Final Thoughts

The Nuclear Option debacle is over, and I for one am glad. As much as it helped shed sunlight on the extremist, theocon wing of the Republican Party, it also dragged on for two months and sucked as much air out of the news and the blogosphere as I have seen any issue accomplish since the election. In terms of airtime on the netroots, it was at least the equivalent of the Social Security fight. Certainly stopping these nominees was important, but had we even spent half as much effort working to stop the bankruptcy bill, we might have really been able to help some people.

Some will say that this moves us closer to theocracy than ever. Of course they will be right. Then again, every day of the 109th Congress brings us closer to theocracy, and this one is no different than the rest. Further, keep in mind that theocracy is what the Republican grassroots want, and the Republican grassroots are pissed off at this deal. If we weaken the energy of the Republican grassroots, we also slow our slide toward theocracy. So while this certainly moves us closer to theocracy in the short term, in the long term it might help us begin a reversal.

Some will say that this reinforces the narrative that Democrats have no backbone and don't stand for anything. On this point I must disagree. Over the past few years, the pattern that has emerged in Congress that helped reinforce this narrative has been a minority of Democrats splitting with their own party and voting with a unified Republican caucus. This is what happened on the tax cuts, the war vote, the bankruptcy bill--you name it. However, this time a minority of Republicans broke ranks with their party and voted with a unified Democratic caucus. This reverses the tables, and if anything makes Republicans look unprincipled, lacking backbone and direction, and rife with disunity. We were the unified caucus. They were split.

Some will say that Republicans will try to remove the filibuster again in a future Congress, especially at a time when they have a larger majority. Well, duh. No victory is ever large enough to permanently remove a issue from the table. No matter how many times Democrats have saved Social Security over the past seven decades, Republicans have consistently attempted to destroy it again a few years later. They will again this time as well. Further, worries that our opposition was not strong enough to stop the filibuster from being destroyed in the event that we are in an even smaller minority are misplaced. Obviously, working to prevent us from being in an even smaller minority is the first concern there.

And I am sure that many others on our side won't like it for different reasons. For example, my brother / roommate said to me tonight that this in no way guarantees that we can stop a terrible Supreme Court nominee. He might be right, but we will have to see. Josh Marshall wonders how long the agreement can really hold, considering that Democrats will almost certainly begin filibustering at least a few crappy nominees over the remaining session of Congress. I share this concern, as it is something we must continue to keep an eye on. Overall, however, at least from this vantage point, I must agree with DHinMI: this is definitely a partial victory.. Frist is extremely weakened, and as a result so is the Republican caucus in the Senate. By contrast, Republican defectors have been greatly strengthened, thus strengthening the Democratic caucus as an oppositional force. Further, the Republican grassroots are de-energized, and will be for some time. Still further, we blocked a majority of the bad nominees, and kept at least some hope alive of defeating terrible Supreme Court nominees. Even more of the ugly side of the Republican base has been revealed to the public. Republicans looked like they were ignoring issues of real importance. We managed to say "abuse of power" over the airwaves several thousand times. The Congressional polling situation is starting to look better and better. And on and on.

The more I think about it, I agree with the overwhelming majority of MyDDers--there is no way that this is not more of a victory than a defeat. That could change as time goes on, and the benefits I perceive now disappear while these terrible nominees remain on the bench (and other terrible nominees are nominated and approved). For now however, we can be proud. We can hold our heads high and tell our friends and family that we won. They can't do that.

Update: Senator Feingold offers a dissenting view:

This is not a good deal for the U.S. Senate or for the American people. Democrats should have stood together firmly against the bullying tactics of the Republican leadership abusing their power as they control both houses of Congress and the White House. Confirming unacceptable judicial nominations is simply a green light for the Bush administration to send more nominees who lack the judicial temperament or record to serve in these lifetime positions. I value the many traditions of the Senate, including the tradition of bipartisanship to forge consensus. I do not, however, value threatening to disregard an important Senate tradition, like occasional unlimited debate, when necessary. I respect all my colleagues very much who thought to end this playground squabble over judges, but I am disappointed in this deal. I disagree, but I know not everyone here will.

Tags: Senate 2006 (all tags)



is what some Republican grassroots want.

Others are revolted by the idea.

That's a split.

by phillies 2005-05-23 08:04PM | 0 recs
Potential for Huge Victory
The moderate Republicans may block Owens, Pryor, or Brown.  This would make the compromise a huge victory for the Democrats.
by clarke 2005-05-23 08:10PM | 0 recs
One more thought
I'm fully expecting this fight to come up again when an extremist nominee to the Supreme Court is considered.  And it will not go well for the GOP in the 2006 elections if they decide to go nuclear at that point, with all of the cameras rolling and the opportunity for Democrats to explain in detail why one particular nominee is way, way too radical to sit on the Supreme Court.

Frankly, there's a reason why Frist and co. wanted this fight out of the way now.  It's so they can present their usual moderate image to the public next year, when we're closer to the 2006 midterm elections.  Preserving the filibuster now means we get to force them to make a choice with one eye on their re-election prospects: back down and look wimpy in front of their base (again), or play to their base and look like the extremist wackos they are, giving lots of voters a reason to think twice about voting GOP.

Politically, this isn't so much about the filibuster itself (though having the Dems look moderate and united and the GOP look extreme and divided is always a nice thing) as putting the GOP in a much more difficult position.  In that, the Dems succeeded quite well.  So much so, IMHO, that this isn't just a "lesser loss".  It's a bona fide victory.

by jonweasel 2005-05-23 08:15PM | 0 recs
It all depends
on whether the next judge we threaten to filibuster is used to break the deal. In other words, it all depends on whether the 7 GOP defectors are determined to prevent idiot judges. If they stay together, then the wingnuts are weakened. But if they fold, then we are already weakened. A victory on the floor would have been vastly preferable. And I think we would have won. All that said, the GOopers are deflated and deenergized, and the cat killer took the beating of his life. My guess? Karl Rove is laughing at Frist's (and our) expense.
by BooMan 2005-05-23 08:27PM | 0 recs
Somewhere John Bolton is Smiling
...after Bush trying to push him out of the State Department and into the UN Ambassador job to cover the tracks about Iraq...the Prez and Veep assured him it would be an easy nomination battle. Now that he's stalled, at least he gets some company.

Leave it to the Democrat Senators from the Red-ass States of Arkansas, Colorado, West Vuh-ginyah, L'siana, Nebraska along with Lieberman and Dan "I served with Bob Dole" Inouye to offer a compromise that will absolutely leave the partisan hacks steaming (among GOPers that is).

