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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Branding the GOP

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My new Washington Examiner column looks at the key decisions the Congressional GOP will make this week, including the chairmanship elections for key House Committees and whether the Senate Republicans will cave on START.

The idea that a lame duck Congress would jam through an allegedly crucial international arms control accord on an abbreviated schedule with effectively no time for a serious debate is shocking on many levels. Nothing could undermine the legitimacy of such a treaty more than a transparent rush job of the sort being proposed by the president. If the treaty cannot survive the change in Senate membership brought about by the election it cannot possibly be a good deal for the nation’s security.

The politics of the proposed end-game are also astonishing. The Democrats exercised this sort of arrogance with the Obamacare vote in March and paid for it in November. A lame duck vote on START would be the Democrats acting again with complete indifference to the nation’s opinion expressed in the repudiation of the Democrats just registered on November 2. Some Senate Democrats may think that the public will forget this action over the next 22 months but they are again greatly underestimating the public’s attention span.

Republicans who support cloture on such an issue in a lame duck session are asking for a primary challenge as they too would be ignoring the massive vote for change in D.C. by allowing a discredited Senate facing a huge turnover to disenfranchise all those voters who just elected new senators.

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