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Still no details beyond the AP's brief description:
Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

For their part, Republicans agreed not to support an attempt to strip Democrats of their right to block votes.

Some of the judges will get their up and down vote, at least two others will not. Frist doesn't look to happy on the Senate floor. Reid seemed happy.

Thing is, we don't know that we had the votes. We had 49. We needed two more. Did we have them?

Now, some wanted to roll the dice, but had we lost, Dobson would've chosen the next Supreme Court justice. I wasn't willing to make that bet, and I'm glad we didn't have to.

On top of everything, Frist looks weak. He's failed his crazies. He's finished.

Things may change, but so far, this is the second-best option. Beating Frist on the procedural vote may've been the best option. But the worst option was too horrible to contemplate.

Here's McCain's explanation of the deal, from Think Progress:

You have before you the agreement and I won’t go in the details of it. But basically, all 14 of us have pledged to vote for cloture for the judicial nominees Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen.

The signatories make no commitment to vote for or against cloture on two judges, William Myers and Henry Saad. Future nominations will – the signatories will exercise their responsibilities and the nominees should only be filibusters under extraordinary circumstances.

More details as they arrive.

Update: From Reid's office: Byrd and Warner brought this deal home, playing the role of "elder statesman".

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:18 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lindsay Graham (4.00)
    just now said that filibusters and the nuclear option might find themselves back on the table in the future.

    we need to keep the public opinion pressure on.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:16:12 PM PDT

    •  Exactamundo! (4.00)
      Dems need a couple of $million on TV ads with all the gushing quotes about "Saving The Nation" by stepping back from the brink of a filibusterless Senate.

      Drive it home. These bastards are reckless radicals, and hang it around Rethuglican necks like a dead chicken on a dog. We'll see how brave they are to threaten this again . . .

      •  The only way this is a victory (none)
        Is if Reid is trying to time this right for best political effect.  As you can see from my previous comments, I am one of the most virulent opposers of this mealy-mouthed deal.  But after a breather, I realized that it might -- just MIGHT -- be a better political move.

        After all, when would you rather have the Republicans execute their rabid, unprecedented power-grab?

        1) Right now, when no one is paying attention, over some justices that no one has ever heard of?

        or:

        2) During the Supreme Court battle, when everyone is paying attention, and when Bush's nominee (flaws and all) are right there for everyone to see?

        Thinking about it, I would rather have the Nuclear Option vote occur during a Supreme Court battle. Because then, with America watching, we could see the Republican radical right at work. It would be 10 times more powerful than the Schiavo case ever was.

        If Bush never gets to pick a SC justice (unlikely) then this "compromise" is a huge loss for Dems.  But if he does, and he goes with an extremist that Dems want to filibuster, then all of America will be to see the rabid Republicans in all their glory. And it pay way more political dividends for us then than it will now.

        •  you're exactly right (none)
          ...and with respect to this being a win/loss for the Dems if Bush gets to pick a SC justice, I think we have to see that as a very high probability event- Rehnquist is dying.  This was the pragmatic play.

          But I hate being pragmatic.  It irritates the hell out of me that we don't just throw down with these jokers and settle this bullshit once and for all.  And I'm even a little sad that Frist is finished- he's such a wuss that he would be easy pickings for a strong Dem (hell, even Katrina vanden Heuvel could take him- love you, Kat) in '08.  By that same token, his wussiness all but guaranteed that this was never gonna work out for him.    

          Though it kills me, the pragmatic play is the right one here.  Still, I could do without all the Liberman.

          •  Really quite a remarkable agreement (none)
            Thanks for the post of the actual text...below
            OK, we had to throw them a bone by allowing them to vote for Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor  and Priscilla Owen (ugh, are you all holding your noses too?)

            BUT...
            "Part II relates to subsequent individual nominations to be made by the President and to be acted upon by the Senate's Judiciary Committee.

            "Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith."  Sounds friggin good to me!

            "We believe that.... the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration."  In other words Shrub, fucking clear your nominees before they are nominees in consultation with the Senate, you asshole.

    •  The end of the beginning (4.00)
      To quote Galloway quoting Churchill. This won't be the last time they put up hacks and operatives for the bench, and 'extraordinary circumstances' just opens the way for this same debate when the SC seat opens.

      So much for drama and suspense. Anyone let down by the air going out of the bag has to recognize that government doesn't work according to our idea of dramatic storyline. Whenever possible, they'll push act three into next year.

      •  but! (none)
        we can shove it down their throats in the '06 elections.  From their p.o.v., I'm sure most repugs would rather be associated with McCain than by Frobson when the time nears...

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." HST

        by dukeraoul on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:43:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but... (4.00)
      Lindsey also just said that the White House should show a little more deference to the Senate in the selection of judges.

      And, don't forget, a decisive number of Republicans were willing to go against their Majority Leader.  If Frist blows a gasket and tries to provoke another procedural fight, seven - SEVEN - Republicans could conceivably defy Frist.

      It's a lovefest on the Senate floor right now.

    •  Will it last? Will it last? (none)
      Will the Senators that crafted this deal realize the power they hold in their hands and use their success to keep the radical right from setting the agenda in the Senate.

      Will they retain their hold on the middle through future changes and future battles?

      Is Frist done?

      Is Bush now a complete lame duck?

      Do the Republicans have an agenda left?

      What does Reid have to say about it?

      Durbin looks as happy as can be. Warner less so. Schumer somewhere inbetween.

      "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

      by Andrew C White on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:43:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm feeling ambivalent - no wait, WE WON (none)
      OK, I can take a breather (inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale), and we ultimately have to keep up the pressure to maintain our rights.  I can see this as a Dem win:  given that we only resisted 5% of their judge nominees anyway, I would consider that using the filibuster in "only the most extreme cases" as our status quo.  Good job done by the Kos community, and many others.  Bravo.  But, I'm counting on the bastards to keep nominating completely unacceptable judges, especially when a Supremes opening occurs.  So, take a break, have a beer, and see you all again anon.
      •  It's Not All That Great (none)
        Three terrible judges will go through, and there will be even more pressure on Democrats to let other awful judges get by.

        I think we need to get better at pressuring "moderate" Republicans to actually vote against some of Bush's crazier nominees.

        Take Back the Democratic Party http://www.lawlessforcongress.com/

        by fedupnyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:50:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Somebody post a copy (none)
    I'll give a dollar to the first Kossack who can post a pdf of the signed agreement.

    "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    by pontificator on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:16:21 PM PDT

    •  Full Text of Agreement (4.00)
      per link above

      MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS

      We respect the diligent, conscientious efforts, to date, rendered to the Senate by Majority Leader Frist and Democratic Leader Reid. This memorandum confirms an understanding among the signatories, based upon mutual trust and confidence, related to pending and future judicial nominations in the 109th Congress.

      This memorandum is in two parts. Part I relates to the currently pending judicial nominees; Part II relates to subsequent individual nominations to be made by the President and to be acted upon by the Senate's Judiciary Committee.

      We have agreed to the following:

      Part I: Commitments on Pending Judicial Nominations

      A. Votes for Certain Nominees. We will vote to invoke cloture on the following judicial nominees: Janice Rogers Brown (D.C. Circuit), William Pryor (11th Circuit), and Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit).

      B. Status of Other Nominees. Signatories make no commitment to vote for or against cloture on the following judicial nominees: William Myers (9th Circuit) and Henry Saad (6th Circuit).

      Part II: Commitments for Future Nominations

      A. Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.

      B. Rules Changes. In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement, we commit to oppose the rules changes in the 109th Congress, which we understand to be any amendment to or interpretation of the Rules of the Senate that would force a vote on a judicial nomination by means other than unanimous consent or Rule XXII.

      We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.

      Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate.

      We firmly believe this agreement is consistent with the traditions of the United States Senate that we as Senators seek to uphold.

      •  Unless some Repubs have agreed. . . (none)
        . . .to vote against Owens and Brown, what have we gained?

        Resistance is NOT futile.

        by Dperl99 on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:28:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          we're still a democracy for a few more weeks at least
        •  What I get (4.00)
          is that Republicans agreed to allow us to filibuster if we agreed not to do it. This is victory?
          •  or... (4.00)
            Seven Republicans - enough to defeat Frist on a procedural motion - sent a shot across Frist's bow that they were not going along with craziness.
            •  Yeah (none)
              the question is how many of these flaky, dangerous judges the Repubs will go along with. I'm hoping the mod Repubs made a deal to get rid of at least 2-3.
            •  Not just Frist... (none)
              ... but Bush as well.

              These are the key paragraphs of the whole thing:

              "We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.

              Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate.

              We firmly believe this agreement is consistent with the traditions of the United States Senate that we as Senators seek to uphold."

              That is a mouthful.

              "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

              by Andrew C White on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:03:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  No, Senators agreed to only filibuster (none)
            in extreme cases.  It is up to the individual senator to decide what is an extreme case.  So Warner doesn't decide for Byrd which cases are extreme or not.  Dems get a lot of wiggle room on this.  On the other hand, rule changes are off the table for the 109th.  No wiggle room there.
        •  Yes! (none)
          Doesn't this mean we get Owens and Brown??

          These two are disasters!  

          Not sure I like this deal!

      •  Aha! (none)

        Frist said that he was not a party to this agreement.

        Dollars to doughnuts that the only people bound by the agreement are the 12 (or 14) Senators who were dealing.

        So the magic question is now this: which of the Dems who signed off on this arrangement are vulnerable in 2006 other than Joe Lieberman?

        And who is up to be taken down in 2008?

        Plan early and save, save, save....