They make sure the judges guaranteed cloture are the most Bolton-esque. Owen, Pryor, Janice Rogers Brown. Who cares if these folks actually stagger into a Circuit court. The ensuing circus will make John-boy trials in front of Joe Biden and Dick Lugar look like summer camp. Arlen Specter can't stand Pryor. Pat Leahy and Ted Kennedy can't wait to subpoena Alberto Gonzales to ask him why he criticized Owen's opinions on the Texas Supreme Court, time after time. And Rogers is so far out, every liberal PAC better hire people to man the phones 24 hours a day to handle the huge increase in donations.

We had nothing. The Republicans were about to turn the US into a parliamentary system. And now they have serious problems.

Keep smiling John!

by risenmessiah 2005-05-23 08:34PM | 0 recs
And the center holds...
My first thought when hearing about the deal on Majority Report tonight was, "Thank you sir, may I have another."  To me, this was a fight about naked political aggression.  I wanted this fight; even though I was pretty sure that our side would lose.  I, like a lot of folks around here, have a belly full of fight for these times.  I felt that it was the way to paint the Theocons and their party as the destroyers of reason.

However, after actually looking at some of the structure of the deal - Chris Andersen posted a great analysis over on Kos - - I think it's a reasoned and centrist deal.  It doesn't excuse the cynical political extremism that required such a solution, but it avoids the meltdown.  I think that the moderates who crafted this deal should be commended for their level-headedness.

We really don't need leaders who look for the fight when it ultimately means that we all suffer.  

So basically, if I as a member of the left fringe can be unhappy with a deal, and the vociferous raging loonies on the right fringe are so obviously upset, then it means that the center held here, and that's what's really important in America, isn't it?

by RickDeckard 2005-05-23 08:46PM | 0 recs
...and the right split in two
This is exactly what was needed.  Moderate republicans taking the lead in limiting dobson et al.  

I would rather see the republican center gain power over the dem center.  

by aiko 2005-05-24 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: And the center holds...
I think it's a reasoned and centrist deal.

Theocon Frist>..<Corporate sponsored centrists>..............................

then it means that the center held here, and that's what's really important in America, isn't it?

Your "center" sided with Bushco, Inc. in 2004. My American flag is still currently hanging upside down.  

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-05-24 04:08PM | 0 recs
here's why I think we won
Front page, Business Section, Washington Post:

Business Groups Tire of GOP Focus on Social Issues

it has become clear the judicial showdown could doom initiatives on taxes, legal liability protections, Social Security and other priorities.

by desmoulins 2005-05-23 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: here's why I think we won
who's we? since when is it taking sides
on one party or another to preserve
what America is all about.

American didn't win. The environment will
be stomped on, guaranteed. More mercury,
more corporate fun. Quiet cases that
disappear from the public eye.

I wouldn't say that just because WAPO
reported one good article we should
put on party hats and blow noisemakers.

Theres alot of gray here. No reason
to feel bad, though, I guess.
But the GOP really wants to take charge
again. They're not going to
snatch defeat from the jaws of victory
if they can help it.  

... it was a quiet day in Nagasaki..

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 04:31AM | 0 recs
go away turner
by aiko 2005-05-24 04:58AM | 0 recs
Turner is such a fuckface.
by jcjcjc 2005-05-24 05:17AM | 0 recs
On balance, I'd say we won this round
I've been reading comments all over the lot all evening. Overall, I found more screams on the right side than sighs, and on the left, more sighs than screams. I also tuned in to Countdown where they played Frist and Reid. Frist looked beaten; Reid looked like he could live with it.

So on the whole I think this is -- for the moment at least -- more of a gain than a loss for the Dems. More to the point, if the deal sticks it could be a major gain for the moderates, which will be the true victory for the country. One thing that I found especially fascinating about the deal is the paragraph calling for Bush to get advice from the Senate before making his nominations. As I read it, that is shot across the bows by this group of 14 that they are going to start calling the shots now.  And again, I see that as something Reid can live with a lot easier than Frist (aka Dobson).

I was also taken by Graham's tantalizing hint that some of the "up or down" votes just might go down.

We've all been waiting for years now for that moment when the radicals overreached themselves. Folks, this may just be it. Of course, in politics it ain't over even when it's over, and now would be the worst time to let our guards down. But we can allow ourselves to crack a smile.

by DanK 2005-05-23 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: On balance, I'd say we won this round
Ok I agree with this guy. I don't see
any party hats or noisemakers .. and someone
counts up the pluses and minuses and finds a plus.
No problem.

Here's what we do next:


I'll go first: People that stood for
Checks and Balances:

On the GOP:

Jon McCain

People from the Dems that

Not Harry Reid..

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 04:35AM | 0 recs
a decent, not spectacular, win
Given the hand we were dealt, and our lack of numbers, I will say this is a decent win.  

Owen would be joining an already conservative court...she can't make it THAT much worse.

by v2aggie2 2005-05-23 09:40PM | 0 recs
Compromise means
not getting everything you want.  I agree we lost on some front.  

However,  compared to the hits we have taken the last five years this feels good.

by aiko 2005-05-24 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Compromise means
We cannot analyse this as yet.  This is far too fluid a situation because 2 or more republican votes could change the outcome.  There are too many factors in play to forsee clearly what is happening, except that in compromise nobody gets what they want.  It's partial, and so there is always grousing.  However, the dynamics here were important to Democrats who after all, are the Minority.  They fought, they engaged, and for the moment at least, the filibuster is untouched. And some insurance for real opposition seems to have been reached by the centrists on both sides.   Hagel along with other moderate republicans and [democrats] preferred to lie low and use any excuse possible to cover their behinds.  
by morris1030 2005-05-24 06:29AM | 0 recs
Moderates, centrists are big winners
IMHO, the moderates, centrists, traditionalists, whatever one wants to call them, are the big winners here. I'm sure this group, especially the Republicans, will be emboldened now since nothing succeeds like success. They know they can win now. They also know they have a friend in Harry Reid who they can count on when push comes to shove against the reactionary wing of their party.

I think Reid also comes out well. He pretty much pulled off the impossible, holding an outmanned caucus together plus peeling off the four Rs and having a much better sense of where the Senate and individual senators stood on the fillibuster. Clearly Frist was outmanuevered. Having read McCullough's biography of Truman, IMO, Reid is doing a pretty fair imitation of that other Harry's when he was in the Senate.

McCain also helped himself by burnishing his reputation as an "independent" and presidential hopes. McCain must have enjoyed handing a set back to Bush.

Frist, of course, is the big loser. Given the number of defections his caucus suffered, I doubt
killing the fillibuster will come up again any time soon. The GOP centerists flexed their muscle and liked the outcome. They won't be so easily controlled now that they've seen what they can do.

by phillydem 2005-05-23 09:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Moderates, centrists are big winners
One question... When was the last time LIEberman did any thing good for the Democratic Party?

