Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ah, Mitt. Mitt, Mitt, Mitt.

In another attempt to appear Presidential, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Republican, published an op-ed in the Washington Post decrying President Obama's new arms control initiative with Russia. Per Democratic Strategist, Romney needs this to burnish his fatally flawed Conservative credentials:

Mitt, we know, is vulnerable on his right flank, partially because the GOP has decisively moved in a more conservative direction since Romney posed as the "true conservative" candidate in 2008, and partially because his sponsorship of a Massachusetts health reform initiative that's hard to distinguish from the hated ObamaCare is going to be a constant problem for him in 2012.

So you read Mitt's op-ed and maybe laugh at the extraordinary retro feeling of it all--you know, all the Cold War hostility to the godless Russkies--and note the many right-wing boxes he checked off, from the ancient conservative pet rock of missile defense, to the ill-repressed desire for war with North Korea and Iran, to the ritual denunciations of Obama for his alleged fecklessness in negotiating with bad people. But initially, few if any Democrats had anything to say about it.

Usually Dems et al let slide the kind of misstatements and macho posturing from old-school Cold Warriors like Romney appears to be reaching to be. Not this time -- with Sen. John Kerry responding a scant day later:

Let's examine the key objections: Romney says that New START impedes our ability to build missile defenses against attack from rogue countries. This is a myth. The treaty will have no impact on our ability to build ballistic missile defenses against Iran, North Korea or other threats from other regions. The Obama administration is free to proceed with missile defense plans it announced last year.

Like others unfamiliar with previous arms control agreements, Romney warns that Russia could use language in the treaty's preamble as a pretext for withdrawal if the United States builds up its missile defense. In a word, baloney. The preamble is not legally binding. Every arms control treaty since the Kennedy administration has allowed either party to withdraw if it felt its national interests were jeopardized. Surely Romney would not want to give up that right.

Similarly, Romney is flat wrong in claiming that the Bilateral Consultative Commission is broadly empowered to amend the treaty with regard to missile defense. The language is clear that any amendment proposed by the commission would have to be ratified just like a new treaty.

He goes on to list more errors in Romney's sophomoric screed and goes on to note Republican support for the new treaty, including former Secretary of State under Nixon and Ford, Henry Kissinger. But the conclusion is the best, calling out the emperor for missing his clothes:

I have nothing against Massachusetts politicians running for president. But the world's most important elected office carries responsibilities, including the duty to check your facts even if you're in a footrace to the right against Sarah Palin. More than that, you need to understand that when it comes to nuclear danger, the nation's security is more important than scoring cheap political points.

Yep, I expect "Word-Salad Sarah," mistress of smug condescension, to run as well.

Fred Kaplan at Slate nails Mittney as well, frisking the editorial line-by-line. Kaplan'sconclusion:

"By all indications, the Obama administration has been badly out-negotiated."

On the contrary, by all indications, Romney has been badly advised. Next time he speaks out on nuclear weapons, he should read up a little bit. At the very least, he should learn the difference between an ICBM and a bomber.

And if this is the best the Republicans can do to beat down the New START treaty, well, that's just sad.

Yep, the Party of No, i.e. no ideas, no progress, no help for the unemployment, no compassion, know-nothing is once again looking to make things worse in a desperate attempt to improve their electoral fortunes.

They're so no, they're not even showing up in their campaigns, lest they actually face un-fixed questioning about their "policies." From a reader at Talking Points Memo:
With the Vitter and Angle stories running side-by-side today, they bring up a question that has to be answered. Paul and Kirk went into hiding--in fact, it seems, all Republican candidates outside South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama seem to be hiding. Rubio has been quiet. Perry wants no debates, if he can get away with it. The theme seems to be that most Republican candidates want to win incognito...

...I've never seen anything like this. Maybe one or two candidates that try to duck reporters, but the entire party??

Run, children, run.

No comments: