No Secret Deal on START

More

Rumors blazed across Capitol Hill last week that Sen. John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was working with Sen. Jon Kyl on a secret deal to pass the START treaty before the end of the session. There is no deal, although Kyl, Kerry, and Vice President Biden have discussed Kyl's concerns about the state of the nuclear fleet, including submarines and B-52 bombers. The White House and Kerry are not prepared to sacrifice the treaty for any substantive concession, and the pro-START side remains unclear on whether enough Republicans are ready to support START. 

A few Senate Republicans have been critical of the treaty, but most have not voiced concerns. Passing START is a top Obama foreign policy priority, and this week, Democratic allies plan to turn up the volume. Former Sen. Tom Daschle spoke to arms control activists at the Center for American Progress today, and a group of generals formed the "Consensus for American Security."

Politically, the goal is to force Republicans into a box: they choose partisanship or the security of the American people. Yes, this strategy is similar to the scorched earth vanquishing of Democrats that Republicans employed in 2002 and 2004, but with one real difference: since most Republicans haven't really centered on any particular opposition, it is hard to square their opposition (if it exists) with anything other than a desire to deprive Obama of a victory.


Jump to comments
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In