Whoa: Republicans now saying privately that they expect START to pass?

posted at 5:54 pm on December 20, 2010 by Allahpundit

I’m honestly surprised. McCain and Graham voted to proceed on the treaty last week but both sounded like they were leaning towards no on ratification over the weekend. That would have left Democrats three votes short (Ron Wyden is being treated for prostate cancer) at a moment when all other major business has been settled and grassroots conservative attention is focused entirely on this. Why, Palin even dropped an op-ed on it at NRO a few days to help nudge START into litmus-test territory. And suddenly, both sides are saying that they think it’s a matter of time. What happened?

Republican senators say privately they expect the Senate to ratify the New START treaty this week, which would hand President Obama his third major victory of the lame-duck session.

GOP senators — including those who plan to vote for the treaty and those who say they’ll oppose it — have told The Hill they expect it to pass easily.

At least seven Republican senators have announced they either will vote to ratify the treaty or are leaning strongly toward doing so. That means Democrats are only two GOP votes shy of ratification…

Senate Democrats are eyeing a pool of at least six Republican senators who could give them the final two votes for ratification.

Judd Gregg and Thad Cochran each voted no on the motion to proceed, but Gregg now says he’s leaning towards yes and Chuck Schumer claims Cochran’s told him he’ll vote yes too. That puts Democrats theoretically at 66, with at least three other Republicans in play who voted no last week: Mark Kirk, Johnny Isakson(!), and even Bob Corker, whom you’ll recall was hinting that the GOP might walk away from START over Reid’s insistence on bringing DADT to the floor. I assume he and Isakson will vote no if Democrats have 67 without them since they’re from red states, but I’m curious to see how Kirk plays it. He’s already banked some “moderate” cred by voting yes on the DADT repeal and he’s an intel officer in the Navy so he can afford to be brave in opposing a measure Democrats claim is key to national security. He doesn’t have to vote yes, in other words, especially since he’s not up again until 2016. Will he anyway? Scott Brown’s in the same boat, more or less, and he made his decision a few hours ago.

Here’s Gibbs at today’s briefing sounding cautiously optimistic. Exit question one: Which was the bigger influence on the GOP, Russian threats that the treaty would collapse if the U.S. tried to change it or an almost united front in favor of START from top diplomats who served in Republican administrations? Exit question two: Between his vocal support for this treaty, his backing of the DREAM Act, and his refusal to yank his earmarks from the omnibus spending bill, does Dick Lugar have a primary death wish? Or is he secretly planning to retire and ready to throw caution to the wind?


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Only 34 GOP votes, right? WTF? It’s our fricking national security.

BuckeyeSam on December 20, 2010 at 8:31 PM

I thought getting elected meant doing something other than rolling over…that is all they have done. What happened. I didn’t expect miracles, but what the fuck.

tomas on December 20, 2010 at 8:34 PM

What do we do now. I don’t have a party.

tomas on December 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM

That’s the power of the majority. As long as Reid has more Senators than the GOP, he can keep dictating what’s in the agenda and the GOP is left with nothing much to do except to respond to him.

Apologetic California on December 20, 2010 at 8:01 PM

This is absolute crap and you know it!

Thankfully, the answer to your argument that we need a majority, even if populated by RINOs, is given in your own statement above.

You only need 41 (forty one) committed conservatives to block any nonsense emanating from the Senate. Yes, the majority can set the agenda but if the minority refuses to play, it is essentially dead.

The Senate GOP should have just focused on passing a CR and then shut down the lame duck session instead of wimping out and acceding to all the Dem wish list.

And I have had it up to here with anyone who tries to tell me that the GOP had any obligation to help pass these nonsensical lame duck legislation – what is the rush? And why can’t the incoming congress deal with it?

TheRightMan on December 20, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Isakson is now hinting that he’s a yes.

