Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Art of Compromise

Compromise: n, A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.

Here is the judicial filibuster compromise agreement.

It is clear that neither side gets everything they want from this agreement, the Democrats give the 3 nominees they consider most extreme an up or down vote, setting a precedent from what is an extraordinary circumstance. The Republicans don't kill the filibuster, but do get the 3nominees they were pushing the most voted on.

But it is also clear that most of the cries of outrage are from the right. A quick sample:

James Dobson calls the compromise a betrayal.
Michele Malkin says it is a GOP cave in
Gary Bauer calls is a sell out.
Hugh Hewitt goes after the 7 GOP compromisers.
Powerline calls it a very bad deal.
Pat Buchanan likened it to Munich on Imus' show this morning.
Scared Monkeys announce "Republicans Screwed."
Captain's Quarters blames Frist for not acting quicker.

I didn't see this a a big Democratic victory, although I am pretty happy to see the above group is so upset with the deal.

I think that this battle has only been delayed until there is a Supreme Court nominee. But then only if the Democrats plan on filibustering a nominee for the High Court, which I don't think is a good idea. With the amount of publicity that a Supreme Court nomination will get, Democrats need to make the case against an extreme nominee on the merits, otherwise they will just appear obstructionist. They can't do that with Circuit Court nominees, because the public isn't paying any attention, but the Supreme Court nominee will be a different story.

I also believe that there will be a great deal of pressure from the right wing to break this deal soon, possibly by pushing one of the 4 nominees that will not be getting an up or down vote within the next week.

Although he will try to downplay it, Frist is a big loser because he wasn't able to keep his troops in line. (Sens. Allen and Brownback must be secretly smiling, knowing that their 08 chances have improved at the expense of Frist, McCain and Hagel.)

It was also good deal for the Senate as an institution.