Wednesday, 22 December 2010

START Treaty Now Looks Certain to Pass

Despite opposition from leading Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and John Kyl who appears to have negotiated in very bad faith with the White House on this, the START treaty now looks almost certain to get the two thirds majority vote it needs to pass in the Senate.

Republicans couldn't really come up with a good reason to vote no on the treaty - it is designed to control nuclear arms, and will among other things allow American inspectors back into Russian missile silos where for more than a year there has been no oversight. It places pretty much no constraints on US security decisions, and typically these types of arms treaties achieve near unanimous support in the Senate.

As should have been the case this time as well. Instead, Republicans decided that this would be another opportunity to deprive Obama of a victory, so they stalled and dithered and demanded and tried to amend and even at one point insinuated that they would pass it only if DADT was taken off the table.

And the result of this nonsense is that they have turned what was originally a straightforward vote into some big test of Obama's Presidential authority. And then the treaty passes anyway! With broad bipartisan support! Even as Republican leaders continue to have a hissy fit!

Seems to me that they took a great big non-issue and turned it into... yet another big win for the Democrats! Hurray Democrats!

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