'nuf said

We lost

by Parker 2005-05-24 05:08AM | 0 recs
Some pretty smart people agree with you Chris
Steve Soto at the Left Coaster, The Center Finally Held Tonight:

I said several days ago that a fight to the end was necessary as long as the right to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee was endangered. This deal took that odious likelihood off the table, admittedly for now. And the Democrats seem far more pleased tonight than the American Taliban wing of the GOP Senate.

Bill Frist wanted this fight, to show the American Taliban that he could be counted on to deliver right wing judges at the appellate level and to the Supreme Court. No matter what you think of the phrase "extraordinary circumstances", the deal by the moderates prevented Frist from delivering, and it did demonstrate that cooler older heads on both sides of the aisle had to step in to save Frist from himself. Many of you think tonight that Frist won this battle. All he actually won were up and down votes on appellate court nominees, pathetic nominees, but only votes nonetheless. Despite what you think about the GOP, there is no guarantee that all seven of Bush's nominees will get through his own caucus. And in fact, two of the seven according to press reports tonight will not have the support of the Senate GOP moderates.

This is a very good thing:

Tonight also did something that both Frist and the White House must notice. Keep in mind that Cheney wanted to do away with another piece of congressional power here and move another step closer to the omnipotent imperial presidency. Neither he, nor Frist's presidential ambitions got served tonight. Instead, an endangered species re-emerged tonight: the Senate moderates. Not only did they emerge, but the elder statesmen from both parties (Warner and Byrd) stepped in and took the car keys away from Frist and to a degree, from Cheney.

The smartest play that Reid can make after tonight is to come out and take credit along with John McCain specifically (that'll give Dobson fits and kill off Frist as Majority Leader) and the moderates generally for turning the Senate away from the Religious Right's agenda and back towards the real issues now. Reid should remind the media how many days the GOP Senate has spent on American Taliban issues since Bush's second inauguration and specifically how few days Frist and Company have spent on real solutions for health care, jobs, gas prices, and tax fairness. And Reid should tell everyone how glad he and the Democrats are now that the attention of the Senate can turn towards real issues and away from the policies of division that have been the mainstay of this White House and this GOP congressional leadership.

Trust me, we're doing fine.

Good job, Senator Reid

Mark Schmitt at the Decembrist makes a couple of very good points, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the "Totally Unacceptable" Nuke Deal:

Second, I think the language in the agreement about how every Senator will follow his or her "own discretion and judgment in determining whether [extraordinary] circumstances exist" in a vague way takes care of my concern. It's boilerplate language, but it makes clear that the judgment about future filibusters is independent of anything in the deal itself. In a way, it reminds me of the language in the Bush v. Gore decision where the Court declared that its use of the equal protection standard applied to this case only one a one-time basis. I see this as an agreement to confirm Brown and Owen one time only, to get this crisis behind us.

If the goal of liberals is to block a truly extremist Supreme Court nominee, block Social Security privatization and more tax cuts, block Bolton, and then begin to shift the debate back to issues of economic security, health care, global leadership, etc., the best possible thing that can happen is for the White House and its agents, such as Frist, to lose their control of all the levers of power in Congress. That's indisputably what this deal does, and for that, I'll learn to love it.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-23 10:01PM | 0 recs
What the hell are you talking about?
We can hold our heads high and tell our friends and family that we won. They can't do that.

We won NOTHING!!! Stop lying CHris

Tell me one thing we won... while their judges are being appointed.

They won!!!

They can tell their friends and family that their wingnut judges will be appointed who will have to decide on my friends and family's lives.
They got what the wanted the Democrats to back down.

The wingnut media is very good at doing fake outrage

Why won't you list the names?

All the newsreports list the 14 BRAVE CENTRIST... I have another name for them.

by Parker 2005-05-23 10:06PM | 0 recs
Details, details
I did list the names--about three htreads ago. And if a weakened, less enrgized Republican base isn't a win, especially when it goes along with a weakened Republican caucus, then you are unable to see the forest from the trees.
by Chris Bowers 2005-05-23 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Details, details
a weakened, less enrgized Republican base isn't a win, especially when it goes along with a weakened Republican caucus, then you are unable to see the forest from the trees.

This a factesques not a fact.

by Parker 2005-05-23 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Details, details
What's the one thing we've gained, you ask.  The ability to filibuster their guaranteed-to-be-wacko Supreme Court nominee.  There is no guarantee that we would have been able to stop the nuclear option (I don't think we could have), which would have allowed Dobson (and by extension, Frist) to hammer through another Scalia onto the Court.  I am willing to give up 3 seats on lower courts if it means that we can block their nominee.  It's far easier to get the moderate Republicans to cross party lines on this vote than it would be for a Supreme Court nominee.
by Oly 2005-05-23 10:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Details, details
The ability to filibuster their guaranteed-to-be-wacko Supreme Court nominee.

Uh... I thhought that was already our garanteed right. THe traitorous Dems just bargained that down to "The ability to filibuster...with thr GOP permission"

There is no guarantee that we would have been able to stop the nuclear option (I don't think we could have

Duh... if Frist had the votes he would have never compromised.

It's far easier to get the moderate Republicans to cross party lines on this vote than it would be for a Supreme Court nominee. YOu mean like they are running across now to stop an incompetent choice like Bolton who is being appointed to a lesser position.

Like I said you and Chris need to seperate the "facts" from the "factesques" and the "I wish it we so"

We were sold out AGAIN by a bunch of DLC traitors and not NARAL

by Parker 2005-05-23 10:46PM | 0 recs
Frist didn't want this
The thing that's getting lost in all of this is that Bill Frist was jacked when he found this all happened, and Harry Reid was pleased.

On the whole 7 senators from each party signed off on a deal guaranteeing this.

Basically, the Dems promise up-down votes in exchange for extended debate, and the right to filibuster extremely objectionable nominees.

What that means is anyone's guess, but with 7 moderate Dems on board, the 7 GOPers seemed pretty happy.

Susan Collins was just giddy when I saw her on Nightline.  

A lot of folks seemed to be proud of what they did.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-23 10:17PM | 0 recs
Only three nominees get through
BTW, only three nominees will pass.
by jcjcjc 2005-05-23 10:18PM | 0 recs
My thoughts are really lagging . . .

Also, let's consider that this was basically Reid's original compromise proposal.

Given that the Freepers are posting comments about "Lucy with the football", it's time to give Harry Reid his due.

He got the best deal imaginable under the circumstances.  Frist looks like a total dick, and now the McJesus, Inc. fuckers are pissed, too.

