All the Republican gnashing of teeth over the prospects of New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg bailing on his colleagues and possibly giving Democrats a filibuster-proof majority?
Not a problem, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"The fix is in," to quote Rod Blagojevich (and this is one of the few times we can cite him without saying $@#*!).
Let's make a deal
McConnell told CBS's "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer today that the GOP doesn't have to worry about those prospects. Why? Because the Democrats will not be filibuster-proof even if Gregg departs the senate to become President Obama's new Commerce Secretary.
McConnell hinted that a deal could be hatched. Not like a Blagojevich deal though. This one would presumably be above board and made between the New Hampshire Democratic governor and Gregg. In fact, the two politicians have already talked about it.
"Senator Gregg has assured me that if this were to happen ... it would not change the make-up of the Senate," McConnell said. "In other words, whoever is appointed to replace him would caucus with Senate Republicans, so I think it would have no impact on the balance of power in the Senate."
Well thought out
â€śI think that's been thought through. I suspect that Senator Gregg has thought that through very carefully and would not leave his Republican colleagues in a lurch,â€ť Kyl said.
The New York Times is reporting that Governor Lynch is open to appointing a Republican and indicated former Republican Senator Warren Rudman as a possible replacement for Gregg. He would serve as a caretaker of the seat, they say.
No problem then, right?
Don't trust him
Well, some conservatives ain't buying it. Take Ed Morrissey for example over at HotAir.
"Gregg has zero chance of getting any such commitment out of Lynch," warns Morrissey. "Even if he did, he couldnâ€™t hold Lynch to it after resigning the seat, although it might be difficult for Lynch to renege on a publicly stated commitment to appoint a Republican. Lynch would get attacked by his own party for making such a promise and attacked by Republicans if he broke it. As in the movie War Games, the only way for Lynch to win this one is not to play at all."
What would stop Lynch from appointing a Republican who would get annihilated in the next election? Nothing.
But who knows what's being discussed in these double-secret negotiations. Sources say a nominee could be named as early as tomorrow morning.