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Friday, April 9, 2010

Curd and Noem Know Nukes? Republicans Evidently Don't Like Ike

R. Blake Curd is a wealthy Sioux Falls surgeon who likes mansions and tries buying access to candidates of whichever party holds power. Kristi Noem is a farm welfare queen without a college degree. Both scare me when they farcically pretend to be nuclear warriors and presume to criticize President Barack Obama's nuclear weapons policy.

While the President is busy signing historic treaties with Russia, Curd and Noem might want to brush up on the history of an icon of their own party:

In the spring of 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made a sweeping change in the American approach to nuclear war. Henceforth, the United States would rule out waging nuclear war against non-nuclear states....

Eisenhower had no grand objective in installing this policy. Rather, he had become worried by a growing clamor emanating from the Pentagon, supported by “wizard of Armageddon” intellectuals like Henry Kissinger and Democrats keen on retaking the White House, that the United States could wage, and win, a “limited” nuclear war....

On Monday, President Obama announced, in his Nuclear Posture Review, a new American approach to nuclear war that comes right out of Eisenhower’s playbook. And, indeed, Mr. Obama quickly came under criticism from those who have argued that new American technologies, together with the diminished capacity of traditional adversaries, have now made nuclear war winnable... [Campbell Craig, "Just Like Ike (on Deterrence)," New York Times, 2010.04.08].

Yeah, but Eisenhower was soft on Communism, too, right?

p.s.: Yes, Nelson made similar noise at the same forum about Obama's new nukes policy. But I give Nelson a break this morning, simply because I appreciate his continuing, consistent, and straightforward defense he's been giving conservatives for his role in taking Rep. Roger Hunt to reveal the name of the big anonymous donor in the 2006 anti-abortion campaign. "It wasn't about Roger Hunt, and it wasn't about the issue [of abortion]," Nelson told a conservative forum in Sioux Falls Monday. The lawsuit was about the law. Nelson is doing his share of pandering to the yahoos (also known as my fellow citizens), but if we're going to have a Republican stink up the joint, I'd take the faint musk of Nelson over the stench of Woe de Noem or That Which Rhymes with Curd.

Update 2010.04.10: As Mr. Smith notes below and as Mr. Feser notes here, Curd and Noem also appear to forget that President Obama goal of a nuke-free world mirrors that of Saint Ronald. Nuclear policy also happens to be one of President Obama's strongest areas of experience... certainly stronger than anything any South Dakota candidate has to offer.


  1. It doesn't matter what they think. None of them will get to vote on it (thank goodness.)

    "Article II: The President shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur"

    It does, however, matter what John Thune thinks.

  2. These canidates have little or no knowledge on nuclear arms policy. they are merely repeating the party talking points. That's all you can expect from republicans these days. Long gone are the Reagan
    administration policy wonks. After all what would you expect from the party that would have put Sarah Palin, one heartbeat away from the nuclear codes. If any of them do have any coherent thoughts on the subject you can bet that the party will soon shut them up.

  3. Barry:

    You can also substitute democrate for republican and your post will have the same message

    Tim Higgins

  4. Tim, while your skepticism of organized political parties has its merits, no one is offering a reasonable alternative to those two parties.

  5. Really Mr Higgins. It was the democrat party that put Palin on the ticket. Now that really is history revisionism. The fact of the matter is, this treaty is an incarnation of Reagan administration nuclear policy, which I also supported.
    I too believe that there is too much political pandering and not enough intellectual honesty. When I see it coming from the left I will call it out as well. At this time the right is regurgitating it in volumes.

  6. Just what does Sarah Palin have to do with the Nuclear treaty just signed?

  7. The point on my post was that a party that would put Sarah Palin in a position where she would be authorized to launch nuclear weapons, is not to be trusted to comment coherently on nuclear arms policy. The best the republicans can do is follow the talking points of always being against the president , no matter what he does.
    If you would like, you can enlighten me to the republican position on nuclear arms and how it differs from the policy of the Obama administration.

  8. This treaty is a waste of time and energy. The era of first-world countries going to war against each other via nukes or other arms is over. Russia might attack us, but it will be in cyberspace or shorting our stock market and currency.

    A better treaty would have the Russians provide us with intel on Iran or China, but Obama might already know that.

  9. "Just what does Sarah Palin have to do with the Nuclear treaty just signed?"

    Good heavens, don't you realize she can see Russia from her porch?

    National Republican Party is a big empty bag. The truth shall make you free, unless you are a GOP in DC. Then the truth makes you irrelevant. The Republican Party has blathered on and on about truth, virtue, good government, morality, family values, etc and delivers instead Richard Nixon and Watergate, and Bush with his war.

    And for another string around the GOP hot air bag, the National GOP officers take a jet to see a voyeur sex show with bondage.

    So, if truth means nothing to them, they are forced to lie, lie and lie some more in support of their irrelevant ideology and now irrelevant party of no, no for people and too, too too much for the rich and influential corporatists.

  10. Gee Barry, I feel much more secure knowing that "Go Blow Up Something" Joe Biden is a heartbeat away from having his finger on the nuclear trigger. Would you rather have a loose cannon or a rifle toter on that button? Actually, neither of them impress me.

  11. Goldman. Then it must be a relief to you, that the Obama administration is a adopting Reagan's policy on nuclear arms.

  12. Palin? Who mentioned Palin?

    Oh, the President of the United States:

    Obama told Stephanopoulos in Prague that he was not concerned about Palin's criticisms. "If the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin," he said.

    Same criticism applies to Noem and Curd's uninformed parrotings of the peanut gallery.

  13. While not a fan of Mr. Curd, I will point out the lack of military presence in the comments attacking him. Mr. Curd, as a military veteran, would have sat through the long hours of training all '80s+ veterans sat through and would have been privy to planning regarding such nuclear issues.

    The messianic zeal imparted on Obama fools the senses into thinking he is worthy of such adulations and confidence; however, the truth of the matter begrudges those insensibilities....

  14. Stace: seriously? Curd's duck-and-cover training as an Air Force medic makes him some expert on international foreign policy, but Obama's experience working with Senator Lugar on nuclear non-proliferation in the Senate is just a figment of my alleged "messianic zeal"? I believe in no messiahs, just the facts. The GOP candidates are parroting right-wing insult points and ignoring reality and history... unless I missed the memo where the GOP declared Eisenhower and Reagan enemies of the state.

  15. Obama is more of a warrior than President Reagon ever was. When Islamic terrorists blew up our Marine barracks in 1983, we packed our gear and left the middle east. Obama plans on keeping 50,000+ troops in Iraq and double downed on Afghanistan. Reagon used our nuclear stockpile to negotiate with the Russians, Obama wants to apply conditions to his new treaty.

    If Reagon saw no value in staying in Arab countries, it would be nice if our current president mirrored that policy.

  16. After reading commentary from the right on this subject. It is no wonder that the candidates just stick to the party line responses.
    Don't feed them vegetables when all they want is candy.

  17. @Cory Ahh, we arrogant few, we arrogant blithely few... Spoken like someone who has never sat through such classes or worried about being subjected to such events. My fat monthly retirement check says Mr. Curd could better explain the impact of a nuclear explosion on metropolitan areas, troops, etc. their tactical and strategic uses, as well as the effects on the human anatomy. If Mr. Barry's IL voting record is any indication of his treaty prowess, my faith is in the USAF Surgeon. Different topic; however, please humor me. Why is the left so dismissive and contemptuous of our military personnel?


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