Monday, May 23, 2005

Put Away the Cots

And so it all comes down to this. Fourteen United States senators, representing states from Maine to Hawaii, with Senate tenures ranging from almost fifty years to just over four months, came together, put country ahead of party, and defused the nuclear option just hours before it was to be deployed. Fourteen senators, seven Democrats and seven Republicans, worked tirelessly over the past few days and weeks before finally reaching this agreement [PDF, text].

This deal isn't 100% good for every single senator, or for either political party. It is good, however, for the Senate as an institution. It is good, however, for the American people, and it is good for centrism. These fourteen senators did what all of the pundits were saying couldn't be done - they joined together, they worked hard, and they reached an agreement.

We will hear much squealing from special interests on both the left and the right in the coming days. The fourteen senators involved in this compromise will be vilified, Republicans by the "Justice Sunday" crowd, and Democrats by the PFAW folks and others. But there can be no mistake - averting the nuclear option is a good thing. Bipartisan compromise and agreement is a good thing.

The Senate is not going to stay up all night. Sometime around 10 p.m., the chamber will go into recess until 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, when consideration of the Owen nomination will resume. At noon tomorrow, there will be a cloture vote, which will pass under tonight's agreement; after that, Owen will likely be confirmed by a majority vote fairly quickly.

Put away the cots.

We all owe senators McCain, Nelson, Byrd, Warner, DeWine, Salazar, Pryor, Collins, Graham, Landrieu, Lieberman, Snowe, Chafee and Inouye a tremendous debt of gratitude. They have indeed saved our country from a dangerous road this evening.

Much more analysis to come, of course. Stay tuned, and stay active. We must continue to be vigilant, and make sure that this deal holds. But for now, look forward to a good night's sleep - we all deserve it.

[Update: I realized I hadn't linked down to my posts from earlier today where I was live-blogging, first the Senate debate (here and here) and then the sudden announcement of the compromise. Also, I do want to say, I agree with much of the instant analysis which suggests that the big loser in tonight's events is Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. If there is a single big winner it's hard to know who - McCain clearly comes out looking good from a centrist standpoint, but conservatives will be howling. For the country in general, of course, this agreement couldn't be better.

For more analysis, see this post from Crooks and Liars and this from The Moderate Voice. -- 10:13 p.m.]

[Update: Here's an amusing one. NRO's The Corner posts the press release from PFAW; dKos posts the response from James Dobson. -- 10:39 p.m.]


At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Simon said...

While I'm delighted in the spirit of compromise, and the snatching of the Senate from the jawa of armageddon, I can't help but feel two slightly illicit thoughts.

On a purely partisan level, I can't help but express a gleefull delight that the Dems effectively caved; split it any time you want, in order to short-circuit the nuclear launch process, 7 dems will vote tommorow to effect cloture on this nominee. The nominee will get an up-or-down vote.

As an originalist, though, I'm kinda sad that this door is still open; any future majority can still threaten it and use it, unless and until it is voted down.

So I'm in a couple of minds. Great tht the catastrophe was averted, but I would have preferred repudiation over avoidance.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

I think this probably kills Frist. His big mistake was playing winner-take-all. And when you play that and DON'T take all, you lose.

Now he's neutered. But I'm not shedding any tears.

At 2:48 AM, Blogger Sean said...

the rep won? are you serious.
Let me get this right.
the Dems only had ONE goal during this entire debate - to legitimize using the filibuster on judicial nominees. That was it. They got that.
The Dems threatened to use the filibuster in a way that it has NEVER been used. The Rep respond by giving in, and you think the Rep won? I dont think so.
What did Republicans get? the Dems only wanted to be able to filibuster one or two judges. They got it.From now on it is only about how many get filibustered. Reid was losing support in hsi home district. The wishy washy Rep senators caved, no backbone. they should have never gone this far, just to give the Dems what they originally asked for
This make believe crises, which it was not. sorry the country has been saved from what> now partisanship will have greater influence in the judicial process. Please stop all this empty talk abotu the country wins. How?? bcause the Senate preserves a rule that had NEVER been used?? that makes no sense. Because the Dems were threatening to shut down the senate, which would have made the environment bad? Huh.
I am going to write my wishy washy Senator, and let him know he failed in his job. Dewine caved.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

First Voinovich on Bolton. Now Dewine on the filibuster.

Jeremy, I do believe the RINO is alive an well in Ohio.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Heiuan said...

It's a decent compromise for the most part. No one got exactly what they hoped for and the pain is pretty much equal.

As a Democrat however, I can't help but reverse-echo my Republican companion Simon in having a bit of glee that Dobson (via Frist) lost a big one.

Of course, Reid took it in the face as well, but I'm ignoring that little fact for the moment. Shameful of me, I know. :-D

Color me very pleased with the Centrists. It's about time they discovered their guts. And what a moment indeed.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger 充滿遺憾的人 said...

感動的聲音 感動的真情 若我生命中也能遇到這樣對我的女生 便無遺憾..

At 1:02 PM, Blogger 充滿遺憾的人 said...

為了所愛 義無反顧 這便是真愛!!


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