Our Senator Frist, the Republican Majority Leader, is suggesting that we wait to this week, or next week until we have the Shootout in Filibuster Canyon with the Democrats. One does not become President by vacillation.
The question is, does the Majority have the right to force a vote? If they want to have a vote, they are going to have to do some sort of basic rule change unless the Democrats back down. I don't see that happening as the Democrats see the Republicans as the Source of Evil. Silly Dems, everyone knows that Mini-golf is the SoE. Even theMovement for a Restoration of the Nostalgia Filibuster aka Making Senators Read the Telephone Book, and Sleep at their Desk in Pajamas would require a rule change.
The odd thing is that it requires sixty votes to get "cloture", or end the debate and get a vote. But it only requires fifty votes to change that rule so that perhaps "cloture" only requires a majority vote in the future. This is what is meant by the "nuclear option". I don't find it that fearsome.
Frist had a conference call the other day to a thirty-ish group of conservative activists in order to calm them down. But the Conservatives are getting pretty hot under the collar, and one can see why. They have the Majority. Their favorite candidates are not even getting a vote. It looks like an almost unprecedented use of minority power, (Abe Fortas being the sole exception in the past, and his had more to do with outright corruption.) and if they don't break the logjam then it will be years before they get the sixty vote minimum to do the job, and understandably they don't want to wait that long.
Here's an excerpt from the article in Free Republic...
Conservatives and political observers say the stakes on ending the judicial filibuster are particularly high for Frist because he is widely anticipated to be planning a run for president in 2008. Conservatives say that he must end the Democrats’ filibuster of the nominees if he is to have conservative support in a GOP primary.
A source familiar with the Senate GOP leadership’s strategy said there has been no delay in the timing of the option.
“Bill Frist and his leadership have built to this moment very consciously and wittingly; they could have [done the constitutional option] at the end of last year or the beginning of this year,” the source said. “They were hoping that there would be a change in the minority’s behavior.”
As the Blogosphere says, read the whole thing.