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Now that the various doofi and charlatans elected through the efforts of the “angry” (befuddled?) Tea Party faithful are doubling down on their efforts to kill the New START nuclear arms control treaty – which had  strong Republican support before the great GOP unwashed bought lock-stock-and-barrel into partisan, anti-Obama obstructionism for its own sake  – those GOPers who retain a minimum of intellectual integrity are starting to see the light. Speaking of a growing Tea Party-led movement to punish Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) for pointing out that opposition to START for political purposes is dangerous to the welfare of the U.S., former Missouri Senator John Danforth indicated his belief that things are getting out of hand, observing that if a politician of Lugar’s stature and foreign policy expertise “is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”

It doesn’t seem to be just the old-line GOP elite like Danforth who feel this way. For example, the “Letters to the Editor” section in today’s St. Louis Post Dispatch consisted entirely of letters deploring and debunking the arguments put forward in an anti-START op-ed by former Missouri Senator Jim Talent.  Not one letter supported Talent’s position.

Yet in spite of the near consensus of informed opinion and the growing public awareness of the issue, Missouri’s new Senator-elect, Roy Blunt has decided to run crazy with the GOP herd, calling for a delay in the START treaty because “no bilateral strategic arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union or Russia has ever been ratified during a lame-duck session.” He says lame-duck, I say lame. Even certified fools recognize the old stall if you can’t dredge up a substantive objection ploy.

We can only hope that if Harry Reid wants to play at bi-partisanship, he’ll listen to those few remaining GOP pols with some integrity – perhaps Richard Lugar himself who, unlike Blunt, doesn’t seem to feel that working during the last months of a duly elected Senate is a failure to respect his states’ voters, but just doing business. Consequently, Lugar has called for a swift vote in the lame-duck congress and has implored his fellows to “Please do your duty for your country” – something that, novel as it may be for him, Roy Blunt ought to try now that he has been promoted to the supposedly more august Senate.  

UPDATE:  Steve Clemons writes in The Washington Note that Blunt’s position is seriously wrong:

Senators “elect” Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL)** have written to Senator Reid stating, as reported by Joshua Rogin:

On Election Day we were elected to represent the constituents of our respective states in the Senate. Out of respect for our states’ voters, we believe it would be improper for the Senate to consider the New START Treaty or any other treaty in a lame duck session prior to January 3, 2011.

Too bad guys!

You are not yet elected and the incumbent Senators seating in seats they “won” previously have ALL the powers embedded in their positions until 12 noon, January 3rd.

Your efforts to impose your will beforehand are extralegal, irresponsible, and unconstitutional

Of Roy Blunt specifically, he has this to say:

Roy Blunt — this was clever, but you know it was wrong. Dial down please.

But isn’t that always the way with Blunt?  We all know that he, unlike some of the latest crop of GOPers,  knows that what he is doing is usually wrong and what he says about it is, to use the polite term, crap, but he does and says it anyway. Didn’t I say something abut charlatans above?