I think it is "Casablanca" (movie rating, of course, 100 out of 100) that Cluade Rains orders: "Round up the usual suspects".
That is what Democrats, and the mainstream media, do when they want to trumpet a "deal" with Repubicans betrayng conservative principles and suggesting a "biapartisan spirit by Democrats and enlightened Republicans.
At times, the "usual suspects" have included half, or more, of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Yes, the Republican Party has sunk that low. However, with a Democratic President and constituents (like me) telling Repubicans ("Network" style): "I am mad as Hell (at spineless Republicans), and I am not going to take it anymore", the "usual suspects" have shrunk. Republican Senators are beginning to realize that their are a LOT of conservatives out there--like me again--resolving never to vote Republican again in their lifetime. Thus, even John McCain is no longer a totally reliable "usual susperct", although the mainstream media can still rely on him for fuzzy, "biapartisan" quotes (even as Nancy "Total Failure" Pelosi rejects "bipartisanship"--almost the only intelligent thing she has ever said--even if the way she said it, and timing, remains stupid).
Thus, you have Harry Reid "bragging" abut a "bipartisan" deal to "reduce" the cost of the Democratic pork bill to about 827 billion dollars. That "deal" (a total fraud) is with Senators Specter, Collins and Snow representing "enlightened" Republicans everywhere (the "usual suspects"). Notice how the bill would only be back to about the size of the House bill, before the conference committee wiht the House increases the size again. This blog explained this game to you already. Democrats INCREASE the size of the bill in the Senate, and then get "Repubican" support by returning the pork bill (supposedly) to the same level it was in the House. Isn't it wonderful what you can do with smoke and mirrors, when you have the mainstream media and the "usual suspects" on your side?
Thus, the "usual suspects" have shrunk to three Republicans: Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Olypia Snow. This will be enough for the sycophantic media to call this Democratic pork bill "bipartisan". And there may be a few more of the Republican "usual suspects" rounded up. It is a matter of how many votes the Democrats need. It is easy for Republicans to vote against this bill so long as they know it will pass anyway. I figure at least halfof them do not have the cojones (or principles) to vote against the bill if their one vote would mean the defeat of the bill.