Many would say that the GOP is already poisoned. It has allied itself with the far right by voting for Donald Trump, the man who listens every day to Steve Bannon whose goal is to destroy the government. But as the closeness of the 2016 election indicated, there is nothing that says "far right" is a label all GOP candidates want to embrace.

Today Newsweek reminds us that the Gorsuch confirmation battle is one which could poison the reputation of every GOP senator and make their current hold in the US Senate tenuous indeed. The situation in the US Senate is by no means simple or settled.

And the stakes are higher than ever.

The situation

Under current Senate rules, 60 votes are needed to confirm a nominee for a seat on SCOTUS. The court is presently divided 4-4 between justices tending right or left. A filibuster is an attempt to defeat a nomination. It preempts the Senate floor and focuses on the deficiencies of whoever is being considered. It also is a signal that there are not sixty votes in favor, so the nomination is effectively defeated.

The stakes

The Republicans will not find the votes to break a filibuster. Their only recourse to confirm Gorsuch will be to change the rules and eliminate the filibuster. Then it would only take a bare majority to confirm. The GOP would have this, including the vote of the Vice President in the case of a tie.

If there was substantial opposition among Republicans to this Nuclear Option, the strategy could backfire. The stakes are that now the stage is set for a show and tell that will resonate back to the state of every Senator. They will all be remembered by how they responded to the nuclear option if it is invoked.

Bigger than anyone thought

With so much sound and fury about, the Gorsuch matter has been obscured. His problem is that he is much more right wing than anyone imagined when he was avoiding questions during friendly questioning by GOP senators. This will be brought out. When it is the confirmation battle may prove to be a GOP victory that proved harmful to the GOP and beneficial to those who lost the battle.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!