START passage likely

In the end, the old saw "Politics stops at the water's edge" is still a powerful argument that sways skeptical lawmakers.

The president makes foreign policy - this much is clear from the Constitution. Despite severe misgivings, it appears that several Republicans will drop their complaints about the nuclear arms reduction treaty and give President Obama the benefit of the doubt:

Senate Democrats appear to have the nine Republican votes they need to ratify the New START nuclear treaty this week and give President Obama his third major victory of the lame-duck session.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) told reporters Monday afternoon that he would vote to ratify the treaty and also support a motion to end debate, which the Senate will consider Tuesday.

"I believe it's something that's important for our country and I believe it's a good move forward," Brown said after emerging from a classified briefing in the Old Senate Chamber.

He was the ninth Republican senator to announce publicly that he would vote to ratify or is leaning strongly in favor of doing so. All 58 members of the Democratic conference - including two independents, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Joe Lieberman (Conn.) - support it.

A few other Republicans will vote to ratify now that the treaty's passage is assured. No doubt this will displease many on the right, but arms control just doesn't cut with the same sharpness as it did when the Soviet Union was a menace. No one will lose their jobs if they vote for it and that's the bottom line.

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