      •  small loss, not so small win (none)
        The key is the definition of "extraordinary circumstances".  From this document, it appears that that's up to the individual Senators.  

        Thus, for the remainder of this session, if 41 Senators find the circumstances to be extraordinary, then there's a filibuster.  That's a win.

        There's one actual and one potential loss.  The actual loss is that some of those horrid nominees will end up on the federal bench.  The potential loss is if we don't continue to workworkwork to change the balance of power in the 2006 election.  This compromise lasts only until the next Congress, when the rules of the Senate are re-enacted.  A higher number of Democrats in January 2007 means that this sort of pissing match won't happen.  On the other hand, ...

        You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

        by N in Seattle on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:48:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ned - you guys are FAST! no message (none)
  •  Dobson + Camera = Fireworks (4.00)
    Someone gets Dobson's reaction posthaste while he's still hopping mad and vindictive! While he'll still blame McCain for being an athiest-lover and Frist for being weak! Get that crazy man in front of a camera NOW!

    GOP = Grandstanding Old Party

    by Addison on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:16:49 PM PDT

  •  Hmmmm... (none)

    Since the deal seems to have included an explicit statement of Griffith's confirmation, but only guarantees an up or down vote for the terrible trio of Pryor, Owens and Brown, is it possible that some of the "moderate" Republicans will vote against one or more of those three?

    It seems like a very odd distinction for Frist to have to make, and he made just that distinction on the Senate floor...

    •  That is THE question. (4.00)
      Stay tuned.  Frist seems clearly taken aback.  He's trying to claim victory, but it is clear that he is deflated.

      "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

      by manyoso on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:19:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So we have preserved the filibuster... (3.60)
    ...so the Repugs can use it the next time they are in the minority... As long as we promise not to use it to block these American Taliban nominees...  I would say Reid is the guy looking weak right now.
    •  Sadly, Reid's cards weren't great (none)
      He probably played the best hand he had...we weren't heading into this 50-50....

      I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

      by Volvo Liberal on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:21:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. (4.00)
      If we need to fight this fight, better that we do it in '06.  

      Sun Tzu and all that.

    •  Got that damned straight (4.00)
      Democrats just announced they're Frist's bitches.  I'm so fucking mad right now I can't see straight.  And I just finished reading a huge pile of shit about how I'm supposed to blindly support these spineless sacks of shit because I'm SOOOO much better of with them.

      Give me a detailed list:  How am I better off?  I really want to know.

      •  reality (4.00)
        Unfortunately, the GOP has 55 votes in the Senate.

        If you're so mad, do something about picking up some seats in 2006.  Getting Rick Santorum out of the Senate, etc, etc.

        But Harry Reid played the hand that he was dealt.  And it wasn't a great hand.

        Now, I agree with others... if Frist has 55 votes and he can't pass his agenda, he's the weak leader.

        •  Senate Judge vote (none)
          Your right, unfortunatly. We only had 45, they had 56 counting Mr. potty mouth. Sometimes you can only bluff so much with a busted flush.

          I Think Therefore I am Dangerous

        •  i agree: weak hand (none)
          and the deal buys us time we couldn't be sure ahead of time that we'd get.  If the vote had been forced, my gut tells me we would have walked away with nothing.  We didn't get everything we wanted, and if they ended up with more than we like Frist still walks away with less than he promised.

          It's not as good as I'd like, but more than I thought we'd get, and it does show that there are moderate Republicans who aren't (R-Stepford).

          Plus it's fun watching the freepers' heads explode with apoplexy; they absolutely cannot bear the thought of their leadership's extremist agenda being thwarted in any way, and most of them are simply beside themselves over it.

          So that's nice.

          I voted for Kerry and all I got was this stupid President.

          by grrtigger on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:05:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This Is What Happens (1.00)
        When you have an anti-choice gun nut as Senate Minority leader.  Reid never really cared about blocking these terrible judges anyway.

        Take Back the Democratic Party http://www.lawlessforcongress.com/

        by fedupnyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:55:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Owens and Brown confirmed or not (4.00)
    That is the question.  IF they are confirmed, then this was a net loss.  If they are not confirmed, then this was a net win.

    It'll be interesting how soon Frist moves forward on Owens.  If we know soon, then we've probably lost.  If Frist delays, then I'll bet she is going down.

    "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

    by manyoso on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:18:13 PM PDT

    •  Vote on Owen is scheduled (none)
      For noon tomorrow. I imgagine he holds to that; the compromise 14 will need a show of trust immediately.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:19:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm (3.50)
        What do you want to bet that he is frantically trying to figure out what the compromisers intentions are WRT Owens...  DAMN I hope they shut her down!!!

        "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

        by manyoso on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:21:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That IS the question (none)
      Although if the deal actually prevents all of the nominees from getting their up and down vote (as opposed to the GOP moderates agreeing to vote against some of the nominees) it will make Bush look weak, and pretty much end Frist's political career.  I am witholding judgement until I see the details.

      Resistance is NOT futile.

      by Dperl99 on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:20:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, some of them definately will not (none)
        Definately will not get the votes.  Owens and Brown will get votes, but we don't know what is going to happen with that.  Will they be confirmed... I'm leaning towards believing that they won't.  Democrats seem to be happier about this than the Republicans.  Both the leadership and the activists on both sides.

        "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

        by manyoso on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:23:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm thinking the gang of 14 (4.00)
      just declared that they are not rubber stamps.

      If some Republicans defect and vote a few of these nuts down we will have won.

    •  ABSOLUTELY! How can we be happy about (none)
      this if these horrid excuses for judges are allowed to be confirmed?  Yes, indeed, Dobson will have won if this is the case.  And why won't SCOTUS be more of the same??

      Come on Reid.  Take the Democrats and leave the capital!

    •  This was not about (none)
      Owens and Brown. As bad as they are this wasn't about them.

      Frist lost. I'm not crazy about the deal. I'm not crazy about Judges like Owens and Brown and the others (including many already confirmed) but Frist lost. The theocons lost a round. Have no illusions... they'll be back but regardless of whether we won or not... they lost.

      "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

      by Andrew C White on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:51:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good News and Bad News (none)
    Bad News:

    It doesn't seem any different from what Frist said he wanted to begin with. He had always said no nuclear option if you give judges the vote. Seems like an unsubstantive symbolic PR victory.

    Good News:

    It's a symbolic PR victory. That counts a lot in Washington.

    Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:18:27 PM PDT

  •  They got every judge they wanted except 2 (4.00)
    Wow.  We stopped 2 of them.  We also promised to let Bush have any SC nominee he wanted.  If we don't, and filibuster, it will be VERY easy for the Repubs to play it up like we went back on our word.

    I fail to see anything gained here.

  •  This should be presented by DNC (4.00)
         as "Our willingness to dialogue reasonably stopped the extremists in their tracks" or something.
         Hope "Dizzy" Dean can pull it off...

         (I like him actually, don't troll-rate me please)

  •  I don't like it...this will blow up again. (none)
    too much is left to verbal agreements, handshakes and promises based on vague, subjective conditions. this is going to come back as a problem when the supreme courst nominees come up.
    •  Better to have it come up then (none)
      ...than have no filbuster now, no?

      I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

      by Volvo Liberal on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:22:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not a verbal agreement (none)
      it is in writing.  someone held up the actual signed document at the beginning of the press conference on Faux News.

      actually a verbal agreement is binding, especially one made on national television in front of millions of witnesses.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:34:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's how the Senate works. (none)
      As I told my wife, who knows more about Senate politics - Robert Byrd or me.  Byrd signed this agreement.  He's been majority leader and he's been in the minority.  He may be getting real old but he knows more about how the Senate works than I ever will (unless I get elected in 2006 and serve for 50+ years).

      -Fred

      Organizing my thoughts about how to win from 2005 forward - http://fredsfred.blogspot.com

      by FredFred on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:00:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Supreme Court (none)
    The first nomination will be a strict conservative to replace Renquist, which will go through, as Renquist is a conservative, the real test will be when Bush tries to replace a moderate or liberal on the court.
  •  "Extraordinary Circumstances (none)
    I think what the whole "extraordinary circumstances" translates to is that Bush will get away with appointing Scalia to be Chief Justice if/when Rehnquist retires/dies, but that Thomas might get thwarted.
  •  gotta say (3.75)
    I agree with Olbermann and his guest - the Dems blinked. This is SO not good. So we make this concession and push through these crap judges (not all of them, of course) and we're saddled with "extraordinary circumstances" language. Welcome to another conservative SC judge. This country is truly and goodly fucked.
  •  I'm worried ... (none)
    That Reid now looks weak.
  •  The real game starts now (4.00)
    Everybody needs to chill....The real game starts now...Wait a few days for things to calm down. Then, it will be time to evaluate whatever this "compromise" is or isn't...

    I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

    by Volvo Liberal on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:19:47 PM PDT

  •  Well, My pucker factor (none)
    has gone down considerably with this news.

    Viva Sanity and Logic!

    The GOP and the Elephant are both Introduced Species

    by roboton on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:19:54 PM PDT

  •  Frist gets cover for next time... (4.00)
    The first time Democrats try to block a judge the nuclear option will happen only this time the Republicans will have cover.  It'll be spun as Democrats don't keep their word.

    Unless a particular nominee is so extreme as to be beyond the pale - more extreme than the Owens, Brown etc... gang then Frist can go to the moderates and say we tried it your way, these Democrats have proven to be untrustworthy - we have no choice to go to the nuclear option.

    Moral of the story - it happens but gets spun as Republicans are forced to do it after Democrats violate the compromise rather than Republicans trying to destroy the Senate rules.

