This is the deal Lindsey Graham thinks he can use to get the White House to abandon a civilian trial for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed: Republican support for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. According to the more sophisticated explanation/rationalization I’ve heard for accepting the deal, it’s not so much that Graham can really bring along Republicans as much as he can provide political cover for reticent Democrats to vote for what in 2008 was a bipartisan consensus position, endorsed by even George W. Bush and John McCain. This is the world we live in.

The thing is this: in order for any of that to even get off the ground, the GOP has to at least accept the basic premise of the deal. And it doesn’t. Greg Sargent calls around to Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Keep America Safe. Surprise: they’re GTMO hardliners. They do not care what Graham promises the White House. Graham can’t deliver GOP votes. Nor can he deliver any political cover for Democrats. Republicans will oppose whatever Democrats do, especially on national security. Such is politics. This is the world we live in.

So now that Graham’s battleship is sunk, the question becomes whether the White House will cave on a principle and a political position it’s staked out — in exchange for absolutely nothing. Put differently: What world does Rahm Emanuel live in?