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Monday, May 23, 2005

Nuclear Fallout: Keeping Score at Home

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Kos: Remember, Republicans have a 10-seat majority in the Senate. Given the alternative -- a Dobson controlled Supreme Court nominee -- this is a huge victory.

Atrios: (Avendon) I don't know about you, but I don't like it.

MyDD: (Chris Bowers) My first reaction is that this is a defeat, since we would only accept a deal unless we didn't have the votes. Then again, the filibuster is saved and Frist might be finished, so it is also a victory

BOP News: (Stirling Newberry) They got it. Make no mistake, this deal is an unmitigated disaster for Democracy, for the Democratic Senate caucus, for ordinary Democrats, for all Americans.

Talk Left: - We don't have a "Republic" tonight. We have a total Republican regime. Welcome to the Theocracy.

AmericaBlog: (From Joe) - But, in the long run, this forces the White House to think differently about the Supreme Court. That seemed to be the message from the gang of 14, most notably Lindsay Graham who said as much during the press conference. Still processing...but those are initial thoughts.

Steve Gillard: This is a major defeat for the theocrats. This is what happens when amateurs play at politics. Dobson was under the delusion that he could control the Senate with his money and Bill Frist's dick in his pocket. This didn't work.

Swing State Project: (Tim) We just spent the last several months repeating that Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown were so far out of the mainstream that we were willing to walk up to the edge of nuclear catastrophe in the Senate. If these two do not fall into the "extraordinary circumstances" category, how can we convince the American people that any nominee to the Supreme Court is so beyond the pale that we are forced to filibuster?

Swing State Project: (David) Sounds like we made a deal to preserve a filibuster we'll never be able to use.

The Next Hurrah: (DHinMI) The presser is still going on, and people on both ends of the political spectrum are calling this a defeat. But only one side of the political spectrum calling this a defeat is wrong: the left side is wrong. This is a victory for Harry Reid and the Democratic caucus in the Senate, and it's a big loss for the Republicans, the White House, and especially Bill Frist.

The Next Hurrah: (Emptywheel) I don't know--and I don't think anyone knows--whether this compromise is a good or bad thing. Hell, we don't even know what the result of Owen's and Brown's votes will be; if some Republicans have been convinced to oppose them, then it will feel more like a win than it does today. But I think this compromise can be turned into a win, by pushing the moderate 14 to oppose Bolton's nomination on the terms it is being advanced perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Crooks & Liars: No nuclear option. Dobson, Robertson, Frist and the Religious Right have lost.

If you see any more I should add, from the left, or if you have a blog and want yours added, let me know.

Posted at 09:48 PM in Nuclear Option | Technorati


My post here says that I basically agree with Markos. Here's proably the best quotable comment I make:
"Honestly, this really is the best thing for us.

Washington Republicans and the theocrats and the extremists get a few judges.

We get the 2006 mid-term elections. We get to watch Bill Frist lose momentum on his run for President in 2008. The radical right and the rest of the wingnuts are going to place the blame heavily on him if any of these judges don't pass. And still, Henry Saad will be blocked, so will Myers and others. We reserve the right to filibuster judicial nominees in extraordinary circumstances.

In retrospect, this is really going to be a good thing for Democrats, especially in preserving the Senate as an institution. We want to keep things hospitable in the chamber. This victory helps seal the deal."

Posted by: Chris Woods [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2005 11:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think we did fairly well out of this one:

It looks like the GOP's nuclear assault on the Senate has been averted. A last-minute bipartisan compromise by fourteen moderates will end the attempt by Bill Frist (R-James Dobson) and company to play doctor on the Senate's rules.

In a big win for the Democrats and for progressive government, William G. Myers III will not get a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He's the radical opponent of conservation, who opposed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act as unconstitutional. Since the 9th Circuit is a progressive court, and since it hears much of the nation's environmental law (thanks largely to California's stand at the front of the environmental movement), defeating Myers is a huge win for us.

Janice Rogers Brown, who believes the New Deal is our own Bolshevik Revolution and that government is the enemy of civilization, will see her nomination to the DC Circuit Court move to the floor of the Senate. While it's possible that she won't get the support of 50 Republicans, it's likely that she will get her lifetime seat, and stamp her ticket for the SCOTUS sweepstakes. Allowing her nomination to proceed is a huge compromise for the Senate Democrats, and there's a good change that it will turn out to be a very bad move. Let's hope they get some goodwill from the other side of the aisle for this one.

The other nightmare nominee, Priscilla Owen, will also come to the floor, where she will almost certainly be approved. This is another compromise on the part of the Democrats, but it's not as critical as the Brown compromise. The 5th Circuit Court covers much of the Old Confederacy, and is already dominated by anti-consumer, anti-choice, pro-business radicals. As a result, most businesses who find themselves in court for gross legal violations often try to move the case to the 5th Circuit. For the foreseeable future, there's no chance of getting progressive rulings from the 5th Circuit, and so Owens' impact won't be nearly as great as Brown's.

In addition, it certainly is a stinging rebuke by Democrats and moderate Republicans to the radical right. James Dobson (R-Totally Round the Bend) is spitting blood over this one:

This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats. [...] We share the disappointment, outrage and sense of abandonment felt by millions of conservative Americans who helped put Republicans in power last November. I am certain that these voters will remember both Democrats and Republicans who betrayed their trust.

It's not pretty, but it's a compromise. The Republicans get something, and the Democrats get something, and the system lumbers on. Harry Reid deserves a lot of credit for this one. He didn't have the best hand to play, but he played it well. He stood firm when necessary, and he compromised when necessary, and in the end, the Democrats walked away with at least a partial victory. It's been a long five years, and even that partial victory is an oasis in the desert.

As a prelude to a SCOTUS fight, it serves as a warning salvo from the moderates that the right wing can't expect to push their agenda through unchallenged. If the Bush Administration swings back to the middle, we can all be grateful. I'd much rather be in Harry Reid's shoes tonight than Bill Frist's.

Well played, Democrats.

Posted by: Ben [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2005 11:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My comments here. I linked to you yesterday on this. Nice efforts here.

Posted by: The Heretik [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2005 12:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment