Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nuke Option Mania

All the papers this morning are drooling madly at the thought of the (possibly) impending nuclear showdown in the Senate, obnoxiously playing up the rhetoric coming from both extremes and relegating the talk of compromise to as low on the page as possible. Here's a roundup of some of this morning's coverage:

- USA Today reports that if Frist calls for a vote on the nuclear option, "it's not clear [he] will win. ... But if he does, it will end the minority party's ability to block the president's appointees to the bench and free Bush to appoint a conservative to the next Supreme Court vacancy."

- Maura Reynolds in the LA Times writes that the real battle won't be on the Senate floor: "just as on a theater stage, the central figures won't be dueling between themselves as much as they will be playing to the audience." Whoever wins the public relations game will win the war, she suggests - and up to now, the public hasn't fully decided which horse to back in this race. Reynolds also examines (briefly) the Nelson compromise, quoting the Benator as saying "To try to bring people together is a major challenge, even though they want to be brought together."

- Carl Hulse has this story in the New York Times, a decent overview of yesterday's events.

- The Washington Post is full of coverage on the nuke fight today. Shailagh Murray and Dan Balz have this overview, outlining Reid's statement from yesterday evening to the effect that negotiations have failed. But, Murray and Balz report, the bipartisan Nelson-McCain group "plans to intensify discussions in hopes of attracting half a dozen colleagues from each party to agree to a deal that would block any change in the Senate rules while allowing for filibusters only in extraordinary circumstances." They add that the White House has been calling undecided senators urging them not to compromise and support the nuclear option.

Dana Milbank and Jeffrey Birnbaum offer a look at the activism on both sides of this issue, while Mark Leibovich examines the sudden Republican reluctance to use the phrase "nuclear option" (even though it was originally coined by Trent Lott). Josh at TPM has more on this.

- As the clock's hands draw closer and closer to midnight, those attempting to defuse this crisis are going to be met with more and more criticism and scorn from those on the left and right flanks of this fight. But we must hold the center. Both sides know and understand that the nuclear option isn't in the long-term best interests of anyone: Republicans, Democrats, the Senate, the executive branch, and perhaps most of all, the judiciary. But the leadership on both sides has been pushed into corners by their allied interest groups, and now it's going to take the efforts of others to keep the peace. Stay the course, McCain and Nelson. We need you now.


At 12:25 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

I'm sick to death of the grandstanding on both sides.

With every fiber of my being I want these infantile jerks to JUST GROW UP!

Someone has to be the adult at this party. I'm praying for the success of Mr. Nelson and Mr. McCain.

Hey, whatever happened to Sen. Lott? I thought this was his baby, too.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Is McCain even a republican anymore? Once again a crucial issue comes up for the Republicans and McCain is jumping ship.


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