Harry Reid deserves a big congratulations for milking every ounce he can out of a minority position.  He seems to hit a lot of the right tones to get GOP moderates over to his side.

And, the GOP World is begining to go batty.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-23 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry
you're probably relying on your ability
to define things, you know, like..
how you were able to stop john kerry
from being labelled as a flip flopper..?
or senator max cleland, from being
labelled an al qaeda terrorist sympathizer?

this is the  "innoculation myth" in action.
the error here is that you're banking on
your ability to define what's going

What was on the table, was something
that should never have been taken away.

I go into your house, steal, lets, say -
your dvd player then give it back to you.

if you give me your beers..?

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 04:47AM | 0 recs
Troll recipe time?
1 c. of 100% pure fuckface
pinch of salt

Beat off for 20 minutes, preferably with a keyboard in the other hand.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-24 05:19AM | 0 recs
Stop picking on turner
Turner's not a troll.  He's a brain-fried idiot.  
by NCDem 2005-05-24 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Stop picking on turner
I'm not so sure.

He has some really batshit crazy ideas about what being a Democrat means.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-24 01:36PM | 0 recs
Look at the FACTS *not* the FACTESQUES
Look at the FACTS not the FACTESQUES




  • Frist is extremely weakened, and as a result so is the Republican caucus in the Senate.

  • Republican defectors have been greatly strengthened, thus strengthening the Democratic caucus as an oppositional force.

  • Republican grassroots are de-energized, and will be for some time.

  • we blocked a majority (2) of the bad nominees,  

  • some hope alive of defeating terrible Supreme Court nominees.

Although we would like the factesques to be true... they are just mere speculation.
by Parker 2005-05-23 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Look at the FACTS *not* the FACTESQUES
Parker, you sound like Rush Limbaugh of the Left.  You're cutting down all arguments with generalized statements like "FACTS: THEY WON WE LOST" and rather than arguing the issues, you label them as "facteques," or some other bullshit.  Last I checked, our side of aisle isn't the one where people win arguments by skimping on arguments and berating other points of view as less than yours without presenting anything resembling a cogent argument.
by Oly 2005-05-23 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Look at the FACTS *not* the FACTESQUES


by Parker 2005-05-23 10:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Look at the FACTS *not* the FACTESQUES
I seriously hope that was tongue-in-cheek, because otherwise you're making my argument even better than I had done so.
by Oly 2005-05-23 10:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Look at the FACTS *not* the FACTESQUES
Then name one thing we won.
by Parker 2005-05-23 10:47PM | 0 recs
When Bush loses, we win
Look at it strategically.

Bush and Frist were handed their first major defeat. Frist and Bush were the ones that went all in with their political chips. Harry Reid didn't lose any political capital at all. Bush and Frist used up plenty. There were a lot of GOPer Senators who also went all in based on Frist's claim that he had the votes.

No politician likes getting egg on his face in a public food fight. Frist didn't lay a glove on Reid. Harry comes out smelling like a rose and Frist has become radioactive. Anything that splinters the iron discipline of the GOP Reichstag is good for our side.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-23 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: When Bush loses, we win
Look at it strategically.

You are looking at the hype. Get your head out of the smoke and look at reality not what people want it to be.

This is how everyone was sold on Kerry's "electability" it was a factesques made up by this kind of hype and smoke a mirrors. The fact was he was the worse candidate possible... even as diehard Deaniac I would have preferred Clark over that shallow character.

But that is another story.

YOu are getting swept away on conjecture and smoke. The reality is we LOST and we lost big time. I really could give a shit what Powerline says ...her gets paid to emit what the RNC wants him to say.

YOu know what the real problem is?

We as in the real Democratic base is too powerful. If it hadn't been for Dean waking up the base... the Dems under the guidance of LIEberman would have sold us down the river long ago. I think that LIEberman was surprised that his endorsement of Abu Gonzales was even questioned. Salazar was taken aback completly.

So now the GOP are helping out LIEberman and the DLC to "SAve face" in front of this newly energised base that the DLC hates so much.

The last thing the GOP or the DLC wants to do is give the real Democratic base an opportunity to get into an uproar... because regardless of what the Diebold machines say .... we really are the majority.

So together...literally... they cooked up this scheme to placate the Democratic base and still give the GOP what they wanted.

Watch tomorrows BullMoose proclaim victory of the "Centrists" in the Democratic party... when the exact opposite is true .... they fucked us over.

by Parker 2005-05-23 11:17PM | 0 recs
Re: When Bush loses, we win
Parker, you're right on the count for the judges,
it was a loss. Significant one, at that.

But seriously - this is a senate thing
where you're trying to get some kind of
clear win for one side or another.

Try the view as an American. You have your
senators working instead of a big media
circus where they get paid not to work.

IF you view it as an Iraqi, where a really
badly defeated minority party held up and
changed course of the majority - it gets

Best of all, the senate didn't turn into
the house.  You can take your kids
to DC and not worry about being hit
by flying circus equipment .. from
one side of the government buildings at least.

Don't be seduced by the dark side of
the force. Now go get Mr. Anger there busy
working on something for you. And I'm glad
you and he are friends!

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 04:54AM | 0 recs
Perception can be more important than facts
Nobody can win everything they want all the time in politics. Try looking at it from the other side and look at how much the GOPers lost. Frist promised to kill the filibuster and Senate tradition survived.

The Imperial Presidency suffered its first major defeat. Harry Reid didn't ask for this battle, Frist did. Let's see how the M$M reacts, but I doubt if the American people or the Wall Street Republicans are going to look favorably on such a monumental wasted effort when real business is being delayed and ignored.

I don't see any way Harry Reid and the Democrats can be blamed in any way shape or form. I doubt if even Rush and Hannity can spin this one as the fault of the Democrats.

The facts are not as important as perception in this kind of political kabuki dance. The Next Hurrah makes this point, It's Up To Us to Help Define the Victory:

The presser is still going on, and people on both ends of the political spectrum are calling this a defeat.  But only one side of the political spectrum calling this a defeat is wrong: the left side is wrong.  This is a victory for Harry Reid and the Democratic caucus in the Senate, and it's a big loss for the Republicans, the White House, and especially Bill Frist.

Harry Reid calls it a success, but Bill Frist, speaking on the floor of the Senate about the desire to permit every nominee an up-or-down vote, said "the agreement announced tonight falls short of that principle, it falls short.  It has some good news, and it has some disappointing news...As of a couple hours ago, maybe none would have gotten an up-or-down vote." In other words, Frist failed.  Bill Frist tried to play tough, but the Democrats were tougher.

