“We are not doomed to endless gridlock.”

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. …

Next term, there will be many more Republicans in Congress spoiling for a fight, and the White House will have to be far more pugnacious and adept to preserve its priorities and avoid trickery and extortion. But this week’s examples of Democrats and Republicans coming together for a common purpose will not soon be forgotten. As the president said on Wednesday, if that continues, “we are not doomed to endless gridlock.”

The Senate Surmounts Politics – NYTimes.com

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The president and his team had built their entire strategy for obtaining approval of the treaty on winning over a single Republican senator deputized by his caucus to negotiate an accord — and that Republican, Senator Jon Kylof Arizona, had just shocked the White House by pulling the plug on a deal for the year.

Some aides counseled Mr. Obama to stand down. Losing a treaty vote, as one put it, would be “a huge loss.” But Mr. Obama decided that afternoon to make one of the biggest gambles of his presidency and demand that the Senate approve the treaty by the year’s end. “We’ve just got to go ahead.”

Obama’s Gamble Pays Off on Arms Control Treaty – NYTimes.com

And …

Wow, we’re getting a new nuclear arms control treaty for Christmas. I know some of you were hoping for iPads. But still, big news.

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. …

Lindsey Graham’s … Start-supporting fellow Republicans appeared quietly unrepentant. Perhaps they were afraid that if they said anything in response, Graham would continue his evolution into awfulness right there on the Senate floor and start gnawing on the ankles of elderly legislators.

Lame Ducks Triumphant – NYTimes.com

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