Monday, May 21, 2007

Is Arlen Specter helping?

Will Alberto Gonzales resign before the Senate takes a vote of no confidence in him? And does Sen. Arlen Specter's pronouncement of that possibility on Face the Nation make it more or less likely to happen?

I'd say less. Look, the walls are closing in on Fredo, no doubt. But at the same time, some of the Republican senators who have called for Gonzales to step down (Tom Coburn, Lindsey Graham) now seem to be saying they won't vote no-confidence in him. How they square that circle, I have no idea, but that's what they are saying.

The no-confidence vote can't have its desired effect -- getting rid of Gonzales -- without a big bipartisan margin. No doubt there are a lot of Republicans who would prefer Gonzales just went away rather stick around and force them to record a vote for or against him. But right now some are waivering about which way they'd actually vote. To my ears it sounds like Specter is overplaying his hand.

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