If Frist wants to admit defeat, I'm certainly not going to get in his way. Let's give it a rest and see how it plays out in the M$M tomorrow morning.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-23 10:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Perception can be more important than facts
Senate tradition survived.


but the Democrats were tougher


What is playing is that that fucking traitor LIEberman is looking like a hero.

I can't believe you just said facts don't matter.

by Parker 2005-05-23 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Perception can be more important than facts
Read carefully Parker. I didn't say facts don't matter. Don't piss me off by putting words in my mouth. Address what I am saying, not what you want to pretend I am saying.

The reputation of Congress is at an all time low. If this is perceived as a willingness of the Democratic party to work on solving the real issues facing America, instead of diddling around with an arcane Senate rule that 90% of Americans don't give a shit about because it doesn't directly impact their lives, Democrats will emerge as the party that is better able to govern and solve problems that Americans do care about.

Democrats can use this to show the American people that GOPers are extremists who believe the filibuster is more important than rising gas prices, rising health care costs and all of the other things they really care about. It will take more political dexterity than they have demonstrated up to this point, but it is possible.

This development also separates the GOP moderates from the radical whackos. If Reid plays his chips right, he can help the GOP moderates stand firm against the radicals on other issues. It  will be possible to form a quasi-Democratic majority out of thin air on select issues. The more defeats Reid can hand Bush, the better.  

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-24 05:08AM | 0 recs
If Frist had the votes he would not have compromised.

Therefore LIEberman and his band of traitors fucked us over by compromising when there was no need to.

by Parker 2005-05-23 11:33PM | 0 recs
Let;s get the facts straight....
and separate out the assumptions.

Frist didn't compromise. The centrists in his party did. Its true that after the compromise, he didn't have the votes, therefore no vote on the nuclear option. But Frist himself turned down all real offers of compromise.

If there was no compromise, would all those GOP centrists voted against the nuclear option? We don't know. You can't assume that they would, because if they were only interested in protecting Senate tradition, why would they even bother negotiating with the Democrats? The fact is that we don't know if Frist would have had the votes or not if there were no compromise. You can't say there was no need to. We don't know that.

I'm not pleased about compromise, but I'd be even less pleased about abolishing judicial filibusters. If that happened, we could make another assumption: that Bush would pick the most ideological judge he could find for the next Supreme Court vacancy. And thar person would have a much easier time getting confirmed. A couple of wingnut judges on a district court bench isn't the end of the world. They can always be overruled by the Supremes. But a Supreme Court bench full of theocrats... well that's another story.

The Senate proclaimed their independence from the White House today. I don't feel like I got fucked over. Quite the opposite.

by claw 2005-05-24 05:00PM | 0 recs
I agree with you on this one.  The Republicans got two nutjobs, Brown and Pryor, to a vote, and severely restricted the right of Democrats to filibuster in the future.  The Democrats got nothing.  In addition, this will only encourage the Republicans to try to do away with the filibuster when it comes to issues such as social security.  You need to stand up to aggression, not appease it.
by Paleo 2005-05-24 05:15AM | 0 recs
Another astute observation
David Sirota, OK, It's Possible Rove IS Crying:

First and foremost - the radical right is freaking out. That means that, policy-wise, we've not only done something right by defeating the "nuclear" option, but politically we've opened up a divide between the lunatic fringe wing of the GOP, and the (albeit dying and tiny) mainstream wing. It also may split open a divide between the economic fat cats and the religious right that make up the GOP base. This is no small achievement - and bodes well for Democrats. As the Republicans themselves have shown in unfortunately splitting Democrats apart on core economic issues, when parties break apart, their own power is weakened.

hmmm. After one misfire on the nuclear option, will Frist be willing or able to load it up again? If not Frist, who will step forward to pick up the nuclear option football? Disarray in the disciplined Republican Reichstag is a welcome development. Let's hope Harry Reid is as politically adroit as his reputation suggests. Just tell the truth and the Republicans will think they're in Hell.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-23 10:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Another astute observation
Sorry, but nothing good can come out of this with LIEberman heading this.

No, I refuse to believe the hype.

The DLCer main aim is to make the Democratic party subservant to the GOP and that is just what LIEberman and his band of DLC traitors just did.

The rest is hype and conjecture... smoke and mirrors and the carefully orchestrated phony outrage coming out of the wingnut noise machine.... THEY NEVER SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT THEIR OWN,,, SO WHY NOW... Their outrage is as phony as Scott McClellan about Newsweek.

by Parker 2005-05-23 10:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Another astute observation
Take a pause for the cause and let's see how things look in the M$M in the morning. Nobody cares what you and I believe. What people read in their morning paper will be what turns the tide one way or another.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-23 11:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Another astute observation
In the case of  Kitty Genovese,
a woman who was brutally stabbed, and murdered
in addition to forcibly raped -
in front of 24 spectators quietly viewing
out of their windows - where not one
called the police..

A woman who had viewed the incident stated
afterward, what she felt about the incident..

her reply was, "I don't know. I plan to
watch the news tonight and then I'll know"

But this christian democrat wants to pull
a "penn and teller" on you and teach you
a lesson before its too late. The bible
lets you get away with mischief, certainly -
if we are to learn from Laban. Lets take
a page from the old testament here.

Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth.

What do you say? Still ready to watch
TV.. remember.. I get the penn and teller
practical jokes on you if you do..

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Another astute observation
I'm ready to stomp rapist butts. For now the victim has been separated from the rapist. The rapist is also in the spotlight where I want him, instead of hiding under a red, white and blue rock. I don't have the power to convict him, but by turning the glare of public condemnation on him, I can persaude the American people to convict him and throw him in jail next November.

This is going to be a long trial. Not as long as Michael Jackson's, but long.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-24 05:13AM | 0 recs
An interesting tidbit from Kevin Drum
One of the three approved judges may be defeated by a bi-partisan vote:

UPDATE: In comments, NSF reports that Lindsey Graham claims that of the three who will get votes (Brown, Owen, and Pryor), one will end up getting defeated on a bipartisan basis. A secret codicil? Hmmm.....

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-23 11:37PM | 0 recs
Re: An interesting tidbit from Kevin Drum
Of the three, it will be either Owen or Brown. Pryor will probably get confirmed.

Pryor is ultra conservative, but he will uphold the law. People on MyDD forget that the theocons now hate Pryor for impeaching Roy Moore. He also voted with the majority on the Schiavo case.

This is a significant win for the Democrats and for the US Senate. I will have to thank my Senator, Lindsey Graham for standing up and doing the right thing, especially considering how conservative this state is.

by wayward 2005-05-24 03:01AM | 0 recs
Re: An interesting tidbit from Kevin Drum
THIS IS A LOST... stop kidding yourself
by Parker 2005-05-24 03:03AM | 0 recs
Re: An interesting tidbit from Kevin Drum
One of the victories is that Lindsay is now in a position of greater power and influence compared to Frist. McCain needs help on the Republican side and Graham is emerging as one of the rational adults who refuses to give in to childish right wing temper tantrums.

