the government was an oligarchy run by the security services.” Fast forward to a CNN broadcast scheduled to air tonight, where the Batman of Russia’s oligarchy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, threatened the U.S. with a new arms race unless Senators acquiesce to President Barack Obama’s New START treaty. Putin tells CNN it would take “a very dumb nature” for the Senate not to pass the treaty and that if they don’t give in, “then we’ll have to react somehow,” including the deployment of new nuclear missile technology.

Putin’s statements come on the back of news that, in defiance of pledges made to the U.S. in the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of the 1990s, Russia moved short-range tactical nuclear warheads to facilities near NATO borders earlier this spring. And according to U.S. intelligence, Iran recently received 19 BM-25 missiles from North Korea that are capable of reaching European cities. Don’t worry though, Putin also tells CNN about Iran: “But such a threat, as of now, doesn’t exist.”

Putin and President Obama believe that New START is a great deal for our national security. But not everyone agrees. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph, and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman have all argued that New START actually weakens our defenses. The Heritage Foundation has identified twelve flaws of New START, including the following:

Unacceptable Limits to Missile Defense. The Obama Administration claims that New START contains no limits or constraints on our ability to protect ourselves through missile defense. This is false. There are at least five sections that limit missile defense: (1) Paragraph 9 of the Preamble explicitly links missile defense and offensive nuclear weapons; (2) Paragraph 3 of Article V prohibits conversion of offensive strategic missile launchers to launchers of defensive interceptors and vice versa; (3) an array of provisions limit and restrict certain types of missiles and missile launchers that are used as targets in missile defense tests; (4) Article XII and Part Six of the Protocol create an implementing body, called the Bilateral Consultative Commission, that could impose additional restrictions on the U.S. missile defense program; and (5) Article IX, Part Seven of the Protocol and the Annex on Telemetric Information to the Protocol could be interpreted in a way that could lead the U.S. to share telemetric information from missile defense tests. This information could be used to undermine the effectiveness of our missile defenses.

Inadequate Verification Regime. Edelman and Joseph warn: Those who are pushing a rush to judgment appear willing to ignore the long-held standard “trust but verify” by overlooking the monitoring gaps created by the treaty. While the on-site visits and data exchanges allowed under the treaty are valuable, New START abandons on-the-ground monitoring of Russia’s missile-manufacturing facility and permits Russia to withhold telemetry of some of its missile tests, undermining our ability to know both what is being produced and what is being developed.

Tactical Nukes Ignored. While the exact numbers are not public, Russia reportedly has a several-fold numerical advantage over the U.S. in tactical nuclear weapons like the ones moved close to our NATO allies this spring. Proponents of the treaty argue that New START is essential for keeping nukes away from terrorists. There is a real threat that terrorists could get nuclear weapons. But the nukes that are most vulnerable to terrorist threats are tactical nuclear weapons—which are not covered by New START!

Rail-Mobile ICBMs Exempted. The definitions of rail-mobile ICBMs and rail-mobile ICBM launchers established in the expired START, which applied to the associated restrictions and limitations in START, are not in New START. The Obama Administration asserts that rail-mobile ICBMs and launchers are captured by the treaty under generic definitions of deployed ICBMs. But Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee, has stated the opposite.

New START is great deal for Russia. But while Vladimir Putin can be sanguine about the threats posed to the U.S. by Iran and North Korea, U.S. Senators cannot. As Woolsey explains, rushing this treaty to appease Russia is just a bad deal for U.S. security:

A number of years negotiating arms-control agreements with the Soviets taught me that, when dealing with Russian counterparts, don’t appear eager—friendly yes, eager never. Regrettably, the Obama administration seems to have become eager for a deal in its negotiations on the follow-on treaty to the recently expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start). Hopes for a boost in efforts to “reset” relations with Russia, and for progress toward the president’s dream of a world without nuclear weapons, apparently combined to trump prudent negotiating strategy. As a result, concessions to Russian demands make it difficult to support Senate approval of the new treaty, known as New Start, as it currently stands

jesus on the down-low

December 20th, 2010
1:14 pm

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
— Samuel Johnson

Gm

December 20th, 2010
1:16 pm

George W: Nothing is worse then 4500 American troops dead, billions of dollars to Iraq war. I am sure the 2 millions of Americans that are getting their unemployement checks and feeding their families would disagree with you.
I am sure the sick kids who now are getting health care would disagree with you.
There is no difference between satan and the Rep party, Let see Obama helping people who are unemployed, feeding the sick, lets see, who does that reminds you of?

jesus on the down-low

December 20th, 2010
1:16 pm

Scout,

Your my best friend in the blogosphere….

Billyboy

December 20th, 2010
1:20 pm

Everybody wants to hurt Obama. Right on! Tell it sister! If you don’t agree with the big O then, you want to hurt him. Why are so many people against Obama. He wants to help everyone and give them what they want. Vote yes for the change we can believe in, vote for Obama. Obama is our ruler and has earned it.

jesus on the down-low

December 20th, 2010
1:22 pm

Billyboy,

Are you channeling Boy George?

