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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Is Senator Kyl holding New START hostage to tax cuts?

By Adam Serwer

The burden of proof is on Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) to show that monitoring Russia's nuclear arsenal is more important than making sure the top 2% get a tax cut. Whatever genuine substantive concerns Republicans have about the START treaty--the ones they've come up with aren't convincing--the dispute over the Bush tax cuts shouldn't have anything to do with whether or not the treaty is ratified.

Today, five former Republican secretaries of state urged Republicans in the Senate to ratify the new START treaty:

It is a modest and appropriate continuation of the START I treaty that expired almost a year ago. It reduces the number of nuclear weapons that each side deploys while enabling the United States to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent and preserving the flexibility to deploy those forces as we see fit. Along with our obligation to protect the homeland, the United States has responsibilities to allies around the world. The commander of our nuclear forces has testified that the 1,550 warheads allowed under this treaty are sufficient for all our missions - and seven former nuclear commanders agree. The defense secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Missile Defense Agency - all originally appointed by a Republican president - argue that New START is essential for our national defense.

Yesterday, however, Kyl, who once complained that the Obama administration wasn't moving fast enough to extend those verification procedures, made ratification of the START treaty contingent on extending $700 billion in tax cuts for top earners, suggesting that if no deal was reached on the cuts by Monday, there wouldn't be any time left to deal with START.

Consider Kyl's actions -- and those of anyone in the GOP caucus who would join him, as a statement of the Republican Party's true priorities. Republicans say their goal is deficit reduction, but they are willing to hold verification of Russia's nuclear arsenal hostage to budget-busting tax cuts that will have little stimulative effect on the economy. A "strong national defense" is supposed to be one of the pillars of American conservatism, but the Senate GOP stands ready to undermine a key part of the global non-proliferation regime--one put in place by a Republican president--at a time when international pressure is needed to curtail the nuclear ambitions of countries like Iran.

There's been some recent indication that some of Kyl's colleagues aren't quite as interested in playing games with the START treaty, and that's a good sign. But New START still hangs in the balance.

At bottom, this controversy really amounts to a struggle over the soul of the GOP on foreign policy. Is the GOP still the party of James Baker, George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, Larry Eagleburger and Colin Powell, or has it finally become nothing more than the party of John Bolton, John Yoo and Liz Cheney?

By Adam Serwer  | December 2, 2010; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Republicans  
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Next: The military leadership's challenge to GOP Senators

Comments

I disagree

______________


mgoetzesq at 11:21 AM


And it is why Obama, correctly, doesn't give the internet or activist Left the time of the day. What a bunch of faithless children.


--------------------------


Obama pays MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to get his message out on the internet


AND that includes HIRING PAID BLOGGERS -


AND that includes PAYING PEOPLE TO HARASS, MOCK AND ATTACK anyone who makes any comment on the internet which does not conform with Obama's deceitful talking points.


THAT IS WHAT IS DISGRACEFUL IN A DEMOCRACY


AND that is why OBAMA IS UNAMERICAN.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I disagree

______________


mgoetzesq at 11:21 AM


And it is why Obama, correctly, doesn't give the internet or activist Left the time of the day. What a bunch of faithless children.


--------------------------


Obama pays MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to get his message out on the internet


AND that includes HIRING PAID BLOGGERS -


AND that includes PAYING PEOPLE TO HARASS, MOCK AND ATTACK anyone who makes any comment on the internet which does not conform with Obama's deceitful talking points.


THAT IS WHAT IS DISGRACEFUL IN A DEMOCRACY


AND that is why OBAMA IS UNAMERICAN.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 2, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

...and Rainforest wonders what the definition of "threadbombing" is....

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 2, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

We had a discussion about "politics ending at the borders" yesterday.
My question was, why are questions of taxes for *Americans* tied to national security/nuclear disarmament?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 2, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising -

No one cares what you have to say, so why don't you just take a hike. The Post has a resident right winger now for you to be chums with. Although, I guess posting on more than one blog gives you a double dip with your RNC paymasters.