This is good.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-24 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: An interesting tidbit from Kevin Drum
Now THAT would be a win!
by bellarose 2005-05-24 05:13AM | 0 recs
The Best Case
This is the best case I've seen made for the compromise, and I hope you turn out to be right.  But I'm with Feingold.

Bush led with the most high-profile and arguably most extreme of the most extreme, and he got them. This augars well for whatever he choses to do with SCOTUS nominees (yeah, plural, that's surely what he's thinking).  

As Josh Marshall says, it's hard to see how this means anything in realpolitik terms.  And it was certainly a surrender on principle. (We backed down from a vote on principle.)  Finally, in terms of momentum, it quite probably stopped the GOP nose-dive, giving them a chance to recover from the Social Security/Terri Schiavo/nutcase judges trajectory they were on.  What other category of criteria do we have?

Frist lost big time, that's for sure. But Bush/Rove didn't really seem to be in this fight, which should tell you something big.

The manic-depressive wignut blogosphere is depressed. That's good. But how long will that last?  Certainly not until the '06 election.

Look who is really strengthened: McCain and Lieberman. Ugh!
Like I said, I hope I'm wrong.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-05-24 03:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The Best Case
in other words WE LOST

LIEBERMAN sold us out...Frist didn't have the votes

by Parker 2005-05-24 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: The Best Case
I had no doubt the Repubs would win either way here.  How could they not win?

So now we'll have at least (3) odious, unqualified ideologues on our highest courts.  Maybe (probably) one will even rise to the Supreme Court.

Yea!  Victory.  

by bellarose 2005-05-24 04:26AM | 0 recs
The Best Comment
I have read so far for the pathetic performance of the Washington Democrats.

It's battered-wife syndrome

"I know he loves me.  He promised he won't hit me anymore.  I love him and he protects me.  We can work it out, and I know he doesn't mean to hurt me. He says such sweet things when he's not mad.  I know he won't hit me next time."

by Parker 2005-05-24 05:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The Best Case
PR: "frist lost big time."

CB: "Still further, we blocked a majority of the bad nominees"

The total stands now at 210 nominees
that were not blocked out of 218. The deal
on the table will confirm 214 out of the
total of 218 giving Bush a 98% confirmation

The goal was to push people who want
to trample on the environment through the
Federal courts and +the+ issue in
the next four years is who's going to
be in those positions because they
can monkey with +everything+ if they're
not qualified or if they're partisan,
be it either democrat or republican.


We've sent a clear message to the
Iraqi Kurdish minority (and maybe Sunni minority)
as well that they have power using the filibuster
in the new Iraq parliament.

That happens to be a 140 billion dollar
a year back into the american economy "plus"
sign so thats no small plus.

But we have to win this war over there.
500 people dead in the last month.
Iraq turns into a nightmare and nothing

So I'm glad we are still a country with an
even more weakened democracy and a
so called partial victory, with more
radical judges confirmed than in
the entire history of the senate,
and a bunch of people satisfied
with it all....

I'm even more glad its over. For now.

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 04:24AM | 0 recs
Filibustering SCOTUS nominees
This is a different viewpoint and I could be wrong, but I think that actually this will make it harder to get rid of the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees. The public wasn't really following this battle that closely. There were a lot of nominees, most people don't know what the Courts of Appeals do, so it didn't really register how radical a step was being contemplated.

A SCOTUS nomination is different. It will attract a lot of attention, the public will be more engaged, and moderate Republicans will be under pressure to again resist doing away with the filibuster.

So maybe in the long run, this compromise will work out much better than a lot of people think.

by mrgavel 2005-05-24 04:01AM | 0 recs
I agree with most of your analysis
except for:

Further, the Republican grassroots are de-energized, and will be for some time.

I don't think that we should assume that the grassroots are deenergized.  In fact I think that we should assume that this gets their backs up and makes them work twice as hard and therefore so should we in opposing them.

by lisadawn82 2005-05-24 04:35AM | 0 recs
McCain on Morning Edition repeats and...
"they have promised not to filibuster except under extraordinary circumstances... extraordinary circumstances... extraordinary circumstances.

And we'll know what they are... we'll know what extraordinary circumstances are."

He said it 3 or 4 times, just like that. (IIRC, not having written it down.)

Sounds pretty damn ominous to me. We'll see if we've got any teeth at all when Bush nominates a new Chief Justice etc.

Maybe the pressure is on Bush to choose his nominees very carefully. One who could slip around the 'extraordinary circumstances' test while still nauseating us.

by sarany 2005-05-24 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain on Morning Edition repeats and...
I say old boy. This is an extraordinarily small amount of payola we're getting here
by way of Mr. Abramov. What do you say,
old bean.

Righto, old sport. We are in extraordinary
circumstances. Lets call their accounting department
today and see if we can get another

A "special purpose" transaction , eh, whot old bean!

Oh you're right on the derivative today, old sport!
Jolly good. Right-o.

Ten business days pass..

Egad, no money yet. These are extraordinary
cirucmstances. Lets fire up the filibuster
and give them what for.

Hottentots, sir! Hottentots!


by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain on Morning Edition repeats and...
This is where Reid and the Democrats have to be smart. McCain will try to be the one to define extraordinary circumstances. From Think Progress, The DeWine Caveat:

Some of you who are looking at the language may wonder what some of the clauses mean. The understanding is - and we don't think this will happen - but if an individual senator believes in the future that a filibuster is taking place under something that's not extraordinary circumstances, we of course reserve the right to do what we could have done tomorrow which is to cast a yes vote for the constitutional option.

This is the heart of the battle. Who gets to define "extreme and unacceptable"? First, one or more Democrats, probably a nearly unanimous majority, will have to agree a particular judge is so extreme they should be filibustered. Second, one or more Republicans will have to convince McCain and the other GOP moderates that the nominee is not extreme.

That is a small check on judicial nominees, but better than what we had up to now. Everything will turn on public perception of how extreme the disputed judge is.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-24 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain on Morning Edition repeats and...
[q]That is a small check on judicial nominees, but better than what we had up to now. Everything will turn on public perception of how extreme the disputed judge is. [/q]

This also changes the timing.  If there is a SCOTUS nomination fight next May, and the Democrats end up standing strong with a filibuster then certainly the Republicans could still try to change the rules.  Except now they would do it under much more public scrutiny, it would be about a particular man or woman, and not some vague policy, and even if successful they would only have five months to play with the new rules until facing an election.  There is even the possibility that individual Senator's votes on that issue would make a difference to the larger electorate.