Wethal on December 20, 2010 at 8:51 PM

What do we do now. I don’t have a party.

tomas on December 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM

+1

Sandybourne on December 20, 2010 at 8:52 PM

The repubics are fulfilling all of my expectations. Bunch of morally bankrupt, lying, bast**ds. 2012 will fix a lot of the problem. As a constituent of Isakson’s, I am ashamed. I did not vote for him last November. Couldn’t even hold my nose and “pull the lever”.

ultracon on December 20, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Bunch of morally bankrupt, lying, bast**ds. 2012 will fix a lot of the problem.

ultracon on December 20, 2010 at 9:09 PM

I hate to laugh here, but please, give me one solid reason why you think 2012 will fix any of this at all?

The GOP just won a record-setting election because of an all-out conservative backlash against the Dems – that’s not going to happen again in 2012.

So if *this* landmark election doesn’t seem to have done the trick, what rational reason can there be to expect that 2012 will do it?

Midas on December 20, 2010 at 9:19 PM

I was a longtime Repub. turned Independent with Bush’s last term.
I am for hawks and sure don’t see anyone in the Repub. party that has any b**** except for Sarah.
I think the first thing we should try for in every state is term limits and the power of recall.
SOMETHING,ANYTHING, GET THESE CLOWNS OUT OF POWER SOON!!!!

concernedsenior on December 20, 2010 at 9:23 PM

People call your Senators and send them emails! Dick Morris just told Mark Steyn on Hannity that both Alexander and Corker – my GOP Senators – were considering ratifying this.
I called Senator Corker last night and left a messages asking him not to ratify. I sent and email to Senator Alexander tonight, then decided on a phone messages as insurance. His voice mail was FULL!! I sent Senator Corker an email next, then decided to check his voice mail – it was FULL!

I was respectful to both, but I reminded them of what happened in the Nov election, not just the 63 seat switch in the House but the state government getting even redder, and told them that ratification was signing away our right to defend ourselves, and that it will be a betrayal of both the counrty and the state. I also warned them they would be primaried (Alexander in 2012 and Corker in 2014) and that I would donate to their opponent and ask my friends, both Tennesseeans and from other states, to contribute as well.

I hope it does some good.

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 9:35 PM

The only way to get rid of the real trash is to deny congressmen healthy retirement benefits and unlimited time in office.

Bishop on December 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

THIS!

bluemarlin on December 20, 2010 at 9:52 PM

The only way to get rid of the real trash is to deny congressmen healthy retirement benefits and unlimited time in office.

Bishop on December 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

I agree, but how do we get them limit their own power? The states calling a constitutional convention is possible, but that has risks, too.

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 9:53 PM

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Excellent work. I’ve been emailing with a similar message. I told them if the republicans vote to ratify this, I’m finished with the party. I told them every conservative I’ve spoken to or heard from is stunned and disgusted at the overall lame-duck capitulation by GOP.

rrpjr on December 20, 2010 at 10:14 PM

rrpjr on December 20, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Excellent! When is the vote? I plan to call the offices tomorrow morning hoping to talk to a live person.

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Of course they’ll vote for it. The Senate GOP caucus is simply a bunch of feckless cowards led by the ball-less wonder himself Mitch McConnell. It’s all about the collegiality and cocktail parties. My God these people are worthless. Please Teaparty, primary these losers in 2012.

WarEagle01 on December 20, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Please Teaparty, primary these losers in 2012.

WarEagle01 on December 20, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Alexander should be concerned. Tennessee is getting redder all the time. He’s going to have to get with the program or get primaried. Marsha Blackburn would be great!

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Does ANYONE know ANYONE who trusts ANYTHING that comes from this democRAT controlled congress?
Meanwhile too many repubs “play nice”and display no courage,–just pitiful.

3dpuzzman on December 20, 2010 at 10:41 PM

WTF… we’re screwed.

ProfessorMiao on December 20, 2010 at 10:43 PM

I agree, but how do we get them limit their own power? The states calling a constitutional convention is possible, but that has risks, too.

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 9:53 PM

But there are fewer risks now than prior to November, and will probably improve again after ’12.

FloatingRock on December 20, 2010 at 10:52 PM

But there are fewer risks now than prior to November, and will probably improve again after ’12.