Kyl is scum. Along with KY, the people of Arizona are poorly served in the US Senate.
I've never yet heard a GOP member address how giving the top 2% a tax break on their personal income is going to create jobs. All they do is repeat the same mantra, yet can't address the question. It's kind of hard to fall back to the last administration and try to explain how no jobs were created through tax cuts for the wealthy.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 2, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This is just a continued emasculation of Obama by the GOP. Why Obama insists on handing the scalpel to his torturers is beyond me.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 2, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

And the bleat goes on. Yaddah Yaddah Yah.

It seems that Mr Serwer, and a fair number of uber liberals, just can't handle reality.

Reality is that the Republicans have some power now and must therefore be reckoned with.

While I understand that Mr Serwer is swollen with righteous indignation that a senator would have the unmitigated nerve to horse trade with the Blessed Obama, but that's just the way it is.

So do carry on with the bleating. It is as music to the ears of this conservative.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 2, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

...and Rainforest wonders what the definition of "threadbombing" is....

Posted by: ChuckinDenton
----------------------------------
Not to mention I'm still waiting for my blogging check from Obama.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 2, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Adam: "Is Senator Kyl holding New START hostage to tax cuts?"

Yes, yes he is. Country First*

*Except when we need to feed the cash cow of the MIC

OT, some interesting economic articles:

US Stocks Rise, Positive Economic Data Buoys Investor Sentiment

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20101202-711049.html

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rise a Record 10%

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-02/pending-sales-of-existing-homes-in-u-s-increased-a-record-10-in-october.html

U.S. Retail Chains Report a Robust November

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/business/economy/03shop.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 2, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

There must be something in Arizona's water that turns you into a complete d1ck. Between Kyle and McCain.

Two bitter old individuals.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 2, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick of Dems saying that Republicans want to add 700 billion to the debt with tax cuts that are unpaid for. Why don't Republicans respond by saying that Dems want to add 3 trillion to the debt with unpaid for tax cuts? That's the amount of revenue lost over ten years from extending for 250K and below so why don't Republicans ask Dems how they are going to pay for the 3 trillion?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | December 2, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

This is all about tactical leverage and I have no sympathy for the Democrats because they were the ones who left these issues to the lame duck session to avoid having to take "tough" votes prior to the November election.

The Republicans are perfectly happy to wait to reconsider START II in the new Congress. The Democrats have zero leverage on this as a policy issue.

If the Democrats are smart, they'll cut a deal for extending all the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for votes on START II, DADT, and DREAM. They should also only introduce unemployment insurance extension if it is completely offset with spending reductions. Tax expenditures, such as say the ethanol subsidies or other corporate subsidies would be an excellent place to offset from.

I wonder if there would be different results if the Democratic Congressional leadership elections for the new Congress were held after the lame duck rather than before it. Given their performance in the lame duck, I would think that some Democrats would be having second thoughts about their leaders.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 2, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Noun verb START treaty.

Posted by: klautsack | December 2, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

In skip's world power means everything. Ends justify means, apparently. Not surprised there. Throw five GOP Sec'rys of State under the bus. Taxes are all that matter.

Why doesn't he deal with the *question*?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 2, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"AND that includes HIRING PAID BLOGGERS -"

Really? Well I WAS starting to think your posting at Greg's blog was your full time job. How much do they pay? Serious. You seem to camp out at Ezra's blog too.

Well if you aren't getting paid, I sincerely hope you find work soon.

Best to you,

Alex

Posted by: Alex3 | December 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Greg could educate his new colleague on the definition of "gamesmanship".

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 2, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@ChuckinDenton "Throw five GOP Sec'rys of State under the bus."

"We do not make a recommendation about the exact timing of a Senate ratification vote. That is a matter for the administration and Senate leaders. The most important thing is to have bipartisan support for the treaty, as previous nuclear arms treaties did."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/01/AR2010120104598.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

The current argument isn't whether or not to ratify the treaty, it's whether or not to do it in the lame duck. The Republicans have other priorities. Democrats & progressive pundits can get as angry as they want, but it's not going to make any difference given the mid-term election results.

