Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New developments on New START

I must confess that the maelstrom of New START defeatism confuses me a bit. I never figured that Jon Kyl would come around and support ratification because Kyl is cynical and stupid and doesn't care about wreaking havoc. The politics of this whole episode are pretty dumb, too: screwing with national security is going to bring a price, and it looks like the Administration is actually going to try to make Kyl pay it. As well they should, since unlike Democrats calling for Iraq withdrawal in 2005, Kyl really is screwing up national security here. The thing is, though, Kyl was never going to be there for this treaty, and passing the treaty was always going to involve getting some Republicans to defect from their leadership's position, and it still doesn't seem impossible that the thing will pass: between avowed supporters, retiring senators and Senate moderates, you get about as many Republicans as you need to pass the thing. And there are some cases--like the Sotomayor confirmation, for example--where this has actually happened. So that's something, I guess.

The main takeaway from this should be that McConnell and Kyl simply can't be trusted to follow-through on their agreements, and that the Senate Democrats need to kill the filibuster ASAP to neutralize them. I don't actually expect this will happen, but I don't see any reason to hope that these guys will behave better in the future if they're going to compromise national security and foreign policy now.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.