The Senate is about to begin its deliberations -- such as they'll be -- leading up to a procedural vote on a resolution expressing the body's lack of confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. It now appears that at least one Republican senator will join Democrats in putting their votes where their heads are. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says: "If you ask Arlen Specter, do I have confidence in Attorney General Gonzales, the answer is a resounding no. I'm going to vote that I have no confidence in Attorney General Gonzales."
Specter's comments may or may not be a harbinger of things to come -- our money is on not -- but they are interesting in and of themselves: While Specter has expressed his displeasure with Gonzales, he has not actually called for his resignation or termination before. If the GOP senators who have called for Gonzales' ouster joined Specter and the Democrats, the no-confidence vote would survive today's procedural test vote.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.