WHAT JIM DEMINT CONSIDERS ‘SACRILEGIOUS’…. The Senate is set to move on ratification of the pending arms control treaty, New START, but the chamber’s most right-wing member is intent on bringing the process to a crawl. Today, he announced his plan to force the Senate clerk to read the entirety of the treaty, out loud, just to delay for the sake of delay.
The stunt is expected to waste seven to 12 hours, on purpose, just to make the man-child from South Carolina feel better.
But it’s his stated rationale that truly rankles.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) called Democrats’ push to force through an arms control treaty and an omnibus spending bill right before Christmas “sacrilegious,” and warned he’d draw the process out to wage his objections.
“You can’t jam a major arms control treaty right before Christmas,” he told POLITICO. “What’s going on here is just wrong. This is the most sacred holiday for Christians.”
I’m beginning to wonder if there’s just something wrong with this guy. Today is December 15 — it’s not sacred, it’s not a holiday, and it’s not “sacrilegious” for public officials to do the jobs we pay them to do. Americans nationwide are working this week and next, as are U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe conservatives need to suck it up and stop whining about having too much homework before winter break.
What’s more, no one is “jamming” anything — senators have been talking about this treaty since April.
If DeMint wants to blow off the entire national security apparatus and vote against New START, that’s his prerogative. If he doesn’t care about monitoring Russia’s long-range nuclear arsenal, that’s up to him. But playing the Christmas Card is more than a little pathetic, and something of an embarrassment to the institution.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called DeMint’s nonsense a “new low in putting political stunts ahead of our national security…. Every minute that the START Treaty is being read on the Senate floor increases the time that we lack verification of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.”
Update: Several readers have noted that DeMint’s description of Christmas as “the most sacred holiday for Christians” is completely absurd. That’s clearly true — Easter has always been considered the holiest of Christian holidays. For adherents, a virgin birth is a big deal, but resurrection from the dead is a more notable development.
With that in mind, when drawing up a list of things Jim DeMint is deeply confused about, we can add “his own religion” to the list.