Given the overwhelming military, foreign policy, and public support for the new START treaty, one would think Senate ratification would be a foregone conclusion. Numerous high-profile Republicans including Henry Kissinger, Gen. Colin Powell, and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice have urged the Senate Republicans to fall in line and support it. However, Republicans led by the obstinate Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) continue to move the goal posts on their demands to avoid delivering one of Obama’s top foreign policy priorities. Setting “outrageous new benchmarks for bipartisanship,” the ever-slippery Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she’d consider voting for START “if President [George H.W.] Bush would come out for the treaty” because “that would be so powerful and definitely help.” Today, the senior President Bush did just that, issuing a clear statement of support:
Bush joined a chorus of former GOP secretaries of State to support ratification of the nuclear arms treaty signed earlier this year by President Obama.
“I urge the United States Senate to ratify the START treaty,” Bush said in a one-sentence statement first reported by CNN’s Ed Henry.
Bush’s statement lends “the highest-profile Republican support to date” for START. While the practically ubiquitous support for the treaty should make any further Republican wavering unlikely, Kyl insisted again today that there is no time for ratification. Support for START in the senate now looks strong, but if Kyl’s stubborn myopia somehow succeeds in sinking the treaty, former Sen. John C. Danforth’s (R-MI) rebuke will stand true: “We have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”