The Times is careful today to place the apparent imminent passage of the arms treaty in proper perspective, as but a minor victory in what will be seen, eventually, as yet another arena of failure of the Democrats and Obama before the principles and puissance of their opponents:
WASHINGTON — The new arms control treaty with Russia, whose ratification now seems assured, was initially envisioned as a speed bump on President Obama’s nuclear agenda, a modest reduction in nuclear forces that would enable him to tackle much harder issues on the way to his dream of eventually eliminating nuclear weapons altogether.
It turned out to be a mountain. And while Mr. Obama is savoring another major victory, just days after he won repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rules that dominated the lives of gay and lesbian members of the military, his own aides acknowledge that the lesson of the battle over the treaty is that the political divide on national security is widening. The next steps on Mr. Obama’s nuclear agenda now appear harder than ever.
---I agree that far more needs to be done, about nuclear weapons and their proliferation, and that it'll be difficult. I agree that the pattern has been to settle for a definition of what's politically possible rather than try to change it, and to dismiss, even ridicule us supercilious, overly pure types who want more. But it's utterly predictable that any success of Obama, any at all, no matter how small, and, for that matter, even any action which asserts the legitimacy of his presidency, is to be dismissed entirely, or even characterized as further evidence of failure. That's especially egregiously on display here. A way of countering it would be to marshal a political base with a different perspective in support. But, then, you knew that...