Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nuclear Strategy

Straight off the AP Wire, Jesse Holland writes of the Seven Republican senators that will determine the outcome of the showdown on the filibuster.

The seven GOP senators that have not committed publicly to supporting either Senate leader are:
Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John Warner of Virginia, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Sununu of New Hampshire.

The current breakdown of votes as Holland has counted is echoed by the Hotline:

All 44 Senate Democrats, joined by independent Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont and three Republicans, have said they oppose curtailing a Senate minority's ability to block the president's judicial nominees with just 41 votes in the 100-member Senate.

Frist, R-Tenn., has 45 of the Senate's 55 Republicans on his side.

For Democrats to prevail, they need the support of three of the seven undecided Republicans. Frist needs five votes from five of those Republicans so Vice President

The interesting thing to me is the netroots and grassroots being utilized by large PACs to urge the GOP to break party lines. Even more exciting is the fact that the conservative groups aren't doing it well, and are actually antagonizing some.

Conservative groups such as Progress for America and Focus on the Family have spent millions of dollars on ads since mid-April in Alaska and elsewhere trying to persuade undecided Republican senators to support Frist.

Murkowski said those efforts have backfired with her.

"I was very offended at the tone," Murkowski said. "But they've continued, and it's been kind of interesting. I've probably gotten more positive feedback for my position, which Alaskans consider to be very thoughtful, very deliberate, about what is happening here in the Senate."

The liberal group People for the American Way says Murkowski is "the last defense against an attack on our Constitutional checks and balances."

"Alaska counts on Senator Murkowski to do the right thing. Now, the whole country is counting on her," according to an ad that the group plans to run this week. The $1 million television campaign also will mention Snowe and Collins in Maine and Specter in Pennsylvania.


In the end, Murkowski said, the question has to be about the Senate, not politics, the president or the party.

"We have to remember that our decision has to be in the best interest of the institution as a whole," Murkowski said. "Not in the best interest of the Republicans, not in the best interest of the Democrats, but in the best interest of we as senators and the institution itself. I think that's what we should keep in mind."

You can say whatever you want about Sen Reid, I had my doubts, but this is the right leader during this political climate. He is doing his job and the strategy being used right now is amazing. Now, all we need, are couple of GOPers to see the light and defend the constitution.


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