A few days ago, former governor Mitt Romney expressed his view in a Washington Post op-ed that the U.S. government's acceptance of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was President Obama's "worst foreign policy mistake." He then went on to repeat some of the most ridiculous statements that other conservatives have voiced with regards to the treaty that will reduce both U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons. It was, at best, a really weak attempt to show his "national security expertise" when he probably feels as if he's losing the footrace to Sarah "I've got a new book" Palin. Mittens proclaims:
By all indications, the Obama administration has been badly out-negotiated. Perhaps the president's eagerness for global disarmament led his team to accede to Russia's demands, or perhaps it led to a document that was less than carefully drafted.
Whatever the reason for the treaty's failings, it must not be ratified: The security of the United States is at stake. The only responsible course is for the Senate to demand and scrutinize the full diplomatic record underlying the treaty. Then it must insist that any linkage between the treaty and our missile defense system be eliminated. In a world where nuclear weapons are proliferating, America's missile defense shield must not be compromised.
Shades of Ronald Reagan! Fortunately, Kingston at "Nukes of Hazard," a blog on nuclear nonproliferation topics, has captured a number of the comments about Romney's op-ed and strikes the right tone.
There has rightly already been a lot of great commentary excoriating Mitt Romney for his absolutely outlandish op-ed on New START in yesterday's WaPo. I really laughed out loud when I read the reference to putting ICBMs on bombers. To my knowledge not even Inhofe or DeMint have stooped that low, at least not publicly. But if the New START debate has taught us anything so far, it's that some far right-wingers will uncork just about anything to try and gum up the works - no matter how many times the likes of Gates, Mullen, Chilton, O'Reilly, Schlesinger, Kissinger, et. al. tell them they're wrong.
Romney's screed is political posturing at its worst, almost certainly designed to get a leg up in the early stages of the race to the bottom that is the battle for the Republican nomination for President in 2012. Much like Inhofe and DeMint's ranting, Romney's raving would actually be funny if it weren't for the fact that our national security is at stake.
Fred Kaplan at Slate chimes in, agreeing that Mitt didn't know what he was talking about. It's really kind of sad. I could almost like Mittens, if he had the good sense God gave him to act like a moderate Republican instead of posing as a braying, far-right wing jackass.
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