If any of that had played out now, it would have been forgotten by next November.  

This is a good thing.

by PghArch 2005-05-24 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain on Morning Edition repeats and...
Here is an excellent diary
by Parker 2005-05-24 09:34AM | 0 recs
I disagree
Seven centrist Dems and seven centrist Republicans reached a "deal" that averts the nuclear option for now. The Dems have agreed to allow the three most extreme nominees -- Owens, Brown, and Pryor -- reach the floor of the senate. They've also agreed to only use the filibuster "under extraordinary circumstances".

Excuse me, but if the nominations of Owens, Brown, and Pryor are not "extraordinary" then what is? Moreover, because the Dems easily rolled over for these three "extraordinary" nominees, it calls into question whether the Dems truly believed in the principles underpinning their opposition to these nominees in the first place?

Despite what Reid said, the nuclear option was never off the table. The Republicans can abandon their commitment "to oppose the rule changes," or nuclear option, if they feel that the Dems are not applying the filibuster in "good faith". That is to say, that the Republicans preserved the opportunity to go nuclear at a time of their choosing. (A nominee to the SCOTUS, perhaps?)

Bottom line: The Dems screwed the pooch on this "deal". Bush gets to appoint extremists to any court without objection. The nuclear option is still on the table. Bolton will reach the floor without objection. Social Security will be destroyed through privatization. And, as David Sirota points out, the nuclear threat will cause the Dems to severely limit (perhaps avoid) using the filibuster to oppose the Bush Crime Family's extreme agenda.

by fafnir 2005-05-24 04:53AM | 0 recs
The count and the register..
 Robert Byrd (West Virginia)
 Daniel Inouye (Hawaii)
 Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)
 Joseph Lieberman (Connecticut)
 Ben Nelson (Nebraska)
 Mark Pryor (Arkansas)
 Ken Salazar (Colorado)

 Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island)
 Susan Collins (Maine)
 Mike DeWine (Ohio)
 Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
 John McCain (Arizona)
 John Warner (Virginia)
 Olympia Snowe (Maine)

Kudos to Olympia, McCain, and DeWine.
Caveat Nelson, Landrieu.

Think Lieberman has a clean nose here.
Not always a clean nose anywhere else
hey - but that thing is so big it
goes places he doesn't..>:)

Anyone care to weigh in on the aftermath?

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-24 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The count and the register..
I'd prefer to have the Republicans on the list (execpt McCain) in exchange for these crappy Democrats who could go straight to hell.
by Parker 2005-05-24 05:13AM | 0 recs
The deal
To sum it all up:  Anything that has the freepers foaming at the mouth is a GOOD thing!  Was the compromise everything I wanted, no, but that is what a compromise is all about.
by PISSED OFF AMERICAN 2005-05-24 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal
But that is the point...had Frist had the votes there would be no need to compromise... we were screwed by the DLCers.
by Parker 2005-05-24 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal
"...had Frist had the votes there would be no need to compromise..."

Frist wasn't a party to the compromise.  He wanted this thing to go all the way ... probably because he believed he could garner those votes.

I believe he could too.

Frist is the big loser in this.

by Charles in AL 2005-05-24 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal
Frist did NOT have the votes... therefore there was no need to hand over our rights.

We lost something that never should have been compromised


Now can we move on.

This insipid blather of how this was really a win if you look at it through rose colored glasses is getting to be revolting.

What's next...

Accept the fact that as usual LIEberman and his DLC cronies fucked us over. PERIOD

by Parker 2005-05-24 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal
Your argument hinges on one HUGE unknown ... that Frist couldn't pull together enough votes to pull off a coup in eliminating the filibuster.

Your absolute certainty, in the face of a complete absence of supporting fact, reminds me of someone ...

by Charles in AL 2005-05-24 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal

Why would Frist compromise otherwise?

The only real winner is McCain.

He recognised an opportunity to "nuke" Frist and he took it. McCain held a handful of Gopers out of Frist's count and got LIEberman to sell out his party (which isn't to hard to do).

by Parker 2005-05-24 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal
Why would Frist compromise otherwise?

Frist did NOT compromise!  He split with his party on this (or they split with him) ... the Republicans' leader in the US Senate was outside the decision-making process on this one.

The Democratic Party leader stood with the rest of the members of his minority party, the "opposition party" we need to build.

That party "unity" should be played as a strength.  The American people need to see the Democrats as "of one accord," united and strong.

Indeed, even the squabbling here in this forum could be construed as "counter-productive."

by Charles in AL 2005-05-24 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal
Oh for crying out loud...

"even the squabbling here in this forum could be construed as "counter-productive."

Well...I find being stabbed in the back by LIEberman and his DLC ilk... a wee bit "counter-productive."

by Parker 2005-05-24 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal
HOLY SHIT!  SHUT THE FUCK UP MAN!  WE GOT IT... You think we lost!   You have said it like 87 times in this thread and i am getting tired of trying to skim past it.

Dont you have anything better to do?

by phemfrog 2005-05-24 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal

If you don't like it then keep skimming....
by Parker 2005-05-24 07:43AM | 0 recs
Well said as always Chris...
... but I think you missed a key point in this. There was one part of this compromise statement that I did not expect and that I believe is what tips this whole thing over into the win column for us and that is the final paragraph or two where seven Republican Senators said to their parties President... you are to blame for this and you had better straighten out your act...

"We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.

Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate.

We firmly believe this agreement is consistent with the traditions of the United States Senate that we as Senators seek to uphold."

I don't think there is any other way to read this then as a rebuke of Bush. Is it binding? No, of course not. Does he have to listen? No, of course not. Will it stop him? No, of course not.

But John Warner signed his name to that along with McCain and 5 other Republican Senators. They said to Bush that the rancor could have been averted had the President followed the early practices of our government and consulted with both Republican and Democratic Senators prior to submitting nominees. Should Bush contemplate sending another complete wing nut along to the Senate I would expect Warner in particular to make it clear to the White House that he meant what he said and that he will vote against the Presidents nominee.

This was a salvo in making Bush a lame duck.

We need to reinforce that image and message.

by Andrew C White 2005-05-24 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Well said as always Chris...
Bush's future judicial nominees will need the approval of Warner and McCain.

