Tuesday, April 26, 2005

GOING NUCLEAR Josh Marshall has some thoughts on the nuclear option, and the dangerous position Majority Leader Frist has backed himself into:
If you think ending the filibuster is the 'nuclear option', just watch what happens when Bill Frist rings up James Dobson and says, "Sorry about the judge thing. The Democrats won't let us."

At that point you can start with the horizontal mushroom clouds coming out of Dobson's ears and it's pretty much a chain reaction through the rest of Wingnut Nation from there on.

That means two things. First, Frist probably just isn't in a position to accept the 'compromises' Democrats are floating. And I suspect they know that. Second, should he accept such a compromise, it will unleash something close to a civil war on the right flank of the Republican party--a development with possibly grave consequences for Republicans in 2006 and thereafter.
Marshall is right: Frist has virtually no room to maneuver. That's a serious handicap in a high-stakes political fight.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.