So it turns out that Sen. Bob Corker was full of it when he threatened that his side would derail the New START treaty in revenge for the Obama/Reid decision to press ahead on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It now looks as if the treaty will pass with at least one vote to spare: and that Corker will vote for it, unless his diaper comes unpinned first.
Of course, START is no progressive triumph; it’s what ought to be a fairly uncontroversial piece of arms control business. But it’s good to know that, while a majority of today’s GOP Senate caucus is either completely batsh*t insane or so partisan as not to care, enough of them will do the right thing to get the treaty through.
That, plus more than a dozen judicial confirmations apparently in the works, makes a pretty good Lame Duck, despite the loss of the DREAM Act and giving rich people a few hundred billion dollars we don’t have and they don’t need via the tax cut extension.
Now if Tom Coburn wants to filibuster the relief bill for 9/11 first responders, Harry Reid’s respose ought to be “Bring it on.” I can’t imagine an argument the Republicans ought to be less eager to have. The threat of keeping the Senate in session straight through to Jan. 4 – plenty of calendar time to beat a filibuster – should be enough to bring Coburn to heel. If not, a fight to the bitter end would be a fitting conclusion to the historically productive 111th Congress.