A key vote in support of Obama came from former rival Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who argued that the F-22 controversy "has to do with how fundamentally disconnected Congress has become from those who sent them to Washington to begin with, and at what cost is Congress willing to have the American people continue to subsidize its spendthrift ways. It has to do with whether Congress serves as a trustee of the American war fighter and taxpayers or the military-industrial-congressional complex."
Now the big question is whether the 58-40 Senate vote will prevail. Or will it become a brief shining, showboat moment, easily undone by a House vote or behind-closed-doors conference committee?
More is at stake than the $1.7 billion. As Gates put it so well, "If we can't get this right, what on earth can we get right?"