It is clear that the constitutional option has the votes if it is necessary. (HT: Powerline.) That has been clear since Monday afternoon when Senator DeWine announced on my show that he would vote for the option if Judge Alito was filibustered.
MSM accounts of the coming debate that credit the idea of a threat of filibuster will be incomplete and thus lousy reporting if they do not include this obvious fact: The GOP is pledged to get an up-or-down vote on the nominee, and they have the votes to do it. Democratic Senators may well respond with gimmicks like yesterday’s antics, but they are diminished by such things.
The fever swamp might force them into losing the constitutional option, but they will lose it. To what end? Another perfect example of why, in Florida, West Virginia, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Washington State and elsewhere voters have to send new GOP senators to the chamber, while returning Santorum and others throughout the country.
BTW: Lincoln Chafee has a primary opponent, Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, whom the NRSC is already spending money to attack. (The reason why I won’t give a single dime to the NRSC this year.) If Senator Chafee votes against the constitutional option or against Judge Alito, I believe this race becomes very competitive, no matter how much money the NRSC collects and spends on his behalf.