    •  That is what I am... (4.00)
      ...afraid of, too. Republicans are not known for good faith.
      •  Yep (none)
        That's my concern, as well. AND... if we're still saddled with Owens, Pryor and Brown, then what have we gained, really?

        I suppose I'm happy that we still have the filibuster at all. But I think that this will play out exactly like a few folks here have mentioned: Deomcrats will filibuster a nominee and the Republicans will cry foul, staying that Dems didn't keep their end of the deal and now it's time to play by their rules.

        Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. -Samuel Johnson

        by bhlogger on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:30:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  goddamnit... (4.00)
        The whole point of this compromise is that seven Republicans were willing to defy Bill Frist, defy Karl Rove, defy James Dobson, defy the radical right wing of the party and stand together with Democrats on international television.  How much more of a statement of good faith could they possibly have made, other than voting for "our" option, which they wouldn't have done anyway?  

        This is a fantastic deal: the buzz will be, can be (unless we talk ourselves into defeat) about how Democrats are the party of bipartisanship and "solutions" (Paula Zahn said "solution" about a dozen times in her initial coverage), Democrats are willing to give the majority their electorally earned up-or-down vote while preserving the Senate as an institution, and, most importantly, Republicans will not blindly follow Bill Frist.

        We didn't win a lot from this deal, but we were on the razor's edge anyway, and we stood to lose even if we won on a straight procedural vote.  Now the buzz can be about bipartisanship and working together, and our Senator Frist will be left wondering what to do.

        This gets an A- from me.  The only conceivable better option would have been an outright win on the procedural vote, but the stakes were too high for me to be willing to gamble on that one.

        •  (I hate to reply to myself again, but... (4.00)
          ... this is all happening very quickly)

          Go to cnn.com.  The main headline is "Deal brokered on judicial nominees" with Bill Frist nowhere in sight.  

          Just to the right is another headline: "Poll: Bush approval mark nears low"

          This is a big deal.  And, it's not happening on a Friday night in the dark.  It's happening in the middle of the week, practically during prime time.

          I'm sorry to make a chess analogy, but we just sacrificed a bishop to take out the opposition's queen.  

        •  You Are in Denial (none)
          Reid betrayed the Democrats.  We need to face reality.

          Take Back the Democratic Party http://www.lawlessforcongress.com/

          by fedupnyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:00:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, Reid did not betray us (4.00)
            If he had rejected the deal most of the seven Repub maoderates would have woted with Frist and we would have suffered a major defeat.

            As it stands, Reids tough stand put enough fear into the minds of the Repub moderates of a popular backlash that they decided to defy Frist and Cheney and broker a deal with the minority party.

            Reid started this fight at a 45-55 disadvantage.  The fact that we came out of it with 1) the first major break in Repub solidarity since Bush became president and 2) the all important right to filibuster a SC nominee means that we should be applauding our Senate leadership instead of dumping on them.

            ownership society - you are on your own

            by Sam I Am on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:36:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Reid didn't have much of a choice (none)
            As long as there were six or seven Democrats willing to make a deal, Reid didn't have much to stand on. So, under the circumstances, I think the Democrats got the best deal they could and we can thank Reid for standing firm as long as he could. Not a huge win, partiuclarly if Owen and Brown and Pryor win their confirmation votes, but it did make Frist look weak in the eyes of the far right, so that's at least a plus.
        •  Socratic - I'm with ya (none)
          Exactly, you got it right.  This is a win for the Dems.
    •  Not true . (none)
      The Republicans agreed not to vote to change the rules in this congress no matter what the democrats do on future nominees . " extraordinary circumstance " is left to each senator's judgement . even if the republicans disagree they have still promised not to change the rules .

      game . set . match . democrats win this session but they had to eat some rotten food to get it .

  •  Seems Like a Sell Out (4.00)
    Listening to Graham explain the deal, this seems like a sell out.  This is Munich.  And the Dems are proclaiming peace in our time.  I don't believe.  The nuclear option has not died--its only been delayed.
  •  I'm OK With This (4.00)
    Compromise is anathema to Dobson and his ilk.  So even though I'm not happy that we had to give up even an inch of ground, Dobson and co. are going to be enraged by this, and chances are, they're going to lash out at Frist and shoot themselves in the foot.

    GOP right-wingers shooting themselves in the foot is a good thing, right?  

    We should be extra evil and start partying and acting as if we won a huge victory.  The right-wingers natural instinct will then be to think we got more than we actually did, or that we somehow fooled them and then they'll try to renege on the deal, which will make them look even more extreme.  Let's mess with their heads.  

  •  Will the 5 be confirmed? (4.00)
    The statements, particularly Lindsay Graham's, indicates that some are expected to lose on the vote.

    And when I say Frist I mean Dobson.

    by Armando on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:20:43 PM PDT

    •  If one law professor.... (none)
      ...at my law school is to be believed, Brown won't get approved. This guy is a hardcore conservative Republican and even he thinks that Brown is far out of the mainstream.
    •  That is THE Question (none)

      And I'm guessing that "the deal" is now at a very delicate stage.

      In order to fulfill the unwritten terms, we're going to need to see some of the "moderate" GOP Senators vote NO on the "extremist" GOP nominees.

      That seals the deal between the Ds & the Rs, Senator to Senator, and sends a message to Frist, Dobson,Bush, Cheney, Rove et al.

      If it doesn't go down that way, there is no "comity in the Senate."

      I think it's payback time for John McCain.

      •  Absolutely (none)
        See my earlier post on my understanding.  I think the R's pretty much promised they will not vote to confirm at least Owen and Brown, maybe Pryor.  THAT was the deal.

        If I'm right, this is a pretty big win for Dems.

  •  Props to Reid (4.00)
    Whether he was in on the deal or not, he has made the deal possible and has outmanuvered Frobson at every turn.  This gives me hope that all Republicans have not loast their minds and turned to the dark side.  We can reach them.  No nuclear option, no rubber stamp for all judges, everything Frist didn't want.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Closet VB Coder on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:20:57 PM PDT

  •  I would rather not have frist look weak.. (none)
    They may replace him with half a brain.  I would rather have Frist looking like a toady of the religious right.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:20:58 PM PDT

  •  Mr. Reid, with all due respect (4.00)
    How has it been protected if it isn't used for what it's intended purpose was, to stop extreme judges like those who will be allowed through?

    Hmm, on Air America, they are saying it was accomdationists like Liebermann that caused this compromise. If this is true, I hope in the future they feel the full force of Rieds foot in their asses.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:21:04 PM PDT

  •  Why the obsession with Frist?? (none)

    He's inconsequential in the big picture.

    This is about keeping our traditional right to block extremist judges.   Keep your eye on the ball, Kos!!

    If Owens get approved, we lose.   Worse yet, the country loses.

    I'm not a perfect person.

    by JohnnyFairplay on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:21:09 PM PDT

    •  Frist is widely presumed to be (4.00)
      the frontrunner for the Repub nomination in '08, and he is in the hip pocket of the wingnut talibangelicals.

      when I took driving lessons, I was told not to look right at the hood of my car when driving on a twisty or dangerous road, but to look a little bit ahead of the car and concentrate generally on steering where I want the car to go than focusing exactly on where the car is from moment to moment.

      we are focused on 06 and 08 here.  That's why all the talk about Frist.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:24:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's so wrong. (none)

        Forget about beating Frist.   He's a figurehead.   If he gets dinged, they'll find another figurehead.  I don't even think he's that great a candidate.  And jeez it's only 2005!!  

        This is about Democrats standing for something and being willing to go to the mat for their principles.

        Might as well bring back Daschle.

        I'm not a perfect person.

        by JohnnyFairplay on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:32:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You cant win every fight (none)
      especially with the minority.  This is small potatoes compared to the supreme court nomination that this fight is all about anyway.  I don't think Owens was a real target, just a strategic battleground for the bigger fight.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Closet VB Coder on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:26:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about just one??? (none)
        •  How did we lose? (none)
          We saved the right to filibuster a potentially damaging supreme court nominee.  How is that bad?

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Closet VB Coder on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:56:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about 4 more wacko federal judges? (none)
            How about giving up on the filibuster (except for unmentionably extreme situations, of course)?  How about once again giving Dobson et al the ballgame?
            •  Why must the sky always be falling? (none)
              44(5) dems vs 55 republicans and the republicans did not get their wish of every judge, did not even garuntee the confirmation of the ones getting a vote, and most importanly they failed to remove the majority voice, which they could have easily done if they could keep their party together.

              Call me crazy, but I think this is a beginning of a power struggle within the GOP that was brought about by Reid's manuvering on this.  And McCain, biding his time after being repeatedly drug through the dirt by his own party, is starting to make his move.

              Maybe I'm wrong, we'll see.  But in all reality we had little chance of holding up those nominees by pure obstructionism.  What we have finally done is create a public rift among republicans.  After standing up there and shaking hands and patting each other on the back, those senators have staked the middle gound and risk their reputation by backing off of that once they have taken a stand.

              When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

              by Closet VB Coder on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:32:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sorry (none)
                the failed to remove the minority voice.

                And to clear up the original message of we can win every fight, I meant we cannot win all aspects of this fight.  I think we walked away with the most important points won.  Not total, crushing vistory, but by no means a loss.

                When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

                by Closet VB Coder on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:36:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  We trade Owens and two others for (none)
      the right to filibuster SC nominees.  I'll take that deal.

      ownership society - you are on your own

      by Sam I Am on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:39:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WHOO-HOO! (4.00)
    posted on fr:

    "Excuse me???? Frist is the head of the GOP in the Senate. If his party caved, then HE caved as well. Guilt by association. I will no longer vote GOP, or anyone for that matter. "

    If this has a ripple effect among the freepsters, I'll call it a win!

