And so his optimism deserves “New Direction.”

Drezner says that my post on GOP attitudes toward New START gets the timetable on ratification wrong, since the vote won’t come “right after [the GOP] suffering a humiliating defeat on health care.” And that’s fair enough on the surface. But the actual timetable matters less than the way the Republicans perceive the lingering effects of their health-care loss. The way that even people who should know better, like John McCain, are vowing to repeal a bill they’ll never repeal, I think it’s fair to say that the sting of the health-care loss carries over throughout the year.

But I didn’t mean to make the force of my point reliant on healthcare in that post. The post was about the attitude of the GOP Senate minority under Obama, which has taken the position that it ought to reject Obama’s agenda on a matter of course — combined with the typical antipathy the GOP evinces toward arms control, or at least arms control advocated by a Democratic president. Richard Lugar’s support for New START is an outlier, not a indicator. I’m curious if Drezner thinks this view of the Senate minority is incorrect. If it is, then I will happily agree New START has a pretty-good chance of ratification, which is what I’d certainly prefer to believe.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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