Personally, I’m still thinking it over. Meanwhile, for some cogent blogospheric comments that haven’t already been quoted to death, click through to the extended entry.
Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged:
I suppose I should be more upset about this than I am, but the moderates basically told Frist to get stuffed, Frist looks immoderate without having handed his handlers anything they can use (like they give a rat’s ass whether Priscilla and Janice get jobs—more girls making decisions for men and one of them is, well, not white. This can’t be making them happy).“DJW” at Lawyers, Guns, and Money:
Also the Club for Growth and the religious right are going to do everything they can to gut the seven Republicans the next time they come up, which is less money for us to spend.
Of course, it means we get Priscilla and Janice, but let’s face it, we were gonna get Priscilla and Janice anyway.
So, the story is: a bunch of Republicans told their leadership to get stuffed.
It’ll have to do.
There are those who are characterizing this a victory for the center. If by center, you mean “14 Senators who self-identify as centrist” than maybe you have a point. But if you mean “centrist politics” you’re dead wrong. Let’s be frank about what this deal did: fancy promises with out clauses big enough to drive Mack trucks through aside, this deal did one tangible thing: it sends three judges to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote, which will quite likely put them on the Appellate court bench. Anyone who has been reading this blog (or many others) knows a little about these three judges, and knows that whatever they represent, it isn’t centrism. Let’s all stop and reflect on the fact we’ve reached a point that conceding to the demands of right-wing extremists in order to prevent said extremists from attempting an ill-concieved act of political self-immolation now counts as a victory for “centrism.”Seeing the Forests’s Dave Johnson on the Republican senators who signed the “compromise”:
[…] While it’s a cute line, can we please stop with “anything that pisses James Dobson off this much must be pretty good.” First of all, Dobson is always pissed off—it’s integral to his political strategy, and I suspect his personality as well. Moreover, we should never, ever take what he says at face value. Dobson’s sputtering is amusing, but let’s not draw any inferences from it.
These Republican Senators have “burned” themselves with the far-right base of The Party. There is no going back for them. The Right does not forgive.Rafe Colburn:
Here’s the bottom line, as I see it, on the compromise that has forestalled the application of the “nuclear option,” which would change Senate rules permitting unlimited debate of judicial nominees. If less than 5 Republicans had broken ranks with their leadership, there would have been no compromise, the nuclear option would have been exercised, and every Bush judicial nominee would be confirmed unless the Senate changes hands in 2006. It’s hard not to see that as a victory for the Democrats, no?Max Sawicky:
It’s late for me and not all the cylinders are firing, but from what I can see this Senate deal looks like a giant steaming pile of monkey crap. As far as I can tell, we get the three wingnuts that everybody has been talking about—Pryor, Brown, and Owens—and maybe not two other nitwits. There seems to be no bar to squashing any future filibuster effort. Supposedly a filibuster might be permissable under “extraordinary” circumstances. That means not very many times, and there could be quite a few judgeships to fill with the deep bench of loonies on the Right.Digby:
I see some email urging me to spin this as a victory for the Dems. Please eat me. I’m more interested in whether it is a victory for the Dems. The point of opposition is to obstruct outrageous legislation and appointments. As far as I can see, the Dems have failed to do this, in return for a vague commitment from the GOP to forego a procedural vote that they can always take in the future, in the event opinions differ on the meaning of “extraordinary.” Ultimately, it is a recasting of the absurd deal we had heard about before: you retain the right to filibuster as long as you don’t do so.
I hope I’m wrong. If you disagree, tell me why and make me feel better.
My only question going forward is this: if Janice Brown is not considered to be an “extraordinary circumstance” then who in the world could Bush possibly nominate who would be worse? Ann Coulter? (She does, after all, call herself a constitutional scholar.) I’m not sure that there are any judges who are to the right of Brown or who express more hostility not only to the constitution but to the enlightenment thought that guides it. The only thing absolutely worse would be to put an Islamic fundamentalist on the supreme court.Nathan Newman:
[…] In the end, politically, I think the filibuster showdown is a wash. The Republicans didn’t get to turn the Senate into the House of Representatives but they will get three unabashed idiots, racists and pre-modern troglodytes on the federal bench. It could have been worse.
More importantly, the fascist element, led by Dick Cheney, was denied the opportunity to flush another little piece of of our system of government down the toilet as a fun exercize of pure power. Each time these bastards rip out another bit our of the constitution or “change the rules” to favor one party government or “reinterpret” the law to favor Republicans, we move one step closer to a country that we will soon not be able to recognise as the one in which we grew up.
This action put that day off —- in the case of the nuclear option, maybe forever. That’s a good thing.
This deal is perfect for the moderate GOPers. Filibusters are allowed only on judges that the moderate GOPers say may be filibustered. And those moderate GOPers get to vote against those candidates that are filibustered, playing the double game of keeping their conservative bona fides while claiming to uphold traditions of the Senate.Steve Gilliard:
As for the moderate Dems? Nothing. They betrayed other Democrats while gaining no real new power. If the Democrats as a group had decided to go for the deal, it might have reflected a tactical win for the Democratic caucus, but this is just a stab in the back.
I understand that many folks see not losing the filibuster as the victory, but that just reflects the low standards of victory people have developed. Losing less has become the standard of success for progressives, unfortunately.
[W]ith 45 Senators, you can only do so much. Any deal is a good deal under those circumstances.
But that’s not why we won this.
This stopped James Dobson.
A lot of you are glossing over the point about how dangerous this man is to the Republic. He’s a theocrat and a dominionist. He wants to deny basic religious rights to anyone who isn’t a Christian, and the craven lust for power of Bill Frist has allowed this man unprecidented access to the levers of government.
Anyone who has any question about what he has planned just need to google the words Air Force Academy and religion. There, a clique of fundamentalists insult Jews and openly tries to convert others. The AFA is spitting distance from Focus on the Family headquarters. And despite the evidence of this open religious bigotry, the fundies on the AFA staff fired the chaplain who complained, sending her off to Okinawa or some such place.
Idiots like Janice Rogers Brown, if confirmed, will embarass themselves on the court with their insane rulings, kind of like the pathetic mess Clarence Thomas is.
But if Jim Dobson can pick judges, the Handmaid’s Tale comes a month closer.
[…] Dobson is the most dangerous man in America today. He has money, followers and access to the White House and Congress. And he is an absolute idiot. He understands nothing about America which is complex or subtle. 24 would confuse him, Desperate Housewives would be slander, Queer as Folk, gay propaganda. His vision of Ameica would be foreign to most of us.
[…] Forget the judges, even the SCOTUS, Dobson’s plans go way beyond that. He doesn’t want to just control judges. He wants to be the kingmaker of the GOP. He doesn’t just want conservative judges and legislators, he wants dominionist judges and legislators. He wants to make his endorsement critical for election. It’s that simple. He wants to be able to punish moderates and run slates of candidates loyal to him.
[…] What happened last night is that the GOP moderates woke from their two-month slumber and realized that Dobson was going to destroy their institution for his political gain. He doesn’t care about Congress, and he doesn’t have to live there.
You can argue the point about the Dems tactics. All I care about is one result, weakening James Dobson. All else is irrelevant.