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." HST

    by dukeraoul on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:21:25 PM PDT

    •  Seems like both sides are unhappy with the deal (4.00)
      AKA - the perfect compromise.

      I for one am glad that tomorrow is not going to usher in the Far-right's reign of unchecked power.

      They might still take power, just not tomorrow.

      I'm thankful for small favors at this point.

      "A little bit of inefficiency is called culture." Check out my Diary you might like it.

      by dbratl on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:31:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Delayed at least 2 years (4.00)
    The agreement says no nuclear option in the 109th.
  •  as for whether we had the votes (none)
    it was good to see Warner up there...

    Warner, Graham, Snowe, Collins, McCain, DeWine, Pryor?  Are those the names?

    Maybe we can't assume that just because they were working on the compromise that they were willing to vote with us on the N.O.

    But it was the threat of having all of them vote with us that caused Frist to back down.

    Anything other than 100% of what they want is defeat for the wingnuts.  People at Free Republic are apoplectic.  They have a poll up with 87% of their members opposed to this deal.  that means this is a win politically and psychologically.

    Those few moments of Frist on the floor were priceless.  He looked and sounded like a deer in the headlights.

    Reid speaking on Cspan2 right now.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:21:34 PM PDT

    •  Power is a weird thing . . . (none)
      There is no such thing as having the votes in the absense of the deal.  Not being sure about the votes made the deal happen (surprised Specter isn't part of this).  But just as certainly, having our team walk away from a good deal would have lost us the votes we have.

      Power isn't about the "votes" its about the movement of minds behind the votes.

      "A little bit of inefficiency is called culture." Check out my Diary you might like it.

      by dbratl on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:35:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  PR Victory (none)
      Anything other than 100% of what they want is defeat for the wingnuts.  People at Free Republic are apoplectic.  They have a poll up with 87% of their members opposed to this deal.  that means this is a win politically and psychologically.

      You are right. It would be nice if we could swallow our pride just a little bid and pretend like this is  a major victory for us. If we act like it is, and they act like this is a major loss, then just maybe we'll get something out of this.

      •  I'm so angry reading some of the comments here... (none)
        (not yours)

        We seem to be doing our best to talk ourselves into a loss.  The whole point of a compromise is that both sides give up something.  I am of the opinion that the Right (NB - I didn't say "Republicans") lost more than we did, if only because Reid was talking compromise a long time ago.  

        But the point is to talk up the upside, and if we can play up the video of the 14 senators and Senator Reid facing the press while poor Billy Frist hid from the press on the Senate floor, well, that's enough victory for me, especially when we were staring into the maw of the beast.

        •  Socratic (none)
          You are my new best friend.  Agreed!
          •  Thanks :) (none)
            I feel like I'm repeating myself, but we really need to get our ship in order.  We've been losing for so damn long, we seem to be driven to talk ourselves into defeat.  Haven't the folks around here realized that half of victory isn't specific outcomes but the way it plays in the press?  

            If we act like winners, we've won, at least the critical public opinion battle.  If we gripe about not getting everything we asked for, then we're no better than they are, and we're just as destined to fail.

            Please, let's be winners here, even if we didn't get everything we wanted.  They lost more.

  •  Lindsey Graham (4.00)
    Graham  is quoted as saying some of the judges not filibusters in the deal will LOSE the confirmation vote. If so then that is a huge deal.

    I'm not sure if he means "at some point in the future" or one of the 7 judges that were renominated.

    •  I can't see any way . . . (none)
      The Dems would have gone with this with Brown getting in.  That truly is not a deal.  Brown is out, and maybe some others too.  If Brown and Owens are out, its a great deal, if its just Brown, its still a good one.  

      "A little bit of inefficiency is called culture." Check out my Diary you might like it.

      by dbratl on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:37:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, we'll see (none)
    ... but I suspect that the headlines tomorrow will be "Republican judges to be confirmed; Democrats lose 'nuclear showdown'".

    The Radical Right has the Democrats beat all hollow at spinning, and this one isn't much of a win for the Dems if at all.

    sPh

  •  This is a win (4.00)
    This is a win for Dems and a loss for Frisk and the wingnuts.  One look at Frisk and Reid after the compromise was announced was confirmation for me.
  •  I wanted to roll the dice. (none)
    I wanted to beat those guys.

    I think we could have done it.

    From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.

    by DCDemocrat on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:21:55 PM PDT

  •  Sorry folks (3.42)
    I hate to say this, but why the hell is everyone celebrating this? The Democrats caved. The loyal opposition just got thrown a chicken bone - something to choke on. Every last one of these bastard nominees will be confirmed, and Dobson and his mullahs get to do it WITHOUT their stalking horse getting tainted with the title of "The Guy Who Killed The Filibuster".

    This is a clear-cut victory for the extremist right. At least if the Democrats hadn't caved, we would have gotten a fight and a year's worth of procedural roadblocks and further combat in the Congress. Instead, Dobson and his minions get to claim they "moderated" the debate and "backed away" from extremism.

    The opposition just dropped its pants for the Extreme Right, again. How much more of this are we going to take?

  •  This smells more like a PUNT (none)
    than a touchdown.

    Which ain't bad compared to the warfare that would have gone on.
    Then again, I love watching war on TV, and was looking forward to Jedi Master Reid doing damage with his parlimentary lightsaber.

    •  Exactly! Senators playing for time (none)
      That's what this is about...nothing really got decided...

      I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

      by Volvo Liberal on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:25:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You say that like its a bad thing . . . (none)
      It's less than two years before the midterms that could change the whole scenario.  

      Playing for time is exactly what we need to do.  Do you think we can annihilate the Republicans with 46 Senators?

      "A little bit of inefficiency is called culture." Check out my Diary you might like it.

      by dbratl on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:43:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Playing to win vs playing not to lose (4.00)
    Can we start doing the former at some point?
  •  Reid is chuffed (none)
    Looking quite pleased and buoyant.

    Dunno about anyone else, but my heart isn't pounding out of my chest anymore, despite the 3 despicable individuals who will advance to their seats, if I got that right.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:22:27 PM PDT

  •  This looks to me like a cave-in... (none)
    ...and the worst possible result.  All this spine our side was showing on this for the last few months, and they gave in on the three worst judges of the whole lot.  WTF???

    If this is what happened, Senate Democrats can all go to hell for all I care.  

    •  It looks like a cave to me too (none)
      it is still early and I am willing to wait and see but:

      Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

      I cannot see  how this can be interpreted as victory.

      Given my choice between filibustering and having the Repubs go nucular, or just not filibustering and rubber stamping I would much rather have gone down fighting.

      But that isn't very Democratic of me...

  •  Still Bad Nominees (none)
    From McCain's comments, the judges who in all likelihood will be approved are, in my opinion, worst case scenarios. Isn't at least one of them probably on the fast track to the Supreme Court? It doesn't sound like, at least on this issue, that the Dems won. And Roe v. Wade continues to be under a dire threat.
  •  If Frist had the votes... (none)
    ... he would not have compromised.

    This will just come back again like the end of b-movie horror flick.

    •  Can't the same be said about Reid? (none)
      None of us can see the whole board.  

      "It takes all kinds to make a world" - Jean Genet from The Balcony

      by Beckylooo on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:36:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reid is not Frist (none)
        I think Reid is an old-school conciliatory pol. Compromise is in his DNA.

        Frist is a knee-jerk neocon. If he thought he could get away with, he would bulldoze Dems on everything.

        You're right that we can't see the whole board. I've made some bombastic comments here today out of frustation. Could end up make me look like an ass (wouldn't be the first time). But I believe both sides caved (I guess that's what compromise means).

        • Reid caved because he favors compromise, philosphically.
        • Frist caved only because he knew he coundn't win.

        Just my opinion.

        The Media Is Dead. Long Live NewsCorpse.com

        by KingOneEye on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:51:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I understand... (none)
          ... after reading the memo and bits of statements from the signatory senators, neither Frist nor Reid had anything to do with this compromise.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn Reid was involved in the shadows but I have a hard time believing Frist had anything to do with this.

          Democracy, IMHO, is all about compromise.  I don't understand why so many folks here seem to view it as a dirty word.

          That said - I do understand the frustration when nutters like Brown and Owen have a clearer shot at getting on the bench.  I guess I just have a suspision that their appointment isn't gaurenteed.

          "It takes all kinds to make a world" - Jean Genet from The Balcony

          by Beckylooo on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:42:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Do you really think Frist had anything . . . (4.00)
      To do with this deal?  This is his worst nightmare.  He lost the game of Brinksmanship, AND he demonstrated that he couldn't deliver his party.  

      Essentially this deal was a vote of no-confidence in Frist by the moderates of the party.

      "A little bit of inefficiency is called culture." Check out my Diary you might like it.

      by dbratl on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:46:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Olberman's Viewpoint (4.00)
    I really liked Keith Olberman's viewpoint - speaking to the political analyst . . .

    -paraphrasing-

    "Let's see if I understand this.  The Majority Leader seems like he lost and the Minority Leader acts like he won?"

    Olberman did make the statement that this hurts Frist's chances of running for Prez.  Frist is the only candidate who has the backing of the religious reich, and, when they want something, they want everything.  Not delivering on a promise to kill the filibuster hurts him.

