Tales from the Trail
Democrats scored some noteworthy wins today. They pushed the nuclear arms treaty with Russia past a Republican hurdle. They adopted Internet rules that Republicans and some big media companies called unwarranted, excessive and maybe even illegal.
So far, the U.S. Senate has spent six days debating New START — the strategic nuclear arms limitation treaty with Russia. Not so long, you say? Democrats are rushing it through? Well consider this, Congress has already spent longer on this agreement than it did on START I almost two decades ago — and the original is a much more complex treaty.
Not a great day for US-Russia relations. The United States won the extradition of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout from Thailand against Moscow’s vehement objections. The Russian government said the extradition of the man known as the “Merchant of Death” was not only illegal but also the result of “unprecedented political pressure from the United States.” Earlier this month we had news that a key Russian spymaster and double agent had defected to the United States after unmasking the spy ring here. And then to top it all off, Republicans signaled they would block ratification of the START Treaty this year. It looks like more of a meltdown than a reset in US-Russia relations.
When it comes to ratifying President Obama’s nuclear arms reduction treaty with the Russians, Senate Republicans say: don’t rush us.
It’s hardly ever been a rock-solid relationship but has had its moments. So what does one do when deceit is discovered but no one wants a divorce?
There appears to be no rush among Senate Republicans to finish what President Barack Obama STARTed when he signed the new arms reduction treaty recently with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.