Thursday opinion, the victory lap edition.
Republican critics cited concerns about the treaty's language on missile defense, verification and other issues. But what appeared to tip a number against the treaty was Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid's (D-Nev.) decision to shoehorn issues dear to the Democratic base into the waning days of the session, which infuriated Republicans.
The White House strategy ultimately proved successful, but the rise of partisan passions may complicate Obama's future arms-control efforts.
The public loves it, and doesn't love the GOP. They (Congressional Republicans) will be against you with or without an excuse and the public will love them even less if they overplay their hand.
Today's approval of the New START treaty is, to be sure, a great victory for the Obama administration, for arms-control advocates, for opponents of Iran's nuclear program, and for everyone who believes engagement with the world is as important to global security and peace as a strong America. In short, it's a victory for American interests around the world.
But it is also a striking defeat for the irresponsible right-wingers who lay down on the tracks while leaders in the religious, military and national security communities got on the train.
Does John McCain really look more or less Presidential now?
Conversations with friends, advisers, and analysts reveal McCain as a man still angry at his 2008 presidential loss, fueling his desire to remain in the spotlight and an important part of the debate, even on issues where he is out of step with the majority of Americans. (Recent polls say close to 80 percent of Americans support the repeal of DADT.) The old McCain may have negotiated or voted no, but taken a back seat. Now, nearly four months after he beat back a primary challenge with tougher stances on issues like immigration, is the new McCain here to stay?
At the beginning of 2009, the choice before Democrats who controlled the 111th Congress was whether they would enact historic legislation, even at the risk of their majority, or whether they would play it safe.
They gave the safe option a pass, with two results: This will go down as the most productive Congress since the 89th, which was even more Democratic because of Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide. And 52 Democratic House incumbents, most elected in 2006 or 2008, lost their seats .
The departing Democrats are, as one in their ranks put it, "Obama's Orphans." So many of them cast vote after vote for the president's program. They were then left at the side of the road while history moved by.
Dana Milbankis outraged that the President refused to grovel in defeat, as he was told to by the Villagers:
Obama the Great - if he does say so himself
In that same time span, Milbank's accomplishments are here:
NY Times editorial:
Wednesday was not a good day for Senator Mitch McConnell’s single-minded project to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Over the minority leader’s objections, 13 Republicans joined every Democratic senator to ratify the New Start nuclear arms treaty with Russia, reducing the size of the countries’ nuclear stockpiles and making the world a safer place. The 71-to-26 vote was the capstone to what now shapes up to be a remarkably successful legislative agenda for President Obama’s first two years.
Good work, White House! Thank heavens we got rid of our former president, Barack Obama, who couldn’t even get the trade agreement he went all the way to South Korea to sign. Our current president, Barack Obama, would never let that happen, and, in fact, came up with a really excellent trade agreement with the South Koreans just the other day.