Is the New START treaty a dead duck in lame-duck session?

Scrutinizing culture.
Nov. 17 2010 4:05 PM

Nukes Go Rogue

Is the START treaty a dead duck in lame-duck session?

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Now or never, Barack. And, reader, call your senator, e-mail Harry Reid and the White House. Demand a vote before it's too late.

While you're at it, call the White House. What is really needed is presidential leadership. This weekend, for instance, from far off Yokahama, Japan, Politico reported that the president confided to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev that he was really, really strong for the treaty:

"I reiterated my commitment to get the START treaty done during the lame duck session," Obama said after meeting with Medvedev. "And I've communicated to Congress that it is a top priority."

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But look at the way it came off. He's confiding this to Medvedev, and he's talking to Congress from half way around the world. Why is he not talking to the American people?

Why is this not important enough—this idea of reducing the number of genocide-scale weapons subject to "inadvertent launch"—for an address to the nation? If Obama gets this treaty, he will have genuinely made history. And who knows—looking back on it—perhaps he will have saved us from a plunge back into the balance of terror hell we thought we'd left behind.

* Correction, Nov. 17, 2010: This article originally misspelled Jon Kyl's first name.

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