Joe summarizes the theories of why the White House continues to fight for the Bolton nomination:
Theories on why the White House would want a vote presently doomed to failure include: (1)trying to further define the Democrats as the party of obstructionism, for use against them in 2006 and 2008(2)a prelude to help build the case for pushing again for the nuclear option on judicial nominees since there is a belief a slot will open up very soon, (3)a suggestion that perhaps the White House will go for an overall nuclear option (we will say here that's unlikely to ever pass) on filibusters in general, (4)the White House will do something to try and placate Democrats to save face and get the nomination through, (5)buy time for Bolton to withdraw his name (to "spend more time with his family?").I think it may be more about an attempt to maintain the "Imperial Presidency". There are signs the Republican lawmakers may be tired of being a rubber stamps for the administration, perhaps because of Bush's rapid decline in the polls. The Imperial Presidency is threatened. A loss on the Bolton nomination would indicate that it's finished. The polls not only indicate that Americans disagree with most of Bush's policies but want the congress to stand up to the administration. Forcing the Republican lawmakers to continue to bend over and take it could have serious repercussions in 2006. The hubris seems to run too deep in the White House for them to see this. How long will it take for the Republicans to see it?
One thing that's obvious is that Bill Frist's sinking fortunes took another major hit yesterday. How long will Republican Senators want a majority leader who is little more than an administration plant.
The Illustrated Daily Scribble nails it.