There are no two words about it: Senator Bill Frist is a prick. He’s willing to “go nuclear” and change 200-plus year-old Senate rules allowing for the filibuster on Presidential nominees, which allows the Senate to place a moderating check on both the House of Representatives and the President.

In fact, he’s so willing to do so, that he’s going to appear in a taped segment on four, right-wing evangelical television networks to both appeal for this rule change and to label Democrats and moderate Republicans as “people who lack true faith.”

EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?

Amongst the targets of his childish diatribe: Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is a presiding bishop in his local LDS Ward; long-term Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), whose family’s Catholicism once was seen as an extreme political liability; and even Senate Republicans who see political reality and are unwilling to change the rules.

The whole incident came forth due to the renomination by President Bush of several judges for promotion to federal appointments. Several of these nominees never made it out of committee during Bush’s first term, when the Senate was still under Democratic control. However, now that conservative Republicans control the Senate Judiciary Committee, all of Bush’s nominees will make it to to floor of the Senate for final confirmation.

This is where the filibuster comes in: Democrats will start a filibuster, which will tie up votes indefinitely, if kept up. And a sixty percent majority is needed in order to stop a filibuster; given that the Republicans only hold 55 seats in the Senate, they lack even the basic majority needed to stop a fillibuster. So conservative Republicans, led by Frist, are looking to a rules change, which needs only 51 votes to pass and does not require Presidential approval to be enacted. Even Vice President Cheney has stated that he will happily cast the tie-breaking vote to remove the filibuster.

However, Frist and his cronies are not living in any form of the real world. According to myriad polls, most self-idenitifed Republicans do not want the filibuster rule changed, even if only for Presidential nominees (Frist’s proposal would not affect the Senate’s ability to filibuster legislation). Additionally, many respected Republicans, including former Senator Bob Dole, argue that changing the filibuster rule would create much more long-term damage, especially when Democrats take back the Senate (hopefully in the near future).

For me, I find it extremely galling that Frist is turning to the extremist, evangelical TV networks to make his appeal. His appearance is being sponsored by the Family Research Council, a closed-minded so-called “Christian” organization that is anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-rights – essentially the most anti-family group around. Frist is running for President in 2008, and he knows that his core voting consituency is in the “theocon belt”: states like Iowa, South Carolina, and his home state of Tennessee.

Frist says he’s doing this to help the party. But what he is doing is hurting not only his party, but the country. Hopefully people will think and do something: call their Senators and encourage them to vote against Frist’s reckless, myopic proposal.