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Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Phony Crisis, Another Rush To Vote

Once again, Barack Obama is creating a phony crisis to rush a major legislative vote without having done the preliminary legwork to address Republican concerns.

Think Stimulus and Obamacare. 

This time, it arguably is the most important vote, the Senate ratification of the new START Treaty with Russia.

Although Obama signed the Treaty on April 8, 2010, all of the sudden in the lame duck session it is an emergency to get a vote before year end, before the new Republican Senators get seated in early January.

Where has Obama been all year on this?  Why wasn't this addressed prior to the elections?

I'm not against the Treaty, nor am I for it, yet.  While the "experts" and others may have been analyzing the Treaty, the public has not heard the debate.  I am concerned that the public debate is going to be rushed through again.

And sure enough, Obama is now making the issue partisan, as reported by The New York Times, Obama Forces Showdown With G.O.P. on Arms Pact:
Just two weeks after an election that left him struggling to find his way forward, President Obama has decided to confront Senate Republicans in a make-or-break battle over arms control that could be an early test of his mettle heading into the final two years of his term.

He is pushing for a vote on a signature issue despite long odds, daring Republicans to block an arms-control treaty at the risk of disrupting relations with Russia and the international coalition that opposes Iran’s nuclear program. If he succeeds, Mr. Obama will demonstrate strength following the midterm election debacle. If he fails, he will reinforce the perception at home and abroad that he is a weakened president....
But Mr. Obama has no clear path to approval of the treaty without Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the lead Republican negotiator, who declared this week that there was no time to reach agreement this year on a nuclear modernization program that he wanted as the price for ratification.
As John Podhoretz points out, there may be good reasons to ratify the Treaty, but that decision should be made on the merits of the content of the Treaty, not based on the justifications being offerred that ratifying the Treaty will lead Russia to play nice on Iran and so on.

The people whispering in the ears of Joe Scarborough and others at MSNBC that Obama doesn't know what he is doing are correct.

Obama exhibits that rare combination of naiveté in dealing with foreign powers and bullying in dealing with domestic powers.

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  1. What's seriously bizarre and confused is the prog messaging on this. I caught a few minutes (all I can take) of Rachel Maddow ranting about how we had to pass this treaty in order to ... *wait for it* ... keep nukes out of the hands of terrorists. Seriously. She said that. Jaw-droppingly stupid.

    Meanwhile, in the White House, BO threatens to set another deadline for Iran's nuclear program, or else . . . he'll set another one!

    And in other news, Ahmadinejad got on his sat phone to bin Laden's cave and they giggled happily like school boys.

  2. When I clicked on the NYT link, it showed a pic of Obama meeting in the WH yesterday. I didn't realize he was back yet.

  3. How does one successfully counter when the opposing player is irrational but controls the message?

    Conservatives need to figure that out soon. They are being out-maneuvered at every turn, including on spending. I believe it is currently impossible to elect any Republican President according to current game rules.

    MARKETING HINT: They must change the message as well as the channel. Should have done so years ago.

  4. If Obama is for it, there is a high probability that it is damaging to the US. In no circumstances should it be rushed.

  5. This is beyond absurd. I've yet to hear any actual criticism of the treaty, and there are countless military and civilian foreign policy "experts" (why the mocking quotes? Are you really questioning the expertise of Secretaries of Defense and State?) from both parties that have not only endorsed the treaty, but made clear that it is vital to our national security interests.

    Posts like this, completely devoid of any actual reason for Republicans to oppose ratification, reflect the non-sensical position of dopes like Kyl, who is refusing to vote to ratify even after the administration has given him what he wants.

    And the comment from Fuzzy Slippers is a riot as well. Somehow it's funny to suggest that allowing inspections and monitoring of the Russian nuclear arsenal could help prevent one of those weapons from falling into the wrong hands? What exactly is "jaw-droppingly stupid" about that?

  6. Ah, I see my first post was too soon. Dr. D came right out and said it. This is the entirety of the Republican position at this point, safety and well-being of the country be damned.