If the Democrats view ratifying the START II treaty in the lame duck as a top priority, they will acquiesce to first extending all the Bush tax cuts for a fixed period of time, most likely two years.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 2, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"If the Democrats are smart, they'll cut a deal for extending all the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for votes on START II, DADT, and DREAM."

As disgusted as I am with Obama and the spineless Dems in Congress caving on these tax cuts, the idea above may have some future merit. Passing DREAM under a Dem contolled WH and Congress can only help solidify the Latino vote, and extending the upper end tax cuts for a couple of years could give Obama a real campaign issue with the working and middle class voters when those cuts would expire around Jan 2013. Two more years of the Dems constantly drumming on the idea of tax fairness should rebound in their favor.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 2, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

this is just too funny:
============================
In skip's world power means everything. Ends justify means, apparently. Not surprised there. Throw five GOP Sec'rys of State under the bus. Taxes are all that matter.

Why doesn't he deal with the *question*?

=============

Just too, too funny.

It isn't as if the liberals don't cherish the "ends justify the means" approach themselves.

As jnc4p points out, the Democrats painted themselves into this corner. And if chuck thinks that treaties or other legislature isn't used as a negotiating tool by both sides, he's truly the naif he seems.

the "Question" in my opinion is this: If Obama wants whatever it is he wants, what is he willing to give to get it?

Spare me the faux righteous indignation. Just remember how the Obamacare bill got passed. The liberals were full of themselves about how we have to help the "most vulnerable" among us. Yeah right. That argument was sooooo appealing that it took things like the cornhusker kickback to get the monstrosity passed.

Time to wake up and smell the chai. The game has changed. Best accept it and move on.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 2, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

shorter skip,

if Republicans don't get their way they are going to throw a fit and allow the Russian nuclear program to continue unmonitored.

lol

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 2, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

This is not true...

"The burden of proof is on Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) to show that monitoring Russia's nuclear arsenal is more important than making sure the top 2% get a tax cut."

"At bottom, this controversy really amounts to a struggle over the soul of the GOP on foreign policy."

Nope, that isn't true either.

What the heck is wrong with liberals who keep forgetting what the Republican party is doing?

I know a lot of people with bad brains with better memories than liberals. The Republicans are about getting the White House back and don't forget it. Ok? Ok. Sheesh, buncha slow learners, musta went to some school where they don't do wrote memorization because it might damage kids' creativity.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

ChuckinDenton, filmoia MikefromArlington


It is getting really childish for the democrats to complain about people with different views.

If you don't like what other people say, leave them alone


But at the same time you complain about people, you constantly vow to ignore people.

And you are like a bunch of third-grade girls - you just don't ignore people - you have to make BIG DEAL ABOUT IGNORING PEOPLE.

Why don't you stand in front of your computers, put your fingers in your ears and jump-up-and-down ???


That might work better.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 2, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

More "unprecedented" Democratic obstruction:

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pushed four different versions of the controversial immigration bill known as the DREAM Act without a hearing on any of them."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/02/reid-angers-gop-by-pushing-four-versions-of-dream-act-without-hearing/#ixzz16yshUNeJ

Posted by: sbj3 | December 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p - The Republicans are blocking this for purely political motives. They don't want to play along with anything that looks like a win for Obama. The lame excuse they come up with this time is that we should wait a few months. Just watch them sprint into action in February!! Then it'll be dealing with repealing parts of HCR first. Then it'll be because the economy needs to be fixed first. Then it'll be because there's a looming fight on the debt ceiling. Then it'll be because they need to determine whether ACORN has influenced people in the State Department.

See this through Mitch McConnell's lens: His primary goal is to make Obama a one-term President. His only shot at doing that is to bottle everything up between now and 2012. It doesn't matter if it is tax cuts, debt ceilings, START treaties, anything.

Posted by: klautsack | December 2, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

the reality is that it despicable that the party that so often touts national security would hold a treaty - one that protects national and international security - hostage to politics

=====================================

And the bleat goes on. Yaddah Yaddah Yah.

