Maybe it’s the stress of the holiday season or just the general quackery of the lame duck session. But awash in wins, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and fellow Democrats have been in rare form this week. First, the soft-spoken Reid told a reporter that if the GOP doesn’t move on immigration reform during the next Congress, it’ll be because “they have real problems with their mental capacity.” Ouch. Next, his office released a list of major events that happened while the START arms treaty was under consideration in an effort to illustrate how the GOP held up the process while claiming it did not receive an adequate hearing. Those events included the Chilean mining incident, the BP oil spill, the World Cup, and Donovan McNabb debuting with the Redskins—only to ride the bench twice. Zing!
Meanwhile, Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania accused his former partymates of “a sophisticated form of cannibalism,” during his farewell speech on Tuesday. That same day, the Senate Democratic leadership sent fliers to reporters and issued a press release taunting the GOP once again, asking who opponents of the START treaty are listening to. One side of the flier showed GOP luminaries like Colin Powell, Robert Gates, and George H.W. Bush, all of whom support the nuke pact, while the reverse featured Sarah Palin, a START opponent. “The individuals in the first group have over a century of foreign policy experience between them, and have worked closely on U.S.-Russia relations for decades,” the flier stated. “On the other hand, Palin can see Russia from her house. Apparently, that’s good enough for many Senate Republicans.”
For their part, Republicans seem to realize that their opponents have been on a good run since the midterm elections. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham bemoaned a “capitulation” of “dramatic proportions” to Democrats during the lame duck session. Illustration by Ed Wexler for USN&WR.