    •  Olberman's Viewpoint (none)
      Realistically, this is a good thing if we, as Democrats, regard tradition, manners and commitment to the good of all, not just the wingnuts, as an honorable goal. Well done Senators. Didn't you just love the look on Frist's face as he addressed the Senate?
    •  I disagree (none)
      We'll have to wait for the transcript but I think what he asked after that was to the effect that was it part of the deal for Democrats to pretend that they won and Republicans to pretend that they lost?

      "Over time your quickness with a cocky rejoinder must have gotten you many punches in the face." --Al Swearengen

      by RepublicanTaliban on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:27:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Update (none)
      I just saw the replay, and here is what happened.

      Olbermann said, "Lemme see if I've got this straight.  The majority leader Frist declared defeat and the minority leader Reid declared victory over the religious right?"

      Then Craig Crawford replied with analysis, but his key point that he thought "Democrats blinked the most." (which he had said at the top of the show also)

      That's when Keith said, "Maybe part of the compromise, maybe we mapped it out here without knowing it, is that Democrats blinked more, but part of the deal was, Republicans say they blinked more."

      That looks to me like Olbermann is not seeing this as a win for Democrats.

      "Over time your quickness with a cocky rejoinder must have gotten you many punches in the face." --Al Swearengen

      by RepublicanTaliban on Mon May 23, 2005 at 09:22:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MY UNDERSTANDING (none)
    My understanding from listening to NPR is that all jucdges will get an "up or down" vote but that the moderate repubs will vote against Brown, Owen and Pryor, and that Saad's nomination is introuble for other reasons and mail fail as well.

    Essentially this is the compromise that Reid offered weeks ago.  

    There were also comments, from  Repubs, no less, to the effect that Bush needs to seek the advice of the Senate more in order to avoid these confrontations in the future.

    If this is so, this sounds like a win for the Dems and Reid as they get what they had already offered, and a big defeat for Frist and a slap at Bush.

    I think the majority of the Repubs in the conference pretty much knew they couldn't vote for a nuclear meltdown and if they didn't, it would fail.  So this saved face.

    •  Really? (none)
      The Repub 7 compromisers will vote against the most evil 3 judges as part of this deal? I feel better...

      The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

      by jamfan on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:30:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wait and see the havoc (none)
    the fundies will wreak on the Repugs
  •  Why is Frist Being "Finished" Important? (none)
    He'd make a terrrrrrible presidential candidate, regardless of the outcome of this situation.  I don't see why this is such a cherry to defeat him now.  If Frist had won the vote and made himself the nomination front runner, that would be a great thing for Democrats.  He has no charisma and would be easy to paint as an extreme tool of the far right.  Why WOULDN'T Dems want this guy running in 2008?

    "Over time your quickness with a cocky rejoinder must have gotten you many punches in the face." --Al Swearengen

    by RepublicanTaliban on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:23:54 PM PDT

    •  you have a short memory (none)
      The exact same things were said about Reagan.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:26:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes... (none)
      While he is an extremist, anyone running against him would have been viewed as more moderate.  Now, the Repub front runner will have to court the American Taliban and move further right than center.
    •  One reason I can think of... (4.00)
      ...is because every time they field someone further to the right, the entire right slides further right.  Extremist dogma and rhetoric becomes ingrained and acceptable and people lose perspective.  Ten years ago the kind of shit Frist said would have gotten him run out of town on a rail.  Give the guy the bully pulpit of a 9-12 month Presidential campaign and he might wind up sounding downright... Presidential.  And then it's, "He can't be an extremist, I've already decided to vote for him, gyunh!"

      Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

      by The Termite on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (none)
        With all of what you said with the exception that this doesn't prevent them from fielding someone far right.  

        George Allen could fit the bill.  So could Santorum, if he beats Casey.  Both of those guys would have a far more charismatic general election candidacy than Frist if they get nominated.  The thing about these guys is there's a lot of them.

        Today, those guys got a little stronger and McCain became more of a favorite against any Democrat in a general if he can get the nomination.

        "Over time your quickness with a cocky rejoinder must have gotten you many punches in the face." --Al Swearengen

        by RepublicanTaliban on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:43:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The worst thing about having a luntic nominated (none)
      for president is that he has basically a one in two shot of being elected.  

      Don't kid yourself, there is a lot of random chance in individual election results.

      "A little bit of inefficiency is called culture." Check out my Diary you might like it.

      by dbratl on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:51:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another reason to want Frist (none)
      on the GOP ticket is the historic trend -- a very slim number of ex-senators have won the presidency in the last 100 years...

      They don't seem to have what it takes. Frist on the ticket was, to me, a sure-fire win for the Dems if they could field a candidate who wasn't in the legistlature, and who had even an ounce of charisma.

      Granted, I have no idea who that would be.

      "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Meta4Life on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:51:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Frist Never Had a Chance to Be Nominated (none)
      His last name isn't Bush.

      Take Back the Democratic Party http://www.lawlessforcongress.com/

      by fedupnyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:03:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reid said he didn't have the votes yet (none)
    when he was on Ed Shultze show earlier today.  I thought it was weird for him to admit he still needed the votes, being the great poker player he is, but now I suspect he knew this was in the works and wanted to get the word out that this was the best option for our side.  
  •  Huh? (4.00)
    I sincerely doubt Frist is "finished".

    Most people won't even remember this in 3 months.

    As far as the deal goes, it seems to me it was more of a staring game where both sides blinked at the same time.

  •  We Caved! (none)
    Owen, Brown and Pryor get a vote (and on the bench).  We caved, no doubt about it. The silver lining is that Saad won't make it and maybe (yeah right!) Bush will moderate slightly in future nominiations.
  •  One of the better aspects. . . (4.00)
    of this deal, is that the Dems can still filibuster, but notwithstanding Lindsay Graham, the Rps would look absolutely foolish brandishing the nuclear option again.  Not that they mind looking ridiculous, but it would be very bad politics to try the same tactic twice.  That is the pony that's in here somewhere.

    We have seen "Outfoxed" . . . so why are Democrats still appearing on Fox News?

    by Lords on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:24:42 PM PDT

  •  based upon mutual trust and confidence (none)
    If this compromise puts off the nuclear option and relys on mutual trust and confidence with this group of fanatics, well what have the Dems really done but stalled a bit.  Does anyone anywhere really believe that when the Dems try to filibuster the soon to be upcoming anti-choice Supreme Court dream nominee of the far right, the the words nuclear option won't be back again!  Mutual trust and confidence my ass!

    From CBS:

    The two-page memorandum of agreement said it is "based upon mutual trust and confidence."

    Under the terms, Democrats would agree to oppose any attempt to filibuster -- and thus block final votes -- on the confirmation of Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor. There is "no commitment to vote for or against" the filibuster against two other conservative nominees, Henry Saad and William Myers.

    Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

    Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

    by truthbetold on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:25:15 PM PDT

  •  Not sure what to think. (none)
    People here, and on the "Free" Republic are both complaining that this is a bad deal.  The folks in Freeper land are noiser, but then they always are so that can't count for much.

    Personally I'm leaning towards the "this is a good thing" side.  Frist looks stupid, and that counts for a lot.  Its pissed off the extremists on the Republican side, and that can't be a bad thing.  If Frist/Dobson look bad enough its possible the moderate Republicans might replace him, and that can't be a bad thing.

  •  Harry's smiling and Bill is poopy-faced... (none)
    That's gotta be good.  It leaves us on higher ground for a Supreme Court fight.  And, dare I say it, compromise with people like John McCain is a real compromise... something we all would like to be able to do in a Bush-less, Rove-less future.  Yay Harry Reid!

    The only people saying "Stop-loss" isn't a backdoor draft -- are people who aren't affected by it.

    by astor column on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:25:42 PM PDT

  •  So... (none)
    is there any chance we can defeat Prissy Owen in an up-or-down vote?
  •  Why this is a victory for us (3.50)
    Frist is forced to swallow what he said even last week would be unacceptable - some judges get cherry picked for "upperdown", others get blocked. This is the deal Harry Reid offered Frist, and Frist spit on it. Now the repub moderates are forcing Frist to eat crow.

    If you cannot convince them, confuse them. Harry S. Truman

    by brainwave on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:25:59 PM PDT

  •  We didn't have them. (none)
    Even two I thought we might have said they would have voted for the "constitutional option" (they wouldn't even give up that phrase NOW) if they hadn't reached a deal. So no I think we would have lost.
  •  It seems to me the Republicans (none)
    have established their right to change the Senate rules any time they have 50 votes plus the Big Dick .
  •  Frist isn't happy and (none)
    Reid is shooting at Cheney, Bush and the extreme right. This is fun.

    Frist mad + Reid defiant = Dobson lost

  •  I think the judges won't go through anyway (none)
    Just because they vote for cloture does not mean they will get the votes they need. I am guessing a part of the deal is that the moderate GOP'ers will vote these people down.

    Mikhail Khaimov San Francisco, CA

    by Tsarrio on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:26:45 PM PDT

  •  Behind the scenes "maybe" (none)
    The other day, Thom Hartman mentioned something about how the Democrats had threated to talk about things the GOP doesn't want them to talk about if they went through on the nuclear option, things the Democrats should be talking about anyway.

    I think it was about how the republicans are "sold out to corporate america" and the "corruption" in the GOP and stuff like that.  Hartman said the Dems threatened the GOP with this, and said they were going to come out in full force and spill the beans.

    May have had something to do with it.

    If that's what it takes to get the Dems to talk about what they should be talking about anyway, maybe the GOP should have done it, lol.

    Just kidding.  But the Dems should have bene talking about those things anyway, maybe then they wouldn't be 10 short in the Senate!

