Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Art of Compromise

As I said earlier this week, the idea behind compromise is that neither side gets everything that they want, but both sides get something.

David Brooks reports that Harry Reid made an offer to Bill Frist that if the President withdrew some of his seven filibustered nominees, then there could be up or down votes on the rest. As part of this compromise, the Democrats would agree not to filibuster any Supreme Court nominees.

This is a reasonable compromise, or so it seems to me. The GOP gets their protection from a Supreme Court filibuster (which is all they really care about) and the Democrats get to keeps some of the more extreme judges from getting put on the bench. Both sides would take some heat from the extremes in the party, but would probably receive accolades from most of us who believe that our leaders in Washington are there to work together.

Brooks thinks Frist should have taken this deal, as does Kevin Drum, Von at Obsidian Wings and Ezra Klein, although he doesn't really believe this offer as Brooks is reporting it. But I think that Frist has maneuvered himself into a corner on this issue. Anything short of busting the filibuster will destroy his Presidential hopes. I guess it would take a bigger man to put aside his personal ambitions before plunging the Senate into an unknown abyss.