Senator John Kerry (Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Democrat of Massachusetts) and Senator John McCain (ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee) have introduced a Senate resolution on Libya to counter challenges to the legitimacy of the administration's Libya policy. At this point, the resolution seems sure to garner a majority. However, Senator Kerry and Senator McCain actually have a harder task than the opposition because of political and procedural factors, which are detailed below.
The Expectations Game
If and when the Senate votes on the resolution, no one will expect the resolution to fail. That's why the narrative in the press will not be about whether the resolution passes or fails. The narrative will be determined by how strong the opposition vote is, and who votes against the resolution. That's why the opposition to the Libya resolution will only need to garner a substantial minority to dominate the headlines, while Senator Kerry and Senator McCain need to garner more than a simple majority. They need to gain substantial bipartisan consensus in favor of the resolution.
The Procedural Game
While it's unlikely that the opposition to the resolution would try to block the resolution entirely, there are several procedural factors that could prolong the debate. Senate resolutions must "lie over under the rule," meaning that the resolution must be available for Senate consideration for one legislative day before a vote is held. One legislative day is sometimes, but not always, equivalent to one calendar day. A legislative day ends when the Senate adjourns, creating a new legislative day. Therefore, if the Senate blocks adjournment and merely recesses, the pending business at the time of the recess is still the pending business when the Senate returns and it is still the same legislative day, meaning the resolution would not be considered. One way to circumvent this is to achieve unanimous consent. However, one senator can prevent the Senate from achieving unanimity. Thus, while the resolution might come to a vote eventually, a determined and tactically sound opposition could cause enough delay to make a lot of noise.