That's the subject of my latest missive over at BIG PEACE:
When the Senate ratified the recent Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) during the lame duck session, the only reason it got the 67 needed votes was because thirteen Republican Senators believed Barack Obama when he assured them that language in the preamble linking the buildup of offensive nuclear weapons with missile defense systems would not inhibit missile defense because, well, it’s just the preamble and not legally binding.Includes hyperlinks over at Big Peace.
Obama even sent a letter of reassurance to the Senate via Harry Reid. In it, he explained that there would be no restrictions on missile defense development. In hindsight, those 13 Republican Senators should have learned from Bart Stupak putting his faith in an Executive Order guaranteeing no federal funds would go toward abortions, in exchange for the votes of his dirty dozen.
Russia’s Duma almost immediately took issue with the notion that the preamble was not binding and is insisting that the verbiage in the preamble carries just as much weight as the verbiage throughout the rest of the treaty. The Russians are, in effect, making the assertion that the United States has agreed not to take steps to defend itself against nuclear attack – Obama is responsible for this lack of distinction.
Media attention – and conventional wisdom – has deemed this an embarrassing episode for President Obama but is it really? His meaningless Executive Order proved worthless but he got health care passed. He traded minor embarrassment for America’s health care albatross. If his word means nothing, why should he care about it? Besides, didn’t Stupak and his lemmings end up being disgraced more than Obama anyway?
If, in the case of Stupak, it was about a public blemish on the president in exchange for health care, what is it in the case of START? There is a public blemish but what is it in exchange for?
Frank Marshall Davis had access to Barack Obama as a child for several years. He was a member of the Communist Party USA, had a 600-page FBI file and loved Soviet Russia. Odds are good that he communicated at least some of his affinity for the Soviet Union to a young, impressionable Obama. In fact, Davis once wrote a poem entitled “Smash on, victory-eating Read Army.” It reads as follows:
“Show the marveling multitudes
Americans, British, all your allied brothers
How strong you are
How great you are
How your young tree of new unity
Planted twenty-five years ago
Bears today the golden fruit of victory!”
Who does the START treaty embarrass more, Obama or the thirteen Republican Senators who have been duped on a world stage after two years of a president who has quite the track record of duping?
At least in the case of Stupak, it was twelve Democrats. In the case of START, the blemish is on a baker’s dozen in the Republican party. That will dwarf any embarassment Obama may endure.
In fact, he may be trading in minor embarrassment for something bigger…..again.