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.]