Despite the pleas of the military incluing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, business leaders, and even the presidents Bush, the US Senate is refusing to join the other 161 countries that have signed the Law of the Sea.
Rachel Maddow attributes it to pressure from Fox News. In short, a crazy old Australian guy continues his successful campaign to keep the world stuck in 1935.
Our old friend Senator Inhofe crowed “This is Victory Day for U.S. sovereignty in the Senate”. Rupert Murdoch sovereignty he means.
But pro-treaty-forces aim to keep the pressure on:
“Senator Kerry has been here long enough to know that vote counts and letters are just a snapshot of where our politics are in this instant, and it’s not news to anyone that right now we’re in the middle of a white hot political campaign season where ideology is running in overdrive,” said Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth. “That’s why Senator Kerry made it clear there wouldn’t be a vote before election and until everyone’s had the chance to evaluate the treaty on the facts and the merits away from the politics of the moment.”
“No letter or whip count changes the fact that rock-ribbed Republican businesses and the military and every living Republican secretary of state say that this needs to happen, and that’s why it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ for the Law of the Sea,” Seth continued. “The Chamber of Commerce, the oil and gas and telecommunications industries are some of the most effective in this town because they stick to their guns and they’ve been unequivocal about the need to get this done. They’ll keep at it, and we will continue the work of answering questions and building the public record.”
Everyone claims that modern American conservatism is about deference to authority but it really doesn’t seem that way to me. Instead it is clinging to a world that runs at America’s bidding. It is our peculiar destiny that the fate of the world rests on a crazy old Australian promoting American exceptionalism for no apparent reason. What makes him tick is probably delusion, plain and simple. What makes America vulnerable is just the classic syndrome of imperial decline.
The world can’t afford American exceptionalism, and neither can America. The changing of the guard at Fox can’t come too soon.