ormer Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney isn't a fan of President Obama's New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New-START) with Russia. In a Washington Post op-ed, Romney called the nuclear pact probably Obama's "worst foreign policy mistake yet," because it offers Russia too much scope to limit America's nuclear defense system and "gives far more to the Russians than to the United States." Are Romney's points valid? (Watch Romney criticize Obama's START treaty)
Romney's "rant" is just "dumb": "I have never seen anything quite as shabby, misleading, and — let's not mince words — thoroughly ignorant as Mitt Romney's attack on the New-START treaty," says Fred Kaplan in Slate. As several generals have testified, "there is nothing in the treaty that places any limits on the U.S. missile-defense program." The GOP is desperate to defeat the treaty, but they could at least do rudimentary homework.
Mitt's right, but irrelevant: Romney is "correct on START as negotiated being a non-starter," says Dan Riehl in Riehl World View, but his political "game" is what's really interesting here. He's obviously trying to "show some foreign policy chops" before the 2012 primaries, but using the "pure establishment" platform of The Washington Post won't help him win over a skeptical GOP base. He should have made his case, as rival Sarah Palin did, on Facebook.
"What'sa matter Mitt, no Facebook page?"
This spells trouble for START: Romney's "anti-New-START manifesto" is mostly a sloppy rehash of GOP talking points, says Pavel Podvig at Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. But just because "partisan arguments are usually impervious to reason" doesn't make them any less potent. Obama could easily find that negotiating 67 supportive votes in the Senate is more of a challenge than negotiating a treaty with the Russians.
"Republicans question the New START Treaty"
- How to make people like you: 6 science-based conversation hacks
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 10 things you need to know today: December 13, 2013
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' 'white Santa' claim
- How John Boehner learned to stop worrying and hate the Tea Party
- The Black Death is back
- How the budget deal could pave the way for immigration reform
- The lingering mystery of the 1964 World's Fair
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- What one thing can determine whether or not you're successful in life?
Subscribe to the Week