Tuesday, May 24, 2005

>Daily Kos has a thorough, succinct analysis of the filibuster compromise, the best I've seen:
There are those who think any compromise is a sign of weakness, and there's little that can be said to change their mind.
But here are the plain, unspun facts:

--Democrats hold 44 seats in the 100 seat Senate. One independent sides with the Democrats, giving Dems a 10-seat deficit.
--Reid had 49 votes. He needed 51 to defeat Frist's nuclear option.
--Reid needed at least two of four undecided Republicans.
--Had Reid come up short, the filibuster would be dead in judicial matters.
--If the filibuster was dead, Bush would've been able to put anyone on the Supreme Court. Anyone.
--Radical Christian Rightist James Dobson is demanding the right to choose the next Supreme Court nominee.
--Dobson's biggest enemy is the filibuster. Hence, he forced Frist to engage in the nuclear option.
--Because of the deal, Dobson can't choose the next Supreme Court justice. Bush's choice, if too extreme, faces the prospect of a filibuster.

In order to save face, Republicans have gotten up or down votes on most of the handful of judges who are currently being filibustered. It's a price, but a relatively small one to pay to protect the filibuster during the next Supreme Court battle.
Given that we have a 10-seat deficit in the Senate, that's no small feat.

And if you still think we got a raw deal, you might feel better if you check out how livid James Dobson is:
This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats. Only three of President Bush's nominees will be given the courtesy of an up-or-down vote, and it's business as usual for all the rest. The rules that blocked conservative nominees remain in effect, and nothing of significance has changed. Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist would never have served on the U. S. Supreme Court if this agreement had been in place during their confirmations. The unconstitutional filibuster survives in the arsenal of Senate liberals.

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