Mary Elizabeth

December 20th, 2010
1:25 pm

UGA63

You are refusing to see the “forest,” I am afraid.

“Proliferation” means “to grow” – so that “non-proliferation” means “not to grow.” “Arms reduction” means “to reduce arms.” There is a difference, of course, but in both cases, weapons of mass destruction would be minimized.

There is a difference in a unified America in support for an attempt at peace in this world, as in this administration, and a unified America in support for a questionable and unprovoked war (Iraq), as in the last administration.

laurence

December 20th, 2010
1:27 pm

Only our enemies (and leftist tools like CT) want START to succeed. Russia and the US are not the immediate threat to security. Rather, it is the balance each provides that ensures stability. It’s tinpot dictators of countries like Iran, N. Korea, and Venezuela that pose the actual threats. This administration won’t be happy until more Americans are dead, including clueless “journalists” like you. I can’t wait until Obama is gone from public life.

HDB

December 20th, 2010
1:27 pm

williebkind
December 20th, 2010
1:03 pm

“It is party over country and that is for sure. The progressive liberals have been doing it for decades. Now they are blaming others for the deeds and crimes against the constitution for fear of losing power–and they will. Until the democrats take back their party, I do not want the conservatives to invite the liberals into those closed smoke filled back rooms.”

As if conservatives haven’t done the same things??

smokehouse

December 20th, 2010
1:30 pm

Just what the hell does Tucker know about arms control. She is a radical, black racist bigot.

Bob

December 20th, 2010
1:30 pm

This is going to pass regardless of how much McConnell doesn’t want it to. There are even moderate conservatives on board. This isn’t even a matter of if it should be passed, its when. Republicans do not want a victory for Obama and therefore are trying to extend talks past the lame duck session. That way when they control the house they can make small modifications that won’t really change anything and they can claim a small victory for the party. Trying to delay things is just a political move that is not going to work.

Pablo

December 20th, 2010
1:32 pm

When congressional democrats were screaming to the winds that we who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan were “terrorists” and that the war was lost, it was explained away as “dissent, which is the highest form of patriotism”. No matter that the whole world was listening. Now, republicans raise objections to START and THEY are unpatriotic?
How do you explain then that democrats having complete control of Congress cannot ratify the treaty? How can you also explain that Congress (both republicans and democrats) cannot find the time to pass a budget (which is one of their constitutional duties), but have the time to discuss the DREAMnesty act and the repeal of DADT? If I were to offer an explanation, it would be that both parties have failed miserably at running the country…

Del,

December 20th, 2010
1:33 pm

Just because many Republicans have questions and want to fully understand this treaty, Cynthia calls them unpatriotic. There’s absolutely no good reason for ramming this threw in a Congressional lame duck session unless Obama and the Democrats have something they want to hide. If not then it can certainly wait until January.

Jim U

December 20th, 2010
1:33 pm

Anyone that would take a grain of truth from anything that Cynthia Tucker wrote is an utter and complete idiot.

That goes double for you jokers that voted for her.

Why DID you vote for her? What’s it because of her race? It certainly wasn’t for anything she possesses regarding intelligence. Because she doesn’t have any.

Take a good look at yourselves libtards, you might try to see yourselves for the morons you really are.

Gm

December 20th, 2010
1:35 pm

smokehouse: Every time a African American disagree with white conservatives they have to be a racist,
take that hood off before you speak.

jesus on the down-low

December 20th, 2010
1:35 pm

Jesus loved him some mens…

Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God”.

Scout

December 20th, 2010
1:37 pm

jesus on the down-low:

Why, thank you.

JohnnyReb

December 20th, 2010
1:37 pm

Ms Tucker, your rabbid support of Obama has blinded you. There has been long-standing, well known opposition to the treaty as-is. Instead of Obama working with Republicans to agreeable revisions, his team is trying to push it through the Senate during a lame duck. Their modus operandi for getting things through Congress that stink on ice.

And instead of all the hyperbole on Republicans not wanting to give Barry a win, and not caring for security, be advised Obama had a chance to extend the old treaty for 5 years while a new treaty was approved. But instead and in typical arrogance, he chose to scuttle the old treaty for his version. Republican Senators are correct in what they are doing and it is my sincere wish they are successful. American’s security is NOT about giving Obama a win.

George W

December 20th, 2010
1:46 pm

Gm….blacks are not african americans they are black. Please get that right!

Dave

December 20th, 2010
1:47 pm

Its very simple. The GOP has some concerns about this treaty that the Dems refused to address or debate. So they will hold the treaty up temporarily to get those issues addressed. We will eventually have this treaty affirmed – hopefully with some improvements. In the mean time, extreme leftists like Cynthia will flail away thinking they have an issue they can use as a weapon.

That said, it is fun to watch Cynthia devolve into lunacy after her comrades got drubbed in the last election. The American people are sending a clear message of rejection to her beloved President. As the rejections continue to pile up, she will no doubt double down on her demagoguery in the coming months.

Hopefully, one day, the AJC will find people of good will for their editorial page.