It seems that Mr Serwer, and a fair number of uber liberals, just can't handle reality.

Reality is that the Republicans have some power now and must therefore be reckoned with.

While I understand that Mr Serwer is swollen with righteous indignation that a senator would have the unmitigated nerve to horse trade with the Blessed Obama, but that's just the way it is.

So do carry on with the bleating. It is as music to the ears of this conservative.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 2, 2010 12:42 PM |

Posted by: gothamgator | December 2, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

klautsack is right.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 2, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

All, some very important things happened at this morning's Senate hearings on repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_military_leaderships_chall.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 2, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

GREG I'VE NOTICED THAT YOU HAVE LATELY BECOME AN EXCUSE MAKER FOR ONE BARACK OBAMA.

HAVE YOU ALREADY BEEN CO-OPTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE SPINMIESTERS?

The President should have stood strong on the START Treaty when he had 60 Senators in the bag instead of dragging it along, getting played by the Republicans yet again for more time resulting in NO VOTES. What a surprise! Haven't we played this game hundreds of times before? Now we have the White House telling us that the only way to get START or DADT or the Dream Act or anything else is to CAPITULATE to Republicans to give tax cuts to the rich and maybe, just maybe, they might let us have those things.

Let me tell you how everything will turn out with our Capitulator-in-Chief. He will give tax cuts to the rich and DADT, the Dream Act and maybe even START will STILL get held up by the Republicans. Then he can capitulate some more and get nothing back all the way to 2012 and wonder why nobody voted for a wimp on his way back to Chicago in 2013.

Greg, you meanwhile can go along and make excuses and rationalizations for a man who is so politically inept that he turned historical legislative majorities to nothing in less than TWO YEARS. Two years ago the Democrats had 60 Senate Seats and the House, Barack Obama spent that time cuddling up to a party that wants to destroy him and everything he says he stands for. I don't know what he stands for because he won't stand for anything. The tax cuts we are now talking about is just the next thing on the list that Barack Obama won't stand up for. What's next?

I won't be surprised if he goes after Social Security in his quest for "bipartisanship".

Posted by: magnus_terra | December 2, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:
"So do carry on with the bleating. It is as music to the ears of this conservative."

Yes indeed, Skip. Holding up a nuclear arms treaty in order to pass more tax cuts for the wealthy *does* sound like something today's conservatives like to hear.

Posted by: presto668 | December 2, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

magnus, it is even worse...not only did he have the Congress, he had a massive, perhaps unprecedented inaugural outpouring of good will. . We rejected the Republicans argument. Americans decided to go with an undivided government for a reason. Apart from right wing lunatics, everyone wanted him to succeed in changing the way politics works in Washington. Then he decided to go with business as usual in more ways than one. Point is he didn't just squander congressional majorities, he squandered the hope for change.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 2, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

@klautsack "jnc4p - The Republicans are blocking this for purely political motives. "

OK, so how do you propose to deal with this? My proposal is clear. Let the Republicans have a victory on their signature issue in exchange for allowing cloture votes on other items that the Democrats care about including START.

All of the arguments that the Democrats are using would have been fine to make prior to the November election, but now they just don't matter.

The Republicans ran on and won on being the party of No and obstructing Obama and the Congressional Democrats, not more bipartisanship. There is a way forward, but it will require an approach that is less about splitting the difference on things like tax cuts and more about letting each side get it's top priorities.

If preventing the Bush tax cuts from being extended is more important to the Democrats than START II, DREAM, and DADT then the Democrats should just pass a 60 day continuing spending resolution and adjourn the Congress.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 2, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

If the goal is sarcasm, this needs some work:
=====================
Yes indeed, Skip. Holding up a nuclear arms treaty in order to pass more tax cuts for the wealthy *does* sound like something today's conservatives like to hear.

============================

it sure does. And why? Because the recent election sent a message to DC. Apparently those that won the election got the message. The liberals and Democrats remain solidly stuck in denial.

time to face it, bargaining with the opposition is now part of the process.

