Once again, Barack Obama is creating a phony crisis to rush a major legislative vote without having done the preliminary legwork to address Republican concerns.
Think Stimulus and Obamacare.
This time, it arguably is the most important vote, the Senate ratification of the new START Treaty with Russia.
Although Obama signed the Treaty on April 8, 2010, all of the sudden in the lame duck session it is an emergency to get a vote before year end, before the new Republican Senators get seated in early January.
Where has Obama been all year on this? Why wasn’t this addressed prior to the elections?
I’m not against the Treaty, nor am I for it, yet. While the “experts” and others may have been analyzing the Treaty, the public has not heard the debate. I am concerned that the public debate is going to be rushed through again.
And sure enough, Obama is now making the issue partisan, as reported by The New York Times, Obama Forces Showdown With G.O.P. on Arms Pact:
Just two weeks after an election that left him struggling to find his way forward, President Obama has decided to confront Senate Republicans in a make-or-break battle over arms control that could be an early test of his mettle heading into the final two years of his term.
He is pushing for a vote on a signature issue despite long odds, daring Republicans to block an arms-control treaty at the risk of disrupting relations with Russia and the international coalition that opposes Iran’s nuclear program. If he succeeds, Mr. Obama will demonstrate strength following the midterm election debacle. If he fails, he will reinforce the perception at home and abroad that he is a weakened president….
But Mr. Obama has no clear path to approval of the treaty without Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the lead Republican negotiator, who declared this week that there was no time to reach agreement this year on a nuclear modernization program that he wanted as the price for ratification.
As John Podhoretz points out, there may be good reasons to ratify the Treaty, but that decision should be made on the merits of the content of the Treaty, not based on the justifications being offerred that ratifying the Treaty will lead Russia to play nice on Iran and so on.
The people whispering in the ears of Joe Scarborough and others at MSNBC that Obama doesn’t know what he is doing are correct.
Obama exhibits that rare combination of naiveté in dealing with foreign powers and bullying in dealing with domestic powers.