    "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny imposed upon the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

    by independentchristian on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:26:49 PM PDT

  •  McCain vs Frist (4.00)
    This entire episode, the entire last month of politics was in reality a fight between 2 men: McCain and Frist.

    Frist was being annointed as the next president, and McCain had to do something to stop him. Round 1: McCain.

    However, we (the Democrats, the left) need to pounce on this opportunity and BURY Frist. Make him so impotent he will cease to be a factor. I would love to see ads in Iowa, NH, and Michigan over the next few weeks showing Bill Frist's ties to Dobson and Tony Perkins (and through Perkins) to David Duke and the KKK. Also, we need ads in South Carolina and Florida showing how Frist's big hospital corporation performed thousands of abortions.

    It's time to play like Rove and BURY this son of a bitch.

    •  thinking strategically, (3.50)
      do we really want to bury frist if it sets the stage for mccain to be the repub nominee in 2008.  I hate to be cut-throat, because i genuinely like john mccain, but i think he would win pretty handily and i'd like a democrat back in the whitehouse.  Now frist on the other hand is enough of an extremist (and asshole) that i think he could be beaten by several democrats.
  •  classis freeper comment (none)

    freeper post:
    To: RWR8189
    Let's think about this for a second. It may not be such a bad deal. There are still questions whether the GOP actually had the votes to carry out a rule change.

    Now it has back the dems into a corner. If they try to block a supreme court nomination, the GOP can always change rules right?

    As usual, repubs feel perfectly justified in changing the rules when things don't go their way.  But every really should check out freeper reations cause they are pissed.  Stupid and angry, the standard righ-wing state of mind.

    •  That comment just proves that he knows nothing (none)
      That whole "if my team does it it must be okay" mentality.

      If the Democrats had come on television and said, "let's make a deal," he'd have been saying, "don't do it," but since the Republicans agreed to it, it must be okay.

      That's the difference between Republicans and Democrats.  The Republicans' supports, most of them out in the heartland not the vocal minority, just submit and go along with everything that the party leadership says because "they are the ones in charge so they must know more than I do or else I would be in charge."

      Most Democrats don't care who is in charge.  They are going to state their opinions and criticize their own over anything that they disagree with them on, not just big issues.

      "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny imposed upon the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

      by independentchristian on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:41:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's all in the music ... (4.00)
    Not the lyrics.

    The deal isn't a great one, but it says everything that Reid came to the mike sounding strong and confident - and hammering hard on Bush - while Frist looks like he's been sucker punched.

    Frist is toast.  

    And the WH is at minimum thrown badly off its game plan.  They wanted to nuke the filibuster on these appeals-court nominees, because - face it - most people don't pay attention to appeals courts, and don't really know them from any other federal judges.  

    A SCOTUS nomination battle will be far higher profile, with the stakes for the judiciary far more clear.  The GOP senators who were part of this deal can conceivably welsh out of it, but the onus on them is extremely heavy, and I very much doubt that they will.

    A good day for Reid and the country, a bad day for Frist and Bush.

    -- Rick Robinson

  •  STOP THE DOOM AND GLOOM (4.00)
    Wait until tomorrow to see what happens with Brown's nomination. If she's voted down.....then that means good for our side and reflects well on us.

    Wait. Hold off on your doomy prognostications for now.

    What's madness but nobility of the soul at odds with circumstance?

    by slinkerwink on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:28:03 PM PDT

  •  If Reid and Frist will be shown on tv.. (3.50)
    ..people will see Reid looking like a statesman who is willing to do what's good for the country, and Frist looking like a whiner because he didn't get unlimited power.

    That's good.

  •  It's all about the spin now... (4.00)
    doesn't really matter who won, it's about who projects a winning position. I agree we have an edge here, Reid is just better at this. But still seems like a loss on substance.

    How fucking hyperreal...

    Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:28:20 PM PDT

  •  how is this a victory? (none)
    I just don't understand. They get thier judges, we get nothing. The agreement sounds like this, "we pledge not to use the fillibuster if you don't get rid of the fillibuster." What the hell is that? Why should we even have it if we aren't going to use it.

    We should have drove this forward and made the Republicans go down with the ship instead of throwing them a lifeboat.

    You think they would have thrown us a lifeboat?

  •  NAYASAYERS - STFU for a moment (3.75)
    This is a HUGE FUCKING win for Democrats AND REPUBLICAN MODERATES.

    There is a bigger picture than what you are choosing to see here. The sane republicans have rebuked the freepublicans and will now have the balls to be well, centrist again.

    MODERATE REPUBLICANS CAN NOW VOTE THIER CONSCIENCE WITHOUT FEAR.

    This is less a "Our side kicked your ass" and more of a "Hi, I'm John McCain, and I told GW to Fuck Himself."

    This is a good thing in the long run. It restores balance to both sides and cuts the legs of the American Taliban.

    The GOP and the Elephant are both Introduced Species

    by roboton on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:29:03 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (none)
      You said it better
    •  Boy, sometimes I think that Dumbya could (2.50)
      drop a nuke on Dem Headquarters, and someone on this website would find a way to say what a great thing it was for us -- we'd get a new building!
    •  You make it more than it is. (none)
      Republicans can vote their consciences?

      Please.  Pull the other one.

      No, that's not a sneer at all Republicans lacking consciences.  It's that the claim's absurd.  Yeah, it screws Frist; takes the wind out of his sails...

      But that's about all it does.  Wait.  Watch.  Nothing happened that keeps the majority from punishing its wayward members who were party to this compromise.  In fact, I think that it's reasonably likely that Frist (by which I mean Dobson) will insist on it.  After all, it's the GOP way--just like Ambassador Wilson had to be taught a lesson so that no one else would stray off the reservation.

      Horseheads in their beds, the defenestration of one of them as an object lesson to the others--perhaps sacrificing Arlen to the theocrats by removing him from the chairmanship of Judiciary.  Anyone else want to piss off the Majority leader?

      And at the same time--they get most of what they wanted, anyway....

      "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

      by ogre on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nothing happened? (none)
        Ok, so they got what they wanted, are you really sure about that? I drove 2200 miles across America from Austin to Boston through Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachussets listening to AM radio the whole way, looking at billboards and reading church signs the whole way across this country, and I kinda feel like I have my finger on the pulse of this nation right now.

        I will put it in a diary soon, but let me say that this is a HUGE development that will begin to heal the rift in this nation. There is a seething hatred in the nation that has been thwarted today, and it is an opening.

        You can either capitalize or criticize, and you can guess which one will truly make "Nothing Happen".

        The GOP and the Elephant are both Introduced Species

        by roboton on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:04:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pix said it: Reid had a posse, Frist stood alone (none)
      This is less a "Our side kicked your ass" and more of a "Hi, I'm John McCain, and I told GW to Fuck Himself."

      And I think Reid was amplifying the FU for the Repugs in the group who couldn't (or wouldn't). (DISCLAIMER: I don't trust Pugs or DINOs for a second but I trust Reid.)

      [Reid] "We have sent President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the radical right of the Republican party an undeniable message.... The abuse of power will not be tolerated." (AP/ABC 05/23/05)

      That's unequivocal. I think what's between the lines is that there will be conscience votes on all the judges, so it's not a given even the three that will be voted on will get through.

      Reid also set the table for the future by chiding GWB for his lack of humility and stressing the Senate's deliberative role.

      I take that to mean Dems will give future nominees a thorough going over -- taking their sweet time if necessary -- and will filibuster theocratic ones. Any Chimpy petulance over not rubber stamping SC or other nominees will look like the GOP/WH going back on this deal.

      On our side: Public wants checks and balances, the separation of powers, and an impartial judiciary.

      This machine fights fascism - motto on a Woody Guthrie guitar

      by Peanut on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:23:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe this will give the old Repugs (none)
    their power back. They can stand up against the fundies
    •  The Old Republicans (none)
      The fundies make up the overwhelming majority of the GOP.  That won't change any time soon.  The old Republicans are a vanishing species.

      Take Back the Democratic Party http://www.lawlessforcongress.com/

      by fedupnyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:09:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We get 3 shitty judges, and they will NOT (2.50)
    be mean in the future, they will NOT roll us in the future, they will NOT screw us in the future ...

    (Psst... want a war hero candidate who is won't scare the middle, who is therefore electable ??)

    ((pssssst ... wanna buy a bridge in brooklyn ...))

    (((psssst ... I got some great land in Florida, a little damp ... )))

    we DESERVE to get our asses kicked, cuz we are f***ing losers.

    rmm.

    •  I don't think we're getting the 3 shitty judges (none)
      Someone commented upthread about NPR's reporting that the 7 R compromisers, as part of the deal, will vote down Brown, Owen, Pryor. One guy, Saad, has ethical issues that will probably force him out. Leaves the 2 least objectionable. (Assuming, and hoping, that NPR has these aspects of the deal correct...).

      The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

      by jamfan on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:35:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the key. (none)

        If Brown, Owens and Pryor go down, the Dems (and the country) wins.   Otherwise it's a disaster.

        I'll even take stopping two out of three.   But some of the nominations have to be stopped.

        I'm not a perfect person.

        by JohnnyFairplay on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:43:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I got trolled by some drippy happy (none)
          lib who can't handle the truth - my FIRST 1 rating !!  

          I HOPE you all are right - I do NOT like losing, however, when we get our asses kicked and we try to make it sound like a win, we are only going to get more beatings.  

          it is certainly true that if everyone was nice, then the world would be nice.  now for reality ... the Thug strategy is simple - Corner 'em, Cower 'em, Crush 'em.  

          I know that is too harsh for a lot of people who want to be involved in the political community, but, national politics ain't the place for the nice people - the PTA and nursury school is.  

          rmm.  