As I noted earlier it matters not what the particular issue is. Everything the liberals want is, in their not so humble opinion, the most important thing in the world. But the liberals no longer enjoy complete control in Washington. Oh well. So when something "that simply must be enacted or the future of the entire species is at risk" is held up by a Republican who uses this as a negotiating tool, the undies in a wad squad will be out in full force.

Again, look at the trading that was done among Democrats to get the abominable obamacare passed. If this "reform" was sooooo fricking important, why did the Democrats have to negotiate with members of their own party?

You missed. That's not sarcasm at all. It is, in fact the way it is now.

Accept this and moveon (dot org).

Americans don't want tax increases and we said so loudly. Americans want less government, lower taxes and deficit reduction. The ONLY way liberals can imagine deficit reduction is by confiscating more money from the populace. That's no longer a viable solution. It is at odds with the message sent by the electorate just a few weeks ago.

I understand, I believe, the liberal mindset here. In the world of continuous quality improvement the applicable term is "hold the gains". The liberals don't want to discuss a reduction in spending because that is tantamount to a reduction in the size and scope of government. That's anathema to the liberal dogma. Liberalism has achieved significant inroads in the American government. Giving that up is not something to look forward to.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 2, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The only way Obama is going to snap out of his Broder-like bipartisan catatonic state is agree to extend the tax cuts and then have the GOP refuse to give him any of the alphabet soup - Start/Dream/DADT, and for good measure, refuse to extend unemployment benefits. If that doesn't send him a message then he needs to let Biden take over and go back to Chicago. If the guy isn't going to fight from here on then he is of no use.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 2, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"...letting each side get it's top priorities..."

You are not serious. The Republican party's only priority is getting Obama out of the White House. For this reason, they will not give the Democrats anything, let alone something they consider a priority. Because of the sole Republican priority, Democrats can only accomplish something if it is forced on Republicans.

And in turn, for that to work, Democrats will have to have popular appeal for their priorities, which means actively making sure they have broad public support (cf, the health care fiasco, clearly an inside job).


Posted by: shrink2 | December 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

" The Republican party's only priority is getting Obama out of the White House."

Of course, by any means necessary, totally a scorched earth policy. It's getting to the point that Obama may need a shrink to bring him to his senses. He seems unable to directly confront the public and address the issue of the GOP spitting on their votes in 08, and admitting the fact that the GOP is willing to destroy this country for decades because they want the WH. Of course, once they can get one of their own in there things will degenerate even further.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 2, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I find it painfully funny to read that after two years of Republican obstructionism that it is the Democrat's fault that there are still substantive issues that need to be resolved in the Lame Duck session. Who would have guessed?

And Kyl is obviously doing just what is described; linking a vote on a critical treaty to a tax cut that increases the deficit and does little to help the economy. Now that he's run out of fake substantive excuses with which to run out the clock he's complaining that there isn't enough time left. Classic.

Posted by: kmy042 | December 2, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

more hilarity from the ever angry and not easily moved left:
==============
shorter skip,

if Republicans don't get their way they are going to throw a fit and allow the Russian nuclear program to continue unmonitored.

lol

==================

Gotta love it. whenever someone uses "shorter" I know that what follows is a mischaracterization of the original comment.

but as I stated earlier, this liberal bleating is as music to the ears. Imagine, having to negotiate with the opposition! How so very, very disappointing that must be for the party that had it all just a few short weeks ago!
Best get used to this. Accept this and move on. It help you, I promise!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 2, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

So who will replace the Democrats now that they are choosing to become a fringe party by ignoring the people?

Will LaRoche become the new head of the DNC?

Will 2012 be the last year in US history for the DNC?

Will they every choose to purge the Progressives from their ranks and return to their roots?

Its like watching a slow motion train wreck.

Posted by: davidholt123@comcast.net | December 2, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

the righteous indignation is just too entertaining. The portrait being painted here is one of righteous and honest Democrats wishing to do what is best for the country and being thwarted in their noble effort by dastardly Republicans who will stop at nothing to achieve their nefarious goals.

