Daniel Larison writes:
There are several gratifying outcomes here. Most important, a treaty important to American national security will be ratified despite the often ignorant and at times flat-out dishonest opposition of people speaking for no more than 20-30% of the country. It is not all that often that sound policy and public opinion are on the same side, so it’s worth noting when it happens. Sound policy seems to have prevailed over hawkish demagoguery. Kyl’s gambit to run out the clock seems to have failed, and the automatic deference afforded to him on these issues after he orchestrated the defeat of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is most likely at an end.
The side of the debate championed by Romney, Palin, Thune, Santorum, and Bolton has lost, and the virtually unanimous opposition to the treaty from movement conservative leaders, think tanks, and magazines has been ignored. For once, deceit and fearmongering did not win the day in a foreign policy argument. More substantively, U.S.-Russian relations will not be disrupted, our allies in Europe will continue to see their security enhanced by the thaw between Washington and Moscow, and inspections of Russia’s arsenal will resume to our benefit. The harm to U.S. credibility and diplomacy that I had feared would result from the treaty’s defeat will not materialize. All in all, this should prove to be a very good week for the United States and our allies.