While the GOP Was Stonewalling on START…

On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he “cannot support” ratification of START, also known as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a bilateral pact the US entered into with Russia nearly two decades ago to keep the countries for nuking one another into oblivion. McConnell accused Democrats of “rushing it right before Christmas.”

“I think if they’d taken more time, I know the members of the Foreign Relations Committee spent a lot of time on this but the rest of us haven’t, and so all of the sudden we’re once again trying to rush things right here before Christmas Eve,” McConnell said on CNN on Sunday. “I think that was not the best way to get the support of people like me.”

Now, START has been on the table since waaay back in April, when President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new treaty. So the idea that the Republicans have not had enough time to review it is, well, silly. Democratic staffers must be getting a little punchy over on the Hill, because last night they released an illustrated list of things that have happened in the time that senators have had to consider the treaty. The list:

A Few Things That Happened While Republicans Failed to Read the START Treaty:

  • Chilean Miners trapped and released.
  • Lady Gaga debuted her meat dress.
  • Lindsay Lohan returned to rehab, was released, and went back in again.
  • Major League Baseball 2010 season began and ended.
  • LeBron James announced, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach.”
  • BP/Deep Horizon oil spill sprung and contained.
  • Donovan McNabb debuted with the Redskins, and was benched. Twice.
  • Spain won the World Cup.
  • The biggest overhaul of America’s financial laws in decades was debated and passed.
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged.
  • Larry King announced his retirement.
  • Conan returned to Late Night.
  • Kanye West released his latest album and apologized to former President George W. Bush.
  • Former President George W. Bush released his memoir, Decision Points.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

Donate Now
  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.