FloatingRock on December 20, 2010 at 10:52 PM

I agree about now, but 2012 is still a long way off. This FCC ‘net neutrality’ crap could get squirrelly. I just hope the court throws out the overreach again,

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 11:00 PM

I’m laughing my ass off. I told you. The liberals beat us at every turn.

Hey, we need more Moderates. (My side hurts)

Hey, if we put Liberal Republicans in places where Conservatives don’t have a chance, we still have a Republican in office, right?

Straight, down, the line.

When Obama gets every last piece of legislation he wanted and then vetos the Tax Bill while he sticks his middle finger in your face, will you still need convincing?

hawkdriver on December 20, 2010 at 11:46 PM

GOP are pussies. Weak. Gutless. Stupid.

SilentWatcher on December 21, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Yep…..the RINO’s can’t wait for the new Congress to be seated, don’t want to make the 1st Black president look bad, ya know its all about healing and history. Scotty Brown needs to show Masshole voters he is filling Kennedys seat and the freak from Alaska just wants to be one of Barry’s go-girls….perfect.

Nuke the Whales……….

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 12:08 AM

I agree about now, but 2012 is still a long way off. This FCC ‘net neutrality’ crap could get squirrelly. I just hope the court throws out the overreach again,

ladyingray on December 20, 2010 at 11:00 PM

You guys understand what net neutrality is right? It’s not some huge governmental overreach. It simply prevents internet service providers from treating one website differently from another.

For example, let’s say that you get your internet from Verizon, and they have just started a streaming movie service. Based on that, they want to block their customers from accessing Netflix, in favor of their own site. Net Neutrality would prevent that.

The problem is that down the road, there’s a fear that the internet will be treated like cable television is now. A certian amount of money gets you the basic package. 5 bucks more a month gets you access to youtube and twitter and so on and so forth. Net neutrality just means that internet providers can’t favor any website, or restrict access based on personal preference. You know, neutrality. Are you guys against this because some Democrats support it? Or is there something I’m missing? I don’t see the problem with this.

HeroesforGhosts on December 21, 2010 at 12:09 AM

Scott Brown needs to go, the sooner the better. At least the Democrats are consistent….as for Sandra Burnhards’ ugly sister from Alaska….she just wants to be an Obama girl, ya know and help him get a green card….feel the love!

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 12:26 AM

Scott Brown needs to go, the sooner the better. At least the Democrats are consistent….as for Sandra Burnhards’ ugly sister from Alaska….she just wants to be an Obama girl, ya know and help him get a green card….feel the love!

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 12:26 AM

If I didn’t know better, it seems like a pretty much lock step Progressive Republican revolt. And I agree, we could save money, time, effort and heartache and just not support any of these people if they win their next primary. I gave a lot of money to Brown. I should have sent it straight to the DNC and cut out the middleman.

hawkdriver on December 21, 2010 at 12:34 AM

hawkdriver on December 21, 2010 at 12:34 AM

Agreed, I live in Mass. and supported Scotty all the way, made calls, shlep’d signs, tossed a few $$$ etc. and now I want to spit on him. He’s running away from those that elected him, more concerned with his re-election in 012, just another careerist.

We are F’d ………….

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 12:50 AM

You guys understand what net neutrality is right? It’s not some huge governmental overreach. It simply prevents internet service providers from treating one website differently from another.

HeroesforGhosts on December 21, 2010 at 12:09 AM

It’s about more than that. It’s about a new structure of government regulation of the Internet, which is comprised of privately owned infrastructure.

FloatingRock on December 21, 2010 at 12:58 AM

We are F’d ………….

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 12:50 AM

We might be. But I feel good. After almost a week of reading my fellow Republicans beat the crap out of me and calling me a bigot and homophobe. After a week of reading Republicans say we needed to drop the social issues altogether IOT concentrate of fiscal issues. After being told by a fellow Christian that I was a terrible Christian because I was “hateful” I decided I’d had enough.

We might lose every battle from the rest of my natural life, but I refuse to lose on a team I don’t believe in anymore. I just wrote the Republican National Party and told them to include me on their “Don’t Contact List” and joined the Conservative Party.

