Monday, December 12, 2005

Frist Shoots First

From the Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) threatened yesterday to strip Democrats of the power to filibuster if they block the vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.

“It would be against the intent of the Founding Fathers and our Constitution to deny Sam Alito an up-or-down vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

His willingness to consider a procedural maneuver called the “nuclear option” seemed somewhat premature. Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said that although he anticipates intense questioning of Alito during next month’s hearings, he does not detect strong sentiment for using the filibuster to stall a vote.

A spokesman for the leading Senate Democrat agreed.

“As far as I can tell, the only person talking about a filibuster is Senator Frist and some of the far-right fringe groups,” said Jim Manley, spokesman for Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.). “This kind of talk is silly and unhelpful.”

Not only that, I’m curious as to why the same standards weren’t applicable to Harriet Miers; didn’t she deserve an up-or-down vote? And, by the way, it wasn’t the Democrats who scuttled her nomination.

I would love to play poker with Bill Frist; he couldn’t bluff his way out of an inside straight.