Yet here's an analysis of the "process" being used by Nancy Pelosi:
"See, we thought the House vote on the middle-class-only extension of current tax rates would be purely symbolic. The short version is that Democratic leadership was worried Republicans would be able to pull in enough moderate Democrats to “recommit” — sending the half-measure tax bill into legislative oblivion. So, they were looking at voting under a suspension of the rules that would take away the recommit. But since that vote would have required a two-thirds majority to pass, it would have been pure political theater, an attempt by Democrats to get Republicans on-record “blocking a tax cut for the middle class” (or, without the scare quotes, on record blocking a tax hike in a recession).

Instead, the Democrats have come up with a procedural trick that allows them to pass the tax hike with a simple majority and denies the minority party their long-enshrined right to offer an alternative. Basically, the Democrats are taking an innocuous air transportation bill — already passed by the House and amended in the Senate — scooping out its insides with a legislative melon-baller, and replacing them with brand new taxes. Since the bill (or at least its exoskeleton) already “passed” the House and that body is merely taking it up again to consider Senate amendments, the Democrats can set the rules of debate very, very narrowly. And indeed, they wrote the rules in such a way that their tax hike amendment, and only their tax hike amendment, can be considered."

H/T Mr Foster, NRO.

soooo, what have we here? Could it be that, yet again, the Liberals and Democrats are scolding America to "do as we say, not as we do"?

it certainly seems that way. If it is completely OK for sanfrannan to play these kind of games, and GASP!!, with something as important as air transport!!!, then it is completely OK for KYL to pull whatever levers are available to him and his party.

In the meantime, do carry on with the bleating. It is very entertaining.


Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 2, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

" Sheesh, buncha slow learners, musta went to some school where they don't do wrote memorization because it might damage kids' creativity."

That's funny.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 2, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It's not about Senator Kyl. Have you forgotten when the START treaty expired. Last December wasn't it. It was in the hands of Obama all the time while he was spending all his time on health care. You didn't say a word then about START being held hostage because of health care did you. You didn't say a word about security then did you. Obama and the Democrats squandered the House and the Senate for health care and your OK with that. Everything you wrote today is because of the results of this last election. No Democrat would have to compromise anything had it not been for the socialist agenda of Obama. Obama and the Democrats dropped the ball when they had all the power to do whatever they wanted.

Posted by: houstonian | December 2, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the treaty should be ratified, but I do not see the rush to ratify during this session. Even the former Secretaries of State who are extensively quoted in this article state in their piece that while they believe the treaty ought to be ratified, they make no recommendation as to the timing, whether it be during this session or the next.

Posted by: mobrien83 | December 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The GOP game plan is simple. The lame duck congress should not do anything other than extending tax cuts for millionaires. Everything else should be done by the next Congress, so that the GOP and not the Democrats can get credit for anything. It is probably true that the START treaty and unemployment benefits will eventually pass but only thanks to the "strenuous" efforts
of the GOP, ie make sure Obama becomes irrelevant. It is a pretty nauseating performance, unfortunately it has been politically effective and that is all the GOP cares about.

Posted by: serban1 | December 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

My God, why do the Republicans always remind me of native Washingtonians who root for the Cowboys over their own Redskins. They are absolute pig-headed contrarians who prefer to vote against their own interests instead of ever admitting the other side might be right! (Or they just don't like blacks!). Why else would you want to keep bankrolling the top 2% who greedily ruined our economy in the 2000's? The tax cut for the wealthy has been proven to be a weak job creator and will add tremendous debt - which the Republicans use as their excuse to block anything Obama! You can't have it both ways. The tax cut will only further ensure enslavement of the devolving middle class to the wealthy by continuing the division of rich vs poor, now the highest in the civilized world. What part of stupid white sheep don't you understand? And for the record, I am a white male.

Posted by: mikeh3 | December 2, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Not really a surprise. That whole 'strong on defense' ruse, cultivated for decades by the GOP, was always just a strategy to get votes or embarrass political opponents.

