Saturday, June 04, 2005

Frist: "I Will Survive"

Tomorrow's New York Times includes this piece by Carl Hulse. In "Frist, His Authority Questioned, Says He'll Prevail in the Long Run," Hulse notes that when the Senate resumes business on Monday, its majority leader "faces a crucial test of whether he can re-establish his authority after a rapid sequence of events that many say diminished his standing and exposed a lack of experience in Congressional intrigue."

But, Frist responds, don't write my political obituary just yet. In an interview, he told Hulse "The short-term evaluations, I believe, will prove to be shortsighted and wrong after we get judge after judge after judge after judge through, plus at least one Supreme Court nominee and an energy bill. And we will get Bolton." Interestingly, Frist even tangentially claims credit for the Gang of 14's compromise because he forced the issue: "Without that sort of leadership, there is no deal to be cut, there are no brokers to deal, there is no deal to be brokered."

Difficult to understand, since the compromise wouldn't have been necessary if the Majority Leader hadn't made quite clear his intention to attempt to deploy the nuclear option. But, I digress. ...

Hulse continues, noting that "questions left by the judicial cease-fire - coupled with Dr. Frist's handling of other issues, like his determined intervention earlier this year in the medical case of a brain-damaged Florida woman - have prompted some nervousness about Dr. Frist among Senate Republicans, though they express it privately for the most part." Unfortunately, he doesn't even offer any nice juicy "unnamed senator" quotes, so that "nervousness" is left to our imaginations.

Frist is quoted as saying "I hope that things will kind of cool down a bit" when the Senate returns this week, but if he really thinks they will, I've got some ocean-front property in Tennessee I'd like to offer to him. Between Bolton, stem cells, more judges, Social Security, energy policy and the budget, I can't see any easy way out for Frist in the very near future.

And things could get much more unpleasant for him if the media ever picks up the story of how Frist's position on embyronic stem cell research has miraculously "changed" since 2001. For some of my posts on that issue, see here and here.


Post a Comment

<< Home