On New START Treaty, will Mark Kirk do the right thing or the right-wing thing?


Newly minted U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, the Illinois Republican, showed some political courage and wisdom when he voted Saturday to repeal the don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy in the American military.

And now Kirk’s mettle will be tested again, perhaps as soon as Tuesday, in the matter of Senate ratification of the New START Nuclear Treaty. Rabid right-wingers among his GOP colleagues are loathe to give President Obama a victory on this issue, even if national security is at stake.

It says HERE that Kirk is among the five or so Republican senators who could tip the balance against the Obamaphobic obstructionists and put the treaty over the top.

Let’s hope he does the right thing rather than the right-wing thing.



  1. Kirk will probably vote for it. 65 Senators voted for DADT, I think they will find one more to ratify the treaty.

    However, its interesting the article claims this will be Obama’s “third major victory of the lame-duck session.”

    How do they figure this will be the third?
    1. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Okay, that’s one.
    2. Extension of the tax cuts? With all the Democrats that were mad about the “tax cuts for the rich”, surely this can’t be considered a victory, can it? I suppose its a victory for bipartisanship, but its certainly not a victory for Democrats. I’d give that one a draw.

    So considering the Dream Act failed, and the $8 billion gift to 9/11 responders may not go through, I’d say the lame duck congress is only batting .500 if the treaty passes.

  2. Mike Carroll

    If National Security is at stake one wonders why the Democrats have not brought this to a vote until the lame duck session which seems a strange time indeed to pass a treaty.
    I also wonder how long it will be before those Universities (Harvard etc) welcome back ROTC to their campuses. DADT was supposedly the reason that some Universities booted the ROTC programs so we can no doubt expect a rush to welcome them back. Right?

  3. Wake the hell up, Michael. The Republicans have stalled and stalled and stalled on this matter, and now you’re blaming the Democrats for the GOP’s obstructionism. Perhaps you haven’t read anything about Republican Dick Lugar’s disdain for John Kyl’s dilatory tactics with regard to New START.

    And what does the completely irrelevant subject of ROTC at Harvard have to do with anything?

    I’m going to take a wild guess here, Michael, and presume that you, like some of your right-wing heroes in the Senate, don’t want New START ratified because it would be a victory for Obama. That must be it. Oppose Obama at every turn. That’s the mantra of the GOP’s hard-core rightists.

  4. You’re having an operation. Pat? Best wishes, but I really don’t think that lobotamy can be reversed.

  5. Mike Carroll

    A bit testy aren’t we Patrick. A few questions for you.
    Why will it be any less of a victory for Obama in January or February when the new Congress is seated? Why the sudden rush to ratify now in a lame duck session? What happened to your concern, repeatedly voiced when Republicans held the White House, with the role of the Senate as the deliberative body of congress?
    Now let me help you connect the dots. Your post is about Mark Kirk and you reference him doing “the right thing” by voting to repeal DADT. DADT is the excuse given by liberals at Ivy League Universities to ban ROTC from campus. That fig leaf is now gone so when will the Universities in question respond in their righteousness.
    See how that all connects?
    One more question. Where is that Hypocrisy meter of yours when we could really use it?

  6. Mike Carroll: It would be more difficult to get New START ratified after the first of the year mainly because there will be more right-wing loonies in the Senate — Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson, et al.

    That is precisely why guys like John Kyl are stalling on this issue.

  7. John.Wilson

    In recent history has Pat called any progressives loonies?
    Just wondering seems like 99.9% of conservatives are evil or loonies or wingnuts or fanactics or bigots or racists or homophobes or ignorant…….. I am sure I missed a bunch.

  8. John.Wilson: I’ll leave it up to you to worry about the “progressive loonies.” I’ve got my hands full keeping track of the wingnuts on the right (including, as you correctly note, the bigots, racists and homophobes).

  9. John.Wilson
  10. John.Wilson apparently has been struck speechless, as we see in his comment No. 9.

  11. John.Wilson

    I was going to say something about Pat, but my mother always told me if you can’t say anything good about someone don’t say anything.

  12. Tom Kocal

    Your comment about conservatives obstructing Obama on every move in order to prevent his socialist administration from any \"victory\" whatsoever is extremely childish, Pat. The START treaty is no game. Ratifying this treaty is not to our advantage. More importantly, a Senate that is made up of legislators that were ousted in the past November election have no business making policy like this. If you would simply take off your liberal blinders and see things for what they are, you would see that doing the \"right\" thing is not always a Republican thing.

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