Friday, May 13, 2005

Nuclear Winter Next Week

This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced that he will pull the nuclear trigger sometime early next week. His statement indicates that Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown will be the "nominees of focus." "It is time for 100 Senators to decide the issue of fair up or down votes for judicial nominees after over two years of unprecedented obstructionism," Frist said.

The Associated Press reports this afternoon that while debate on the nuclear maneuver could begin on Tuesday or Wednesday, "the final resolution would likely spill over at least into the following week."

Now is our moment, centrists. We have a few more days left to make our case that the nuclear option is not the way to go; that a compromise in which no one is fully happy is better than the current zero-sum exercise in constitutional mayhem. There is still time to hope that reason and common sense will prevail, but the sand in the hourglass is slipping away.

[Update: Carl Hulse at the New York Times adds this report. The operative paragraph: "Senior aides to Dr. Frist said that they expected to open the debate on Wednesday and that it could stretch for days as it moved toward a series of decisive votes. They expect to conclude the fight before Memorial Day."

Hulse also provides a response from Democratic leader Harry Reid: "I welcome this debate. The time has come for Republican senators to decide whether they will abide by the rules of the Senate, or break those rules for the first time in 217 years of American history." -- 8:26 p.m.]


At 6:38 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

JBD, do you think that Boxer's hold on Bolton's nomination will have any effect on Frist's using the nuclear option?

At 8:39 PM, Blogger JBD said...

I don't expect it will - I think both will happen ... I am afraid that Boxer's hold might have been slightly premature and/or unwise, as there is a serious risk that it will allow the Republicans to cry "obstruction" and that might make it less likely for moderates to defect and oppose Bolton.

All this is going to be very interesting, that's for sure!


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