Over the past seven months, a little-noticed stream of bipartisanship has flowed through the United States Senate. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) have shepherded the New START accord through an intensive review process and built strong, bipartisan support for the treaty from our nation's most respected military and national security leaders.
Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is among the long list of military leaders who have urged the Senate to ratify New START. Admiral Mullen advised, "This is a national security issue of great significance. And the sooner we get it done, the better." This week, several prominent conservative senators have swung their support behind Mullen and his fellow national security experts - ignoring opponents who are attempting to re-raise objections that have already been answered or dismissed. As Sen. Lugar explained last month, "Every senator has an obligation in the national security interest to take a stand, to do his or her duty. Maybe people would prefer not to do his or her duty right now," he said. "Sometimes when you prefer not to vote, you attempt to find reasons not to vote." This week, Sen. Kerry implored his colleagues to finish their work. "It is this Congress that has done the work on this treaty. It is we senators here and now, who have the constitutional responsibility to deal with this treaty. It is this Congress that has gone to these hearings, conducted this analysis, read these documents. We are the senators who have the responsibility to vote. Let's get to work."