|Tweedledee and Tweedledum|
John McCain continues his completely disingenuous efforts to stymie repeal of DADT. First, he said he needed to wait until the military brass supported repeal, and when they did, he needed to wait for the Pentagon's internal study; and now that the study appears to show that most servicemembers are indifferent to gays and lesbians openly serving, he is insisting on congressional hearings -- and threatened to filibuster the defense spending bill if the amendment repealing DADT isn't stripped from the bill. As Jon Stewart put it: "It's the maverick way -- spend a year studying whether soldiers deserve full civil rights, and a half an hour deciding who will be your presidential running mate."
And then Jon Kyl, the senior senator from Arizona, scuttles a nuclear arms treaty with Russia for no understandable reason. As the Times reports, "the treaty would trim American and Russian strategic arsenals and restore mutual inspections that lapsed last year." The "failure to approve it will undermine the ability to curb nuclear weapons, sour Obama's effort to “reset” ties with Russia and win greater cooperation from Moscow in areas like counterterrorism, transit routes to Afghanistan and pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear program." Ratification, which requires 2/3 of the Senate, shouldn't be controversial, and the Administration even agreed to giving Kyl what he asked for in return -- billions of dollars to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. Kyl nevertheless stated he will block ratification. As the Times editorial states today: "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 the choice is between national security and obstructionist politics, Republicans have no problem choosing the latter. [Related post: Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Don't Be Lame]