Friday, November 19, 2010

Republicans Heart Nuclear War

We should be making t-shirts.

That's one easy-to-dust-off message President Obama could use considering the GOTP's opposition to continuing START treaties begun under former President Ronald Reagan. Of course "the Republicans want the Russians to have plenty of nuclear weapons" argument is phrased in a needlessly inflammatory and partisan way, despite its veracity.

Which is why President Obama hasn't said word one about why the START treaty is important, despite his prioritizing it before the next Congress. Remember, folks, standard Democratic definitions of "bipartisanism" inlcudes "let your political rivals define the debate, say whatever they want about you, and refuse to vote with you for any reason, while you try to compromise with them." While telling it like it is might merge traditionally sound American foreign policy with traditionally sound American politics and make a lot of Republicans look like numbskulls during the process, the Democrats would rather sulk around as if the START treaty was something to be ashamed of.

Even toning the message down sounds something like this:

Russia still has a massive strategic nuclear arsenal with pretty much the exclusive goal of being able to devastate the United States and kill pretty much all of us. For 15 years we had pretty robust right to inspect their arsenal many times a year, make sure they only had as many as they were allowed under our treaties and actually get up on the delivery missiles themselves and look at the payloads? Now we don't. In fact, we haven't since December 5th of last year. At first that wasn't that big a deal. Not much can happen in a few weeks or few months. But now it's been almost a year. So all that trust but verify stuff Ronald Reagan was so into? Well, now we can't verify. And for as much as you're worried about some Muslim guy blowing up a plane and killing a few hundred people, these are weapons designed to kill hundreds of millions of people. Do you feel more secure knowing we're just taking everything on faith from the Russians? Or that our intelligence on their missile designs and practices is growing older by the day?

Maybe the GOTP is taking former President Bush's lead, looking into the eyes of the Russians, and determining our foreign policy based on faith alone. Hell, the more reasonable message you can derive from GOTP obstruction to the START treaty is fairly politically devestating.

But Democrats never waste an opportunity to lose to the GOTP on political matters. Especially when it requires capitulating on sound, bipartisan policy matters decided decades ago. As a matter of fact, the Democrats are so into losing elections to the GOTP, not only have they refused to sell the START treaty (that really sells itself), but they decided that Nancy Pelosi should still be in charge of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.

Who knew that Karl Rove's strategy to build a permanent Republican majority included throwing 2006 to a bunch of Democrats who would volunteer for electoral meltdown?



Mavric said...

the nuclear arms treaty touches several different points:

1) Signing the treaty is politicaally a Democratic win.

2) It shores up our ability to monitor Russia's nuclear stockpiles.

3) It helps to address the deficit as maintaining our arsonal is pretty expensive. $738 billion in the military maintainance budget this year. That's over half of their total budget. I can't find figures on how much of that money goes to nuclear upkeep (go figure), but I'm betting its significant.

4) I hate blogging from a smartphone. It's nearly impossible to include HTML tags and embed links, so I can't be nearly as cool as everybody else. AND typing takes twice as long.

As a matter of fact, does anyone know of a rational reason why this treaty is a bad thing?

Dante said...

I heart nuclear stockpile but only because the Ruskies have a tendency to cave when directly challenged.

Mavric said...

Well isn't that their whole military strategy? Fold like origami until winter, then let the bitter cold getcha?