The partisanship-above-all-else that is the Republican Tea Party’s preferred model of governance has reached a new and astounding low. President Obama, like President Reagan, made securing and dismantling the stockpiles of nuclear weapons one of his signature issues. The original START treaty negotiated by Reagan launched our very successful “trust but verify” policy of mutual nuclear disarmament; it or variations have been in place ever since.
When START expired, President Obama successfully negotiated an even more comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, as part of the “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations. As you know the Republican’s official position on everything the President wants is “no”, and since this new treaty would amount to a victory for Obama, “Arizona’s other Senator” has decided to hold up ratification.
Jon Kyl (R-AZ) says he can’t allow an up or down vote because the government hasn’t spent enough on its nuclear arsenal. I’m not sure what that has to do with nuclear disarmament, but apparently post-midterm Republicans have already forgotten their campaign rhetoric. Now while still in November, their positions have shifted again. To the GOP, pork now takes precedence over safeguarding American lives.
Is anyone surprised that as soon as the Republicans win an election they want to ramp up spending on their war machines? Is anyone surprised the Tea Partiers are as silent as they were during Bush’s double-the-debt-in-eight-years spending binge? It looks like "obstruction until we get ours” is going to be the Republican’s official way to get around their self-imposed earmark ban. Remember, if they weren’t hypocrites, they wouldn’t be Republicans.
Andy Ostroy makes an excellent point about the GOP’s hypocrisy:
Imagine if it were Democrats blocking this bill. Imagine the incendiary rhetoric and fear mongering that would follow. Imagine the chorus of, "Democrats cow-tow to Russia and allow them to out-Nuke us!" We'd hear how the "Socialist Obama regime empowers its communist ally!" The Republican spin machine would be operating in overdrive spitting out the message and talking points about how "Americans are threatened by Obama's inability to protect the U.S. from Nuclear attack!"To add his insult to our injury, Kyl opposes extending unemployment benefits at a cost $15 billion borrowed dollars, but won’t ratify START until the President Obama gives him more than $84 billion borrowed dollars for Kyl’s “nuclear weapon update” pet project. Meanwhile Arizona has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.