This was indeed a shot at Bush for abusing the Republican center and not consulting with Republicans in both houses. There is now a substantial minority of Republicans who are pissed off at being stomped on by the WH. We should absolutely reach out to congratulate them on standing up for Democracy and give them all the help we can.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-24 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Well said as always Chris...
This was indeed a shot at Bush for abusing the Republican center and not consulting with Republicans in both houses. There is now a substantial minority of Republicans who are pissed off at being stomped on by the WH

Totally disagree

It was McCain making a powerplay over Frist... pure and simple... Bush is already a lame fack a dead duck with his polling and the SS debacle.

by Parker 2005-05-24 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Well said as always Chris...
Bush is not yet a lame duck.  According to Novak, Busg/Roves, not Frist, were the ones who rejected a similar deal on Sunday becasue it didn't include Owen--a friend of Roves. They were very much in this fight.

Politically speaking Bush/Roves and their fundie followers are going to have a huge impact on who becomes the republican nominee in 2008 as well as maybe three Supremes and a chief.

It's like you have forgotten just how much power the right actually has at this moment in time.

A moderate slap against Bush power-mongering is a good thing.

by aiko 2005-05-24 05:52AM | 0 recs
Who won? Who Lost?
Bush:  The approval of these judicial appointees was top of Bush's 2nd term "to-do" list ... who knows exactly why ... but there was no room for compromise in the White House position over this.  He wanted their appointments, he had the political clout to make it happen, and it did.  Bush got what he wanted, but he paid such a huge price (in so-called "political capital") for it, I think he suffered a net loss.  He divided his own party, and I think he wrecked his (already slim chances) for other items on his "to-do" list for his second term:  radical reform of the Social Security system, a war on Iran or N.Korea.   It's debatable whether Bush won or lost.  Either way, his win or loss was a slim one.

Republican Party:  Lost huge.  Any way you look at it, they lost.  Here's why I believe that ... the Democratic leadership in the Senate stood with the Senate moderates who made this compromise decision.  The comments of Harry Reid (the Democratic Senate Leader), when he said "Abuse of power will not be tolerated. Not be tolerated by Democrats or Republicans, and your attempt, I say to the vice president and the president, to trample the constitution and grab absolute control, is over" were even echoed by some of the Republican Senators.  So the Democrats stood united in the Senate, visibly so before the watching public ... but the Republicans emerged from this BITTERLY divided ... their leader, Bill Frist, was completely embarrassed by it.  If you don't think there's a real and growing "rift" in the Republican Party, read some of the posts on a rightwing site like Free Republic.  Moderate Republican Senators like John McCain or South Carolina's Lindsey Graham are absolutely reviled by the hardliners ... and they're the best men in the party.

Democratic Party:  The Democrats had the toughest choice to make ... they were "committed" to blocking the least acceptable of Bush's judicial nominees, though the vast majority (over 250) have been allowed to go through. In the end, though, a tough choice had to be made ... stand firm in opposition ("obstruction" is how the Republicans would prefer to spin it) or give over in order to win the larger battle against a change in Senate rules that would eliminate the filibuster protection of the power of the minority party in our government.  They made the right choice, I believe, even though it meant eating crow and giving Bush what he wanted and said from the beginning that he would achieve.  But look at the outcome:  Democrats avoided the "obstructionist" label (which costs Daschle his Senate seat in the last election), they stood united in the Senate, while exploiting a chink in the Republicans' armor, and (most importantly) they were on the side of the majority of the American public on this, just as they were in the Schiavo case and are in the Social Security debate.  Big victory overall, if an embarrassing concession to the White House.

The BIG LOSER:  Bill Frist, hands down, suffered a humiliating defeat in this, along with the American Taliban led by James Dobson.  Did Bill Frist have enough power to accomplish his goal of eliminating the filibuster.  There are those who say that he was bluffing, and that bluff should have been called.  I believe he did have the votes, otherwise he'd never have taken this as far as he did.  He was confident of victory, and the risk of allowing him to exercise that power was too great to take.  It was much better that it ended the way it did.  

The BIG WINNERS:   Us. You.  Me.  The American people.  We finally have a glimmer of hope for the Congress we deserve, one that just might take a stand against radical religious ideologues and a cult of power-mad war hawks who are lovers of corporatism and who fear democracy.

by Charles in AL 2005-05-24 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Who won? Who Lost?

Simply put.

If Frist had the votes he would not have compromised. We were screwed out of our garanteed rights by LIEberman and the DLCers.


by Parker 2005-05-24 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Who won? Who Lost?
You are deluding yourself if you believe we enjoy the power to "win" in Congress.  Did November teach you nothing?  

Oh, the election was stolen, wasn't it.  Bull.

by Charles in AL 2005-05-24 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Who won? Who Lost?
Did November teach you nothing?

DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE...which is what you are dishing out.

WE LOST... get over but trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear is annoying.

LIEberman fucked us over ... like he normally does...what's new.

by Parker 2005-05-24 05:52AM | 0 recs
it is time to cool your jets
we heard you the first ten times
by aiko 2005-05-24 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Who won? Who Lost?
Frist didn't compromise; this deal was put together despite him. I watched his speech on the Senate floor jusr after the announcement, and he made it clear he was not a party to this and did not like it.

The fact is that nobody knows how a vote on the "nuclear option" would play out; neither side could be sure of the votes.

Two other things about the deal struck me as interesting: Graham's tantalizing hint that some of the nominees might be voted down, and the paragraph calling for WH consultatio - the Senate's "Advice" role. Both of these suggest to me that the moderates in the Senate might have just made the opening move in a bid to take back control of the Senate. The show has only just begun.

by DanK 2005-05-24 09:24AM | 0 recs
Nobody won...
Democrats won, Democrats lost.  Republicans won, Republicans lost.  And in the process...

The Senate, as an institution, was strengthened.  Minority rights were preserved, and the tradition of the filibuster lives on.  Liberal leftest wacko though I am, I am also a realist.  It's clear we would have lost the vote.  Given this, over 200 years of Senate tradition have been preserved.  Though not a good day for "liberals" or "conservatives" (one can debate who "won" or "lost" more...), it was a good day for the Senate, and I applaud those who actually forged the compromise.  Now, let's vote those fuckers out in the primary.

by NCDem 2005-05-24 05:59AM | 0 recs
Wait till they drop the anvil
The real reason this is going to be a defeat is that the Theocons will again present some trog for the bench & when the Dems object they will be painted as breaking the deal - dishonrable, dishonest and partisan
by librul minion 2005-05-25 06:03AM | 0 recs
We won
I guess if allowing Republicans to put through nominees and fessing up to abusing the filibuster is a win, we won.

When is the filibuster supposed to be used, but in ''extraordinary circumstances''?  The box this deal puts the DFL party in is tight.

The one thing the deal does is bring some common sense back into the debate.  Until the GOP loses power they get to call the shots.  Trying to stop everything they do only limits the usefulness of tools like the filibuster when they are really needed, like when our freedoms are at stake.

by Classical Liberal 2005-05-25 11:26AM | 0 recs


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