Following Senator Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) announcement that he will delay and obstruct the New START treaty, editorial boards in newpapers around the country have eviscerated him and Senate Republicans.
Kyl was described as “narrow-minded,” politically “craven,” and as putting forth “lame excuses.” The New York Times even said Iran should send Kyl a “thank you note.” Given that 73 percent of Americans support the New START treaty, according to a just released CNN poll, the stance of Kyl and Senate Republicans is proving incredibly unpopular.
Here are what newspaper editorial boards are saying:
The world’s nuclear wannabes, starting with Iran, should send a thank you note to Senator Jon Kyl… The treaty is so central to this country’s national security, and the objections from Mr. Kyl — and apparently the whole Republican leadership — are so absurd that the only explanation is their limitless desire to deny President Obama any legislative success.
when Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the GOP’s point man on the issue, decided this week that the treaty wasn’t important enough to be taken up by the lame-duck Congress, it was pretty clear that he was acting not in the interest of the nation but of his party.
Our country’s national security shouldn’t be subject to political gamesmanship. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the U.S. Senate, where the Republican leadership has been using lame excuses to hold up the ratification vote…The silence of our two U.S. senators on this treaty is perplexing, given that both Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins have supported earlier arms control agreements negotiated by Republican presidents. We encourage them to speak up for national security and urge their Republican leaders to stop the politicking and ratify this treaty.
Republicans in the Senate are on the verge of a historic and narrow-minded mistake in blocking passage of a treaty to limit nuclear weapons with Russia.
If you doubted that Republicans could be so craven as to put their own political interests above national security, the proof was delivered Tuesday: Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl announced he will block New START, which calls for the resumption of nuclear controls that until now have had bipartisan support.
This is one vote that shouldn’t hinge on false political perceptions. The one sure tip-off that ratification is important is that leaders of the U.S. military support it and believe it enhances national security. Ratification should be high on the to-do list of the outgoing Senate.
Waiting until the new Congress convenes doesn’t make sense…A delay serves no purpose other than for Republicans to show they can make the president wait. But not moving forward could weaken U.S. relations with the Russian Federation, where the more liberal Medvedev faces an internal power struggle of his own with hard-line Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. That could damage cooperation on containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The treaty, which needs 67 votes for ratification by the Senate, has gotten tangled up in partisan politics, posturing and pork-barrel negotiations. There is also a group of senators who are opposing the bill in an attempt to get more money for nuclear weapons labs in their states… Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are crucial to passage of the treaty… Further delaying the treaty is bad for the United States and the world. The Senate should ratify it.
Failure to ratify would set back the “reset” in US-Russian relations. It would jeopardize other weapons issues with Russia that need attention (short-range nuclear arms and conventional weapons). It would give Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin one more reason to vilify the West. But the bottom line, and most important consideration, is that without it, the US can’t inspect Russia’s nukes. That’s reason enough to ratify.