With Scott Brown in the Senate, the Republicans have the 41 votes to sustain their filibuster of Becker's appointment, without the help of any Democrats.
But look who has joined the "me too!" gang.
Yup, Senator Nellie.
Look, it is fine that Nelson is voting this way. His reasoning for his vote is sound.
We just are highly, highly skeptical that Nelson would have voted this way if he was the deciding vote.
If Nelson's vote mattered, on what many Dems consider a procedural vote, Nelson would have likely supported the President's nominee. We would have read a statement along the lines of, "While I am not comfortable with his background, it is the President's prerogative to fill this position. However, I will be watching his moves carefully and will review his impact," or some such nonsense.
We know it, you know it, Bob Dole knows it, and the American people know it.
We're not fooled here.
By the way, you think we are harsh on Nelson here? Try taking a look at any national Democrat blog (and probably the few local ones as well) and list the names that Nelson is called.
Now that's some anger kids.
We see that Republican Senator Richard Shelby may not join in the filibuster on Becker, so Senator Nelson may be the 41st vote after all (however you want to count them).
If this is the case in the end, we will rescind our previous gross sarcasm above, and replace it with general cynicism that the Senator realizes which voters butter his bread in Nebraska.
Oh, but note that Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid may try the "end run" recess appointment anyway. In which case Ben is covered, and we would tack back to our gross sarcasm.
The situation is fluid...
The Senate failed to invoke cloture against the filibuster - 52-33. Democrats voting against cloture included Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.
In his press conference today, the President said that if qualified nominees were obstructed by the Senate, he would have to resort to a recess appointment as soon as next week. He now has a chance with Craig Becker, if he chooses.Gee, how about that...