Too good to check? Maybe, but I don’t think Maverick’s bluffing this time. So craptastic is this crap sandwich that Democrat Ben Nelson felt obliged to warn The One this morning that he can’t count on a straight party-line yes from his own side, hint hint.

And to add insult to injury, he chose Fox News as the network on which to deliver that message. Heart-ache:

“I don’t even know how many Democrats will vote for it, as it stands today,” Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., told FOX News…

“What I’m hoping to do is bring together a bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats and offer changes that will attract others and improve the bill,” he told FOX News. “People want this to succeed.”…

One item that likely will be discussed is an amendment that would add billions of dollars to infrastructure projects. Nelson is crafting that measure with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, both on the Appropriations Committee.

And Nelson doesn’t want to stop there. He wants to pluck out what he says are extraneous projects in the stimulus bill to pay for the amendment. Providing hundreds of millions of dollars for prevention of smoking and sexually-transmitted disease — though they may be worthy causes — does not create jobs. Nelson even is willing to remove popular Pell Grant increases, saving them for annual spending bills later in the year.

I’m sure this is a bluff — the Democrats aren’t going to humiliate Obama with a close vote on his signature legislation — but if they strip enough crap out of the sandwich, the decision to vote against it will be significantly harder for the GOP than it is now. On the other hand, who cares? The bill’s bound to pass anyway, so anything that can be done to de-pork it is all to the good.

Note, by the way, how careful Republicans are being to blame the bill’s failure on the House, on Pelosi, on Rahm Emanuel (“Rahm hates us and lets us know it, and we hate him back”) — anyone but Obama. That’s a testament to The One’s approval ratings, but also evidence of how they’re maneuvering already to run on this in the midterms. Anyway, two clips here, with the stimulus bit in the first; I included the second just because it’s fun hearing Maverick sound constipated in having to defend Rush Limbaugh.