          •  Same for me. Outrageous! (none)
            A 1 because we're not happy about wacko judges and politicians who don't have the spines they were born with???

            Is it really better to spin and lie when once again we are let down by the people we worked so hard to get in???  Sorry -- I just don't buy it.    

            •  at least we can each other 4's !! (none)
              I posted recently that people who don't like to analyze problems can't really find the solutions, which is their business and fine by me.

              However, when they start to throw the labels of "pessimism" and "angry" and "negative" at people who are attempting to analyze problems, then they are doing the rich man's dirty work of stiffling criticsm by calling sour grapes.

              If you don't look behind the curtain cuz the truth that the wizard is a fraud is too harsh for you, that is fine - but, why criticize me for calling a fake a fake?  

              I gave ya a four !!

              ;)

              rmm.

  •  Look (4.00)
    Both sides are whining about this and both sides are proclaiming victory. That Tells me this is a true-blue, compromise.

    It's been so long since I've seen any part of our government act in a bipartisan manner with the interests of the people in mind I'm damn near in tears.

    The only definitive losers in this are Frist and Dobson.

  •  Jesus Jumping Christ on a Candy-Striped Pogo Stick (none)
    That's a 'compromise'?  'We promise to never do something if you promise to not take our power away to do it'.  I thought a compromise would be they'd pull back one or two of the nominees.  I supported some sort of compromise, but this is bullcrap.  What can be more 'extraordinary' than Priscilla Owens or Janice Brown?  Without the Republicans pulling back atleast one or two of the nominees, there's no compromise, only a bunch of Democrats tooting their own horn while the Republicans laugh at them because they just pulled another one over on them.
  •  I guess this is better than total defeat (none)
    but that's about all its better than.  
  •  Hindrocket sez (none)
    "What a hideous deal! The Democrats have agreed to cloture on only three nominees, and they have made no commitment not to filibuster in the future, if there are "extraordinary circumstances." Of course, the Dems think any nominee who is a Republican is "extraordinary." The Dems have just wriggled off the hook on some of the nominees that, politically, some of them did not want to be seen voting against.

    Someone explain to me why the Republicans haven't been rolled once again. To me, it looks like a pathetic collapse on the part of the Republicans--not the leadership, but Senators like McCain who sold out their party.

    ONE MORE: Now the Republicans are treating the execrable Robert Byrd like a hero! Unbelievable. What a low moment. "We have kept the Republic," Byrd says. I think I'm going to be sick."

    And when I say Frist I mean Dobson.

    by Armando on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:30:53 PM PDT

    •  good job (none)
      I was just about to post it too. A good deal is a bad deal on both sides, but I think Hindrocket is correct is that the GOP gave up the most.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

      by makemefree on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:32:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What? (none)
        What exactly did the GOP give up other than to suspend their threat not to break senate rules?

        We have seen "Outfoxed" . . . so why are Democrats still appearing on Fox News?

        by Lords on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:33:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Looking what they were going for (none)
          If you were reasonable, you would think that this was a victory for the Republicans, and you would be right, but we are dealing with UNREASONABLE people who want it all, not just part. Frist will look like a failure to the wingnuts. That's good. They will now look for a more right-wing wingnut, and that is even better.

          Most people will see this as a sensible compromise, but the right wing will rail against them, driving them to more extremes hopefully helping to isolate them even more.

          And do you think they would even accept losing and "up or down" vote. Please. Give me a break.

          By thw way, I'm listening to some wingnut Senator from Alabama on CSPAN2. He, and others like him, are such phonies that you can deconstruct their arguments as they speak without any research.

          Have I told you how much I hate these people?

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

          by makemefree on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:06:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, you have not told me. . . (none)
            How much you hate them, but I'll bet you anything you don't hate them as much as I do. I'm kidding of course, this is no hate contest.

            Anyway, I do believe they are truly evil, and this is why I am so hard on the Dems, as I don't think they know how to handle the Rps, or at least they won't do to them what I feel should be done to them.

            Having said all that, I agree with most of what you said. However, while you think of the wingnuts, I think of Bush. Dobson and the other extremists may be losing but Bush is winning. And Bush does not give a flying fuck about Dobson. He and Rove have their agenda, and they are plugging ahead, getting what they want slowly but surely bit by bit. Just think of the gains they've made. And, unlike his father and Reagan, he's going to have smooth sailing with his SC nominees.   The lying bastard keeps getting away with it.

            We have seen "Outfoxed" . . . so why are Democrats still appearing on Fox News?

            by Lords on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:59:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Why This Is Bad for the Democrats (none)
      This gets through 3 really scary judges and lays the political groundwork for the GOP using the nuclear option to get a Supreme Court nominee through.

      We need a real Democrat as Senate Minority Leader, the sooner the better.

      Take Back the Democratic Party http://www.lawlessforcongress.com/

      by fedupnyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:12:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Repugs arent bad (none)
    Just the Bush loyalists
  •  "random mindless killing... (none)
    ... of judicial nominees"? Jeez, Mitch takes a big crap filled cake for that one.
  •  Kos, (4.00)
    I'd agree... EXCEPT:

    There's nothing there that enshrines and protects the judicial filibuster.  Nothing.

    It's got a nice, lacey curtain pulled around it called "extreme circumstances".  Either side can claim that there are, or aren't, and the whole compromise goes up like kindling doused with gasoline.

    It doesn't solve the problem.  It gives extreme judges who deserved to be rejected the chance to be approved by the GOP majority.  Now, that might be a price worth paying for in return for an iron-clad deal driving a stake through the destruction of the judicial filibuster.

    But what we got, really, was that Frist loses face.  That's what we got.  That's something, but...

    The wingnuts get a chance to pass several abominable judges, in return.  A serious chance.  And the worst of the judges aren't even blocked, since Owen passes to a vote.

    The bottom line:
    When this is over... and the GOP's crammed through 5 of the 7, who's really lost?  The Democrats effectively gave up the filibuster against a judge.  If they try to implement one now, against anyone, the pressure will be on to have the GOP signatories declare the compromise dead (blaming the Democrats for breaking it, of course... the circumstances not being "extreme"), and they'll be thus more likely to support killing the judicial filibuster.

    I think this is Bleeding Kansas; a compromise that doesn't make things any better, a compromise that doesn't really solve anything at all.  It just buys a little time--at the price of letting most of the plug-uglies through.

    At this point, we all just have to hold our breaths and pray that none of the frail old folk on the Supreme Court die or feel obliged to resign due to health.  Buying time at long, long odds and praying for miracles.

    I suppose that one can see this as sane--since the Republic was at stake.  But my gut tells me all that we've really won nothing of substance, and the price for that was real--letting real vermin onto the appeals courts.

    "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

    by ogre on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:32:04 PM PDT

    •  another side to it (none)
      Ogre, I agree with your general sentiment more than the people here who want to celebrate. But what has me glum (aside from my general demeanor), is that I think that we missed a chance at a really big victory by compromising.

      Why the hell should we have compromised on this issue at all? The filibuster has been used for centuries, it is a venerable tradition, and the Replicans who portray themselves as the party of traditional values would have been revealed as the total-war extremists that they are. It would have been a catastrophic failure for them to remove the filibuster. We should have given them the rope to hang themselves with, and instead we didn't.

      So, we get to spit on Frist a little, when we could have had the nation spit on right-wing extremism. That, anyway, is my gut feeling on this one.

      the spirit is restored by wounding

      by jd in nyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:54:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Owens and Rogers get confirmed (1.44)
    then this is just Jews for Hitler on the part of the Dems.
  •  And so (none)
    we continue to blast our own! We didn't fucking cave. There was no better deal - period. These charlatans were bound and determined to put some right-wing kook judges on the Appeals Courts and so they will. A lot more people will be paying attention to the votes that confirm them.

    If the coming Supreme Court nominee(s) is/are crazy - the filibuster will still be there - and the whole country will wonder why there wasn't another compromise just like this one. The deal today makes it a lot harder for an extreme right judge to be nominated successfully.

    Please - can we stop shitting on our own?

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:32:34 PM PDT

    •  Let's see (none)
      if Owen and Brown are voted in. They may not make it. If Brown doesn't get confirmed, I am happy. If Owen doesn't, I am ecstatic. If they both get confirmed, we lost.

      Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

      by DrSpike on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:03:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry folks (4.00)
    This is a loss.  Not a big loss, and not a loss right now, but it will be in the end.  What happens six months down the line when some really extreme judges come up - or even for the supreme court?  the minute the compromise dems say, oh, yeah, well, these guys are really, really bad, so we're gonna have to use the filibuster, teh REpugs are going to pounce.  And they can, now.  I mean politically, tehy can easily now paint any filibuster by the dems as "see, these guys can't be trusted, tehy're going back on their word."
    •  SCOTUS gets more attention (none)
      One thing to remember, if the Dems go after the SC nominee and decide to filibuster, a lot more people will be paying attention.  The Dems may be able to more effectively argue why they need to filibuster the nominee.  I don't think the Repubs can force a nuclear option in a SC fight.
  •  Two Points in Harry Reid's Defense (none)
    1.  The 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans, to which Pricilla Owens will go, is already awful.  One more shitty conservative judge is not going to make a difference.