    I'm not in a position to judge anyone else's patriotism or motives in general, but that is a seriously dysfunctional and immature attitude to have. (Cue "BUT DEMS, LIB-TARDS AND THE LIBRUL MEDIA DID THE SAME THING TO BUSH)

  7. "vital to our national security interests."

    Vital?!? Really. I thought the cold war was over decades ago.

    Podheretz: "The best thing that can be said about this treaty is that it is basically unnecessary."
    Yup. Russia has slipped into pipsqueak minor power status and all this does is give Putin some Cold War super power cred and influence over us they dont really deserve.

    Obama, as usual, give up a lot and gets ... nothing. The idea that we are somehow safe if Russia has 1500 warheads instead of 2200 is absurd.

    Joshua: "Somehow it's funny to suggest that allowing inspections and monitoring of the Russian nuclear arsenal could help prevent one of those weapons from falling into the wrong hands?" Yes, it is funny, about as funny as inspecting hair gels in airports while letting terrorists get away, literally, with murder (viz recent trial). Obama et al are focussed on the WRONG THING. the nuclear risk we face comes from Iran, but does this treaty get Russia to stop helping Iran, does it stop RPNK, does it slow down Chinese proliferation, etc. ...

    No, what the treaty does is even worse. It ties our hands and allows a Russian veto over our future missile defense decisions. And for what end? Are we really that worried today about Russia? As compared with the other rogue nations out there pursuing nukes? The treaty would limit how future presidents could pursue missile defenses, and our current plans are not adequate to the potential threats we have - not Russia, but elsewhere. This treaty is about 20 years out of date, in fact is really an unnecessary extention of 1991 START and 2002 Moscow treaties.

    But the real crime is the lack of imagination in NOT going after the real issues, like the help they have given to Iran's nuclear program. Bupkis!

    Why now? Obama is desperate to get something to show after his failed Asia trip. This is no way to do it.

    It's amateur hour in the White House and our National Security is not amused!

  8. To the liberals out there, Russia has the GDP of New Jersey. They are a corrupt, declining state.

    Here's a treaty suggestion to Putin: If one of Russia's nukes gets into the hands of a terrorist, we'll nuke Petersburg. Please get rid of your nukes. Now. BTW, same for Iran you punk Mafia jerk.

    Anyone who has spent any time on the ground in Russia knows what I mean. As all Russians have told me one time or another, respect in their culture is when you have your foot on their neck.

    And just for the record, I'm married to a Russian:)

  9. Let me see if I can recap this, the people who gave us a President who's entire claim to being born in Hawaii in the 1960s is a newspaper clipping in the Honolula Star, that is the 1960s!Is there any chance that there is another person born in Hawaii in the 1960s that can't find a single person who was aware of his birth? No nurses, no doctor, no checkout clerk at the hospital? But this guy is going to write treaties where verification of nuclear weapons in Russia is going to be rock solid.
    You've got to be kidding.

    A person who has apparently only found persons in Indonesia to vouch for the fact that he attended schools? American schools, colleges, universities, no one remembers him, no grades are known, no papers seem to exist showing he attended, etc. But he writes a good treaty. So he is going to insure that the Soviets are compling with terms of a nuclear arms treaty, if only the Republicans will trust him.
    You've got to be kidding.

  10. I don't understand the new START treaty format. I read that they are counting a B-52 or B-2 as "1 warhead". The treaties used to have breakdowns for warheads and delivery systems with specific limits on each and their sub-types. I don't get how it works to count a delivery system as a warhead.

    But I assume that's an existing format and they've worked it out. I don't object to these treaties but I am also not that worried about them. The Russians aren't our enemy and I'm a bit surprised that the idea of needing nuke treaties with them has survived so long. It used to matter a lot but now, not so much.

    There's no need to rush this and it has never been handled that way. This is one area our political parties have cooperated on and that needs to continue. If there's nothing wrong with the treaty then fine, but they need to let people look at it and have their say.