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June 04, 2005

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more from the NY Times:

Yet questions left by the judicial cease-fire - coupled with Dr. Frist's handling of other issues, like his determined intervention earlier this year in the medical case of a brain-damaged Florida woman - have prompted some nervousness about Dr. Frist among Senate Republicans, though they express it privately for the most part.

The compromise also served as a reminder that Dr. Frist, who represents Tennessee, has just a decade of Senate experience - with no plans to stay beyond 2006 - and is a relative neophyte in the leadership arena, holding a job typically filled by students of the Senate. He won the post in 2002 when Senator Trent Lott was forced to step down, parlaying his service as Senate campaign chairman into a major promotion.

"If you think of every other Senate leader, they have been creatures of Congress," said Thomas E. Mann, a Congressional scholar at the Brookings Institution. "They knew the institution, they cared about it, they wanted to make it work."

The filibuster fallout has also sparked a bit of impatience at the White House, where President Bush has been clamoring for an energy bill and took what some saw as a subtle jab at Dr. Frist in a recent press conference, when he criticized "the leadership there in the Senate" for failing to provide a vote on Mr. Bolton.

First ws an accidental Leader. His elevation came about as a result of Lott's exile, and he was considered acceptable for at least two reasons other than ability.

(1) He was thought to be innocuous ... not a PR problem.

(2) He wasn't going to stay long, and thus was not a long-term obstacle to the ambitions of any other aspirant.

There's probably a (3), the expectation he would take direction well, and a (4), his potential as a 2008 nominee.

1 out of 4 isn't that bad, is it?

You mean 2? To Lott, whose name is not mentioned enough, frist has been there too long already.

So when Bolton wanted someone fired, he sent menacing communications, flew to Europe, levelled unsubstantiated charges of mismanagement, then demanded their ouster?

Who are we talking about, here? Jose Bustani? Or Melody Townsel?

No pattern here, folks. Move along. Nothing to see.

Will the GOP Senators oust Frist from his post before he goes back to doctoring? Will they pick somebody who can lead for their next leader? Will somebody give me hope that there's a chance that when they pick the next guy, the title will be Minority Leader?

"Will somebody give me hope that there's a chance that when they pick the next guy, the title will be Minority Leader?"

6 Senate seats in 2006? Try Benedict in Rome.

Digby has a good thought. Clearly, Bolton's mission was in furtherance of the "rationale" for the pre-determined march to war evidenced by the Downing Street Memo.

That's as good a candidate as any for the extra hook Senators are looking for.

Six seats is a high hurdle.

Spot the GOP an additional advantage approaching +1 in actuarial replacements.

And ponder the imponderable of energized "progressive" factions eageer to knock off centrist Dem's.

It would take a huge reactionary tide against Bush (that's plausible), generalized to Republican officeholders nationally (with the aid of scandals plus economic and national security setbacks). This in turn would require help from GOP leadership in both Congress and the White House (by "staying the course" and not taking obvious strategic tacks).

It's not clear we have candidates in place to pull this off under ideal conditions ... and we still don't have a positive message scheme or message leader to lure tire-kickers into the Democratic tent.

Our better bet is to aim for a winning season and a couple of upset wins, which would motivate incumbent R's to adjust their positions in our favor and against W's futile lame-duck agenda.

Haven't given up on the House, though.

By which hook I mean this, from TWN. Not that I have any real reason to believe that Republican Senators are willing to hitch their star to the Downing Street wagon. But it's a start.

It's better than holding your breath, waiting for video of Bolton wiping his ass with a photo of James Dobson, anyway. Though that would be worth almost any wait, now that I think about it.

Thanks for the realism tour, guys. I was afraid you might say something like that. I hope some of those tire-kickers are also fire-breathers. Even if s/he doesn't win, it would be a treasure to have one Senatorial candidate this time out who George Galloway's his Republican opponent - oratorically speaking - and every time some smear comes up rams it up the progenitors' ass so far that it changes the color of their eyes. I am so tired of the focus-grouped candidates. Give me someone - just one - who doesn't tiptoe around playing the rightwing-PC frame game. Truth to power, loudly, incessantly, in every venue, before every crowd. Kick some damn ass, please.

Steve Clemons has been both overly optimistic... and correct. Interesting combo.

While the CW is that Bush will push harder and get his man, I think the Iraq connection may be the tipping point, with the 'evidence' of lying to the SFRC the hook.

If Bolton goes down, Frist is exposed as incompetent (how sweet it is if Lott is the deciding vote), and Cheney's unlimited powers are reined in a tad. If Bolton goes downm before the next flurry of judicial appointments...

If Bolton gets in, stem cells will be Frist's doom. He can't win on that.

I don't see how Frist recovers.

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