Update: Even if they do, Dean Barnett writes that he’s “outraged”: “What the Republican Senate and the Bush admninistration have done is hardly forgivable, even if the House Republicans save them from their stupidity”.
More: “Has Bush Squandered the Last of His Political Capital on Immigration?”
Elsewhere, one of Mickey Kaus’s readers speculates that the cloture vote is merely C-Span Kabuki:
I think the first cloture vote is now itself possibly becoming a sort of kabuki for some senators, like Burr and Bond, as they will vote to proceed today to impress the leadership and the Grand Bargainers, in hopes of keeping their relationships decent with them for future favors. These guys can afford, they calculate, to vote for cloture today, knowing they can still filibuster it on the second cloture vote. (I think the message has been gotten by most that a traditional kabuki move of voting for cloture and against the bill won’t work anymore.)
So this raises an absolutely critical question: what will happen between a vote to proceed today and the next cloture vote? The outrage and pressure, mainly from the right, will have to triple.
I think that’s a remarkably safe bet to occur.