Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bill Frist and the Nuclear Option (or Constitutional Option, if you like)

There is a lot that has been said about this, and a lot more that will be said (including by me), but the simple fact is that if Sen. Frist had the 50 votes he needed, he would have pulled the trigger on this. Despite what Mitch McConnell has said about having the votes, it is impossible to believe that if the GOP had the needed 50 votes they wouldn't do this tomorrow. After all one really bad news story is all that is necessary to sway Senators that might be willing to go along with the leadership, but aren't really comfortable with it.

Frist must be hoping that this will die down a little bit during the recess, or that constituents will push fence sitting Senators to approve the nuclear option. But both of those indicate that he doesn't believe that he has the votes right now. I cannot come up with any other sensible reasons.

And Frist knows the only thing worse than not having the vote is have the vote and not winning. He is on a tightrope, and his only hope is that three of the Senators that are on the fence (Snowe, Collins, Specter, Warner, Hagel and Smith) bail him out.