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Who's Against START, And Why?

by Patrick Appel

P.M. Carpenter calls out the naked partisanship of the GOP:

Had this precise treaty been up for Senate ratification four years ago, they would have hailed it as a Bushian triumph of Talleyrandian proportions; Reagan vindicated, Metternich invoked -- and Senate Democrats, en masse, and like adults, would have peeplessly ratified the necessary thing.

Yet the hardcore-base-pandering nakedness of the GOP leadership's breath-holding resistance to Start screams for no further clarity when one ponders this simple juxtaposition: on the pro-treaty side, there are former GOP Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and James Baker, as well as George H.W. Bush's former national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft; on the other, anti-treaty side, there are -- all alone -- the ... tea party types.

Greg Sargent counts noses:

The current whip count has seven GOP Senators now supporting New START, which puts the treaty within two votes of the two-thirds it needs for ratification. What's more, senators Judd Gregg and Bob Corker seem to be strongly leaning towards Yes.

In other words, the White House may be on the verge of getting the treaty ratified around the opposition of John McCain and Jon Kyl. Hard to overstate what a massive rebuke that would represent, particularly for McCain, who just suffered another major, high-profile defeat with the repeal of don't ask don't tell.

Brian Beutler says "it's all but certain that the Democrats will be able to ratify the new START treaty before the end of the week."