Republicans have only one true constituency and the actions of Sen. Kyle prove it.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

this one is amazing:
==================
My God, why do the Republicans always remind me of native Washingtonians who root for the Cowboys over their own Redskins. They are absolute pig-headed contrarians who prefer to vote against their own interests instead of ever admitting the other side might be right! (Or they just don't like blacks!). Why else would you want to keep bankrolling the top 2% who greedily ruined our economy in the 2000's? The tax cut for the wealthy has been proven to be a weak job creator and will add tremendous debt - which the Republicans use as their excuse to block anything Obama! You can't have it both ways. The tax cut will only further ensure enslavement of the devolving middle class to the wealthy by continuing the division of rich vs poor, now the highest in the civilized world. What part of stupid white sheep don't you understand? And for the record, I am a white male.

============

it has been a while since someone on the left used the bigotry shown above. The good old claim of racism lost its power when the CBC members lied to us during that one crucial vote. It is clear that the left use the charge as a weapon to stifle opposition. that won't work anymore. The folks who routed the Democrats just a few short weeks ago know they aren't racists. And further, they know that anyone who levels that charge in the general way shown above is just a weakling. Is that really the best you've got?

And some facts would help. the assertion that the top 2% of wage earners "greedily ruined our economy" is just more scatter shot bigotry.

According to IRS data the top 1% of tax payers had income greater than or equal to 380,000. they earned 20% of the total agi reported in 2008. However they paid more that 38% of the taxes.

Hmmm, here's the real problem with the greed bigotry. There were, again according to IRS data, som 1.4 MILLION filers in the top 1%. That means that the bigot I quoted above has just slander a whole lotta people.

Liberals want us to believe that everyone making more than 200K is the moral and ethical equivalent of Paris Hilton. They should be ashamed of that kind of stereotyping.

Finally, who the heck cares about your race pal? Honestly, what difference could that possibly make?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 2, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The unfortunate, disgusting TRUTH?
The GOP "Sinators", especially McConnell, Boehner and Kyle are, in a single word,
AMORAL.

That is the TRUTH!

Posted by: lufrank1 | December 2, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The republicians are shameful. Nothing short of treason.

Posted by: ToddPollard | December 2, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@skipsailing:
I wasn't aware that 98% of the people want to give 700 billion dollars to 2% of the population. If that's your assertion so be it, but it's laughably out of touch.
.
One poster correctly calls out both the Dems and the Repub's for not mentioning that the under 250K tax cuts themselves will cost 3 TRILLION dollars. Neither side wants to admit that when one of the clear, if misguided, messages of the election was deficit reduction.
.
Longer term deficit reduction will depend on a growing economy and putting all that money into tax cuts is not an effective way to increase economic activity. The CBO clearly showed that tax cuts to the rich are the worst way to stimulate the economy while unemployment payments are the best. And this is the same CBO that decided the Bush tax cuts were viable originally.
.
While there should be some balance between middle class tax cuts and more stimulative efforts, you can't argue with a straight face that the tax cuts for the rich do anything to significantly help the economy. The rich don't create jobs until there is DEMAND for the products of those jobs. Just giving them money doesn't mean they will create any new jobs.
.
And to increase demand, you need people spending money. The people mostly likely to spend? the unemployed since by definition they have to eat, pay rent, etc. If they get money it will be almost if not completely spent thus driving up demand and then the rich will create the jobs to meet that demand.
.
The GOP is stonewalling everything including national security to get that the rich 2% 700 BILLION..does that seem like good policy to you?

Posted by: rpixley220 | December 2, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising:
Did they let you out of your padded cell today? Go take your meds and stop with the crazy talk.

Posted by: MNUSA | December 2, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I hear Nigeria might charge Kyl with war crimes true, if he keeps pushing his luck.

They took on Cheney, he's next.

Posted by: WillSeattle | December 2, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I received a Christmas card from the White House today. I've never voted for a democrat in my life. Someone there has no idea what they're doing if I'm on their list.

It was a nice card, though.

Posted by: ADNova | December 2, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

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