[…] Four more Republican senators — Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — announced on Tuesday that they would vote yes, joining five others who had previously pledged their support. Another Republican indicated on Monday that he would probably support the treaty as well. Together they would give the measure the nine Republican votes needed to reach the two-thirds majority required for passage…In addition to Senators Alexander, Isakson, Corker and Murkowski, the Republicans who have pledged their support include Senators Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, George V. Voinovich of Ohio, Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, and Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine…Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire said on Monday that he would most likely vote yes as well. […]
“The administration has taken the same cart-before-the-horse approach on the treaty before us. In this case, the President came to office will a long term plan to reduce the nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and their role in our national security policy. The plan envisioned a quick agreement to replace the START Treaty that was allowed to expire, with no bridging agreement for arms inspections, followed by efforts to strengthen international commitments to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, reconsideration of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and further reductions in nuclear arms over time. And he spoke of ultimately reducing nuclear weapons to `global zero’.
“In other words, the New START Treaty was just a first step, and it needed to be done quickly. Leave aside for a moment the fact that the New START Treaty does nothing to significantly reduce the Russian Federation’s stockpile of strategic arms, ignores the thousands of tactical weapons in the Russian arsenal, and contains an important concession linking missile defense to the strategic arms. We had to rush this treaty, according to the logic of the administration, because it had become an important component in the effort to `reset’ the bilateral relationship with the Russian Federation. It was brought up for debate prematurely because it was the first step in a pre-determined arms control agenda. The Senate’s constitutional role of advice and consent became an inconvenient impediment. […]
As always, if the Democrats and their Vichy Republican allies are for a thing, that thing by definition cannot be in the best interests of America. The Lame Duck 111th Congress may be flying into history, but it’s leaving its droppings all over the rest of us.