Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is playing with fire when he suggests that Republicans will deploy the so-called "go nuclear" option to prevent Democrats from using filibusters to block controversial judicial nominations expected to reach the floor in mid-to-late February, says congressional expert Steven S. Smith
"Decrying Democrats' tactics as unconstitutional, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has threatened to ban judicial filibusters by majority vote, a procedural move dubbed the "nuclear option" since it would invite massive retaliation by Democrats," suggests Smith.
The Senate's next Republican leader issued a veiled threat to block action on legislation if Democrats refuse to allow confirmation votes on President Bush's troubled judicial nominations.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will become minority leader Jan. 4, told the conservative Federalist Society Friday not to feel bad about the Senate election results because Republicans will hold 49 seats in a body that requires 60 votes to end a filibuster and bring legislation or presidential nominees to a final vote.
Cue citizens of Wankerville, sputtering, "But ... but ... that's different."