Proving once again that partisan hackery is far more important than any sense of honor or national security, Sen. Lindsey Graham toes the party line and says he opposes ratifying the START treaty. After all, why should the fact that EVERY living Republican and Democratic Secretary of State and other national security experts urge Congress to ratify START or the verbal promise to address these issues of importance once they got their precious tax cut extension to the wealthiest 2% of Americans hinder a great opportunity to obstruct Barack Obama's agenda yet again?
And like Mitch McConnell and John Kyl, Lindsey Graham throws up a whole lot of nonsense to rationalize delaying the ratification of START:
Graham had been considered one of the GOP senators likely to support ratifying the treaty. The Washington Post had reported earlier this month that Graham would allow a vote on START if the Democrats moved fast to extend the Bush era tax cuts, and he had voted to start debating the treaty, which was interpreted as a sign that he could support final ratification.
But sounding vexed during the show, Graham seemed not only chafed by the Senate voting down a Republican effort to amend the preamble of the treaty; he also linked the START treaty to his resentment over how the current lame-duck session of Congress has turned out.
Graham exclaimed how hard it was to pass a bipartisan compromise over extending the Bush era tax cuts, and expressed his disappointment over repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning openly gay service members.
"If you want to have a chance of passing START, you better start over and do it in the next Congress, because this lame duck has been poisoned," Graham told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer.
"The last two weeks have been an absolutely excruciating exercise. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' a controversial topic - some say the civil rights issue of our generation, others say battlefield effectiveness - was passed in the lame-duck session without one amendment being offered," Graham said.
Graham complained of other parts of the legislative agenda of the Senate Majority and outgoing House Majority: "The DREAM Act, we've had two votes on the DREAM Act. Controversial immigration, there was no efforts to find a common ground there, passed without the ability to amend, to try to make Republicans look bad with Hispanics.
"We tried to fund the government by clean [continuing budget resolution bill] but we took a $1.2 trillion omnibus bill with 6,000 earmarks and it failed yesterday. We still haven't funded the government. We haven't had a serious debate on START. We've been fighting a multiple front war to try to do every special interest group's bidding in the lame-duck session.
That's not a way to ratify a treaty that has importance to the country," Graham said.
Right. Everyone knows that the only thing a lame duck Congress should pass is an unfunded tax cut adding trillions to the deficit through reconciliation.
Ironic that Graham voices his frustration with the DADT repeal when it was the Republicans that tied DADT to the START treaty in the first place to slow down the pace of the lame duck agenda.
His concern trolling about how the START treaty would control our ability to develop missile defense? Another big fat whopper that Bob Schieffer doesn't call him on.
President Obama issued a letter to the Senate on Sunday pledging to fully develop a U.S. missile defense system in Europe, as part of a final offensive to relieve concerns about the nuclear arms pact with Russia as it moves toward a final vote.
The letter reiterated administration policy but was an especially extensive and detailed statement on missile defense by the president. Parts of it were read aloud by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) shortly before a vote on an amendment that could have killed the treaty. That amendment was defeated, 59 to 37.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has been leaning toward supporting the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), took to the floor to welcome the president's letter. "A number of people on our side of the aisle have asked for it," he said.
But that's not enough for Lindsey, no how.
Maybe it's because he's read this op-ed at HuffPo: Any Republican Senator Voting for START Should Get a Primary Challenger
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