The repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy over the weekend was a major victory for the White House, but it is now imperiling a chief priority: the ratification of the nuclear-arms-reduction pact with Russia known as the New START Treaty. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had promised the White House early last week that they would deliver the votes necessary to ratify the START treaty if the administration would pull the repeal of the military's DADT policy off the lame-duck agenda, according to Democratic aides familiar with the pair's offer.
The White House declined the offer and pushed ahead with repeal; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) brought it to the Senate floor Saturday, where it won 63 votes to defeat a filibuster, and 65 votes on final passage.
Now that DADT has been repealed, Graham is signaling he'll no longer vote for the treaty. "If you really want to have a chance of passing START, you better start over and do it in the next Congress because this lame duck has been poisoned," Graham said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
I'm posting this for two reasons: just underscoring how petty some members of the Republican party is. I have a feeling that this is going to be their Achilles heel. Playing hardball is a good tactic but so is knowing when to play hardball and when to give it a rest.
Secondly, this situation is something to remember for those accusing the Obama Administration, and especially the President, of having no fight in him. He could have done compromised with Republicans on this, but he said forget it.
Isn't that a show of guts?