Long overdue.

hawkdriver on December 21, 2010 at 12:59 AM

concentrate “on”

hawkdriver on December 21, 2010 at 1:00 AM

hawkdriver on December 21, 2010 at 12:59 AM

“Support” is nice a word to hear in the briefing room, as long as you don’t count on it! I’ve always weighed the merits and abilities of the individual candidate, damn I’ve even voted for Democrats. Best person to get the job done has always been my hook. Sadly we have become a nation of whores, no honor, no commitment just “opportunity”, we elected a president based on noting but color, a charlatans word and playing a suckers guilt. Sometimes it is best to fly alone.

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 1:17 AM

yep and I can’t spell nothing…oh well

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 1:20 AM

dmann on December 21, 2010 at 1:17 AM

Do what you have to do brother, but these people at least have a platform.

Night.

hawkdriver on December 21, 2010 at 1:31 AM

Hey Heroes for Ghosts!

Who’s paying you for these talking points? The same folks paying to have all Obamacare googles go the the government website?

Moby.

skeeter on December 21, 2010 at 1:37 AM

Corker said “they’re either about signing statements or what’s in the preamble, both of which are nonbinding.”

I am amazed at the propensity of people to throw logic out the door. Corker should know better.

Treaties are as much political as they are legal. The preamble contains what the parties want people to think the treaty is about.

The Russians have said removing the linkage in the preamble between US missile defence is grounds for killing the treaty. It sounds like the preamble is important to them.

The treaty should not be ratified because either the Administration is lying about the importance of the missile defence language or they and the Russians do not agree on the terms of the treaty.

Secretary Rice had it right when she said US missile defence should not be part of the treaty.

davod on December 21, 2010 at 2:10 AM

Peace on the playground is achieved by superior firepower. Nothing more. Nothing less.
One does not give up that advantage to a has been power when China is eager to confront us over Taiwan, even at the cost of Nuclear War.
There are many other reasons. We gave up our chemical and bio weapons because, we were told, we had lots of nukes to retaliate with. Now that option is off the table except for Iran and NOKO.
Idiocy,,,

Army Brat on December 21, 2010 at 2:28 AM

What do we do now. I don’t have a party.

tomas on December 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM

+me included

I saw the writing on the wall after the debacle of the tax bill.

Score so far

Repubs America:
-Tax rates REMAIN THE SAME for 2YRS (dems agree temporary truce)

Dems
-13 more months, on top of over a year of unemployement/welfare (votes bought)
-pork pork pork
-DADT (you don’t do social experiments in the military during a time of war)

Still coming
-Monster pork budget (repubs are fighting for “no increase” instead of drastic cuts, big whoop)
-START (lets agree to shrink our nukes to match a dying nation i.e. Russia when around the world nations are plussing up i.e. China, Norks, Pakistan, India, potentials Iran, Burma, Venezuela, possible reactionary to potentials, S Korea, Japan, Tiawan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, ect…)

The Repub leadership must go. The ole holdouts that think a fighting retreat is a winning strategy must go. Time for fresh blood that will drop the ole niceties and start making a fight on actual offensive rolling back the liberal disease that has taken the greatest nation of the world to a economic/social basket case.

C-Low on December 21, 2010 at 8:56 AM

davod on December 21, 2010 at 2:10 AM

Contact Corker; I have. Remind him that Tennessee is a red state that moved even redder in Nov. Tell him that Tennesseean conservatives will work to primary him and we will solicit money from out of state. Remind him he needs to be listening for Marsha Blackburn’s footsteps, especially since he was one of the few GOP to vote for Geithner (the only man in America who could do the job)!

ladyingray on December 21, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Actually, we here in GA have known for some time that Isakson has a lot of liberal tendencies. I have no idea how these people think other than they believe that in voting the way the do automatically validates the wishes of their constituents. GA is a red state and hopefully we will get rid of Chambliss soon. Both Isakson and Chambliss are long time members of the Good ‘ole Boys Club.

ultracon on December 21, 2010 at 11:56 AM

When this treaty proves to be a disaster, as it ultimately will, Republicans should be held accountable…..and Democrats should be punished!

olesparkie on December 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM

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