I can give you several good reasons why the GOP should slow things down in the lame duck. The idea that it’s “sacrilegious” or “disrespectful” to have Senators working during Christmas week — not even on Christmas Day, mind you, but just in temporal proximity — is not one of them, especially with unemployment sky high and Congress’s approval at rock bottom. Here’s Reid taking an easy lay-up by reminding his audience that, for a lot of workers who are lucky enough to still have jobs, Christmas this year ain’t a day off. If we’re going to stall on START and the omnibus spending bill, can we at least stick to the argument that momentous decisions on foreign policy and government funding should be made by the new Congress per the voters’ wishes? No need to drag Santa into it. He’s busy enough these days.
Incidentally, after a whinier-than-usual statement from Gibbs this morning calling the delay tactics “a new low,” DeMint has agreed to lift his demand to have the full START text read on the floor. (Dick Lugar is addressing the chamber on START as I write this.) It looks like Reid might have agreed to delay the cloture vote on the treaty until tomorrow, thus achieving DeMint’s goal of delay while sparing everyone the tedium of having the bill read. The money question: Does Obama have the votes for ratification? The Journal sounded skeptical earlier but this morning’s vote to proceed drew 66 yeses, just one short of the number they need to ratify — and Evan Bayh, who’s retiring and has nothing to lose by voting yes, was absent for the vote. Republicans voting yes: Bennett, Brown, Collins, Lugar, Murkowski, Snowe, Voinovich, and … McCain and Graham, the only two who might conceivably flip to no on the final vote. But if they’re going to do that, why vote yes on the motion to proceed? I think this one’s a lost cause for the GOP. Click the image to watch.