    2.  Retaining the filibuster for a truly hideous Supreme Court nomination is worth the price of letting her slide.
    •  But now the filibuster is weakened (none)
      Just when we need it to be strong.  If they try to filibuster a supreme court nominee, the repugs will be able to spin their "we can't do anything now but get rid fo the filibuster, we already tried comprosmise" in a way that will sell MUCH better to teh public.  AND, on top of it, what if one of these judges gets nudged up towards the supreme court?  How will teh dems, who agreed that these judges weren't extreme enough to warrant the filibuster now, do it then?
  •  Why do I feel disappointed, if we won? (2.50)
    I think it's because once again the dems have shown themselves to be spineless cowards who aren't willing to fight for what they believe in.  Dammit!  I want them to fight. If they won't even fight the republicans over basic ideals, how the hell can I expect them to make the kinds of decisions that will be necessary to win the so-called war on terror?  

    This is the seoncd best option - we lose.  Losing is always second best to winning.

    I'd rather go down fighting that lose because we are afraid of the fight.

  •  I'm disappointed in you all... (3.80)
    ...scorched earth is not responsible activism.  

    Advocating destroying the republic in order to save it?  I'm disapointed to hear these comments....

    We have to remember that we are the minority party, and are lucky to get ANYTHING.  I think it's a win, because the moderates told the fundies to stick it, and I think it sets up a possible civil war within their party.

    Yeah, politically we may have been better off and maybe helped us in the next election, but the country would be very much worse off. Besides, the fight isn't over.  We have to protect the supreme court.  5th district appelate court is small potatoes compared to that!

    Thanks,

    Mike

    •  Read the description of the terms. (none)
      Now, tell me, and be explicit, just how this protects the Supreme Court?

      It doesn't.  Not at all.  And in fact, it even frames the Democratic signatories neatly so that they can be railed at for having violated the agreement.

      "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

      by ogre on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:48:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (none)
      We're not here to destroy the republic. We're here to destroy the Republicans.

      Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.

      by JimTXDem on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:02:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Loads of Big Assumptions (none)
      LordMike, those of us who think removing the filibuster would have been better aren't aiming to destroy the Republic in order to save it, nor do we think that this course of action would actually destroy it. At least, I don't.

      Instead, I think that it's one of the very few developments that is likely to get under the skin of the average evening news watcher and leave a bad feeling towards the Republican party. More to the point, this gives the lie to one of the biggest lies the Republicans tell: that they are the party of tradition, old-fashioned values, and the original ideals of the nation. This is one of the longest-running traditions in American political history, and the Republicans were willing to trash it for the sake of getting a few judges through.

      All you need is a news story which begins, "200 years of American history ended today when Republicans in the Senate voted to end the use of the filibuster...." I very strongly believe (and of course I can be wrong) that this would get the Republicans VERY little that they don't already have, and would have hurt their credibility in a major way.

      Yes, I am advocating brinksmanship here. But that is exactly where the Republicans have forced us anyway, and the game Reid just played. I don't think you and I disagree about principles, but about predicted outcomes.

      the spirit is restored by wounding

      by jd in nyc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:09:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think its a win (none)
    Boys, nobody knew what would really happen in the showdown.  

    My guess is the moderate republicans told the Democrats:  give us a great deal so we have political cover or we have no choice but to vote against you.

    Reid said, OK, here's the deal I'll offer -- no nuclear option, we agree no filibusters except in extraordinary circumstances, 5 of 7 get through, we pick which 5.

    The Republicans said, after much gamboling about, OK.

    That is how you win in a compromise:  you get the other side to accept your position.  Showdowns are nice and pretty -- but only if you win.

    Reid would have been a fool not to go for this deal.

  •  Video Of Senate News Conference (4.00)
    Kos, I just posted the video of the Senate news conference where the compromise was announced. I will have Reid's statement online very soon.

    Senate News Conference Video Link

  •  My Sacrilige: Kos is fooling himself (none)
    Now, some wanted to roll the dice, but had we lost, Dobson would've chosen the next Supreme Court justice.

    Dobson still gets to choose the nexe SC Justice.  If the Republicans would agree that a given nominee constituted "extraordinary circumstances" we wouldn't need to filibuster.  A nominee sufficiently crazier than Brown or Pryor, more corrupt than Owens, that even Republicans recognized it wouldn't be confirmed anyway.  We only need to filibuster if we don't agree with the Republicans that the nominee is bad.  And if they don't agree, they'll just claim it's not "extraordinary circumstances" and go nuclear.  And they'll do it with the spin that Democrats are breaking their word.  And they'll do it with the backdrop that even batshit crazy Janice Brown wasn't "extraordinary circumstances."  And they'll do it on a SC nominee, when the pressure to go nuclear will be absolutely unbearable on any Republican Senators who might think about supporting the filibuster.

    I expect the next SC nominee to be a total nutjob, and I expect that the Dems will filibuster, and I expect that the Thugs will go nuclear.  The vote will be 54-46, with only McCain voting against the theocrats - not because he's a right guy, but just to flip them the bird and solidify his "maverick" credentials for 2008.  (They hate him anyway, so he's got nothing to lose.)

  •  What is the matter with you people? (4.00)
    The only way this is a bad deal for Dems is if they had the votes.  But they didn't.  So Dems had nowhere to go but up with a deal.  

    Look, it absolutely sucks that this issue even came up at all -- that was the bad deal.  The nuclear option became an issue because the Republicans are in power and attempted an all-out power grab.  The reality is that Dems had no choice but to face it and do what they could to avoid complete defeat, which was all but certain without a deal.  That is what they did.  And in the process, they made Frist look like the extremist he is.

    Sure, they can bring this up again.  But the in meantime, the centrists can exert some pressures and might actually prevail once public opinion weighs in.  Public opinion does still count for something for most of them -- look how quickly they all ran for cover after the Schiavo debacle.

    •  I agree. (none)
      this buys us time. By next year they will be even more reluctant to try the new-q-ler option. By the end of '06 they may no longer have the seats to pull it off. In the meantime, Bush doesn't have a blank check for the big prize, the "supreme" court.

      I think the American people--I hope the American-I don't think, let me--I hope the American people trust me.-George W. Bush

      by kitebro on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:44:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're being short-sighted (none)
      It's a bad deal for the Dems if they were right on the merits and had a rocksolid case to take the voters next year. Which they were and did.

      Now, like Kerry on Iraq, they've shown an absolute unwillingness to take a stand on principle. They've got nothing to run on now. I'm just speechless.

      •  What are you talking about? (none)
        Take a stand on principle and end up with no ability to filibuster whatsoever?  Do you really think the voters will care about that next year?  Or even remember what this was all about?

        No, I'm being long-sighted.  Dems had to keep the ability to do something about SCOTUS nominees.  What would our case be otherwise?  We gave up the ability to block SCOTUS nominees because we stuck to our principles and tried to block a judge who isn't going to make the Fifth Circuit any worse than it already is -- and lost?  And that's a campaign issue?

    •  No breaking the rules (none)
      That is what we must remind people of. Most people have a sense of fairness (that appeals to red staters even) and just keep pointing out the right wingers controlling the party were willing to do anything, even break the 200+ years of tradition/rules to get what they want.
  •  I can't figure out... (none)
    what we've won. If we had tried to fillibuster, they probably would have changed the rule, and they would have gotten their judges.

    Now, we're not going to fillibuster, and they are going to get their judges.

    What did we win, if we aren't going to exercise this most important of rights?

  •  Why a second thread already? (none)
    I already posted this on the other one, but in the time I typed it, a 2nd thread came to life with 100+ comments, and I don't want feel like yesterday's news :).

    Anyway, here goes- This is a loss for the Dems, sure it's a loss for Frist first and foremost, but let's not kid ourselves, even if the spin requires the Dems to get out in front like they won something.

    The big winners:  Bush, who gets the votes on his judges, and McCain, who gets to look like a hero to the press.

    If you think this was a win for the Dems, think back a couple of months- would this have looked great then?

    Back then, I posted a hypothetical:  what if the nuclear option was just a cover to get as many of the judges through as possible, get the Dems to did their heals in on one or two, and then get the rest?

    I don't think I was right, Frist at least sure seemed like he was playing for keeps, but the net effect is the same.

    No way a Supreme Court nominee gets confirmed, unless he's someone absurd (and Bush ain't that stupid, I know plenty here think he is, he's got good political instincts).  He'll put up someone who will be real tough to define as an "extraordinary circumstance", and he's getting Scalia and the new CJ.

    This is a loss for the Dems.  I don't care how the spin plays out, or what Freepers say.  

    A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

    by JakeC on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:37:33 PM PDT

  •  The battle of Midway in WWII (4.00)
    turned the tide of the war in the pacific. Both sides gave up assets, but one side had been on a roll. When that roll stopped... Does anyone else see any parallels here? The repugs have been kicking our butts and almost made us inconsequential to the judicial confirmation process. Frist blinked. This is a Dem victory. I am celebrating this.

    "Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, ..." -- David Hume

    by Hibernian on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:38:08 PM PDT

    •  Your example is overstated. (none)
      At Midway, the US lost the Yorktown.  But sank 4 top-line Japanese carriers.

      To compare the nuclear option to Midway there would have to have been a vote and a R loss.

      But your momentum argument may be correct.  It's simply too early to tell.

  •  Cool! (none)
    My gut tells me this is the best we could hope for.  There is still a core of Republicans who stand for something in the Senate.  I trust John Warner (remember when Ollie North was running in VA?), so his leadership here doesn't surprise me.  I hope FrIsT iS FrIeD !

    http://asilentcacophony.blogspot.com/

  •  And what does THIS mean? (none)
    Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) during the press conference:

    Some of you who are looking at the language may wonder what some of the clauses mean. The understanding is - and we don't think this will happen - but if an individual senator believes in the future that a filibuster is taking place under something that's not extraordinary circumstances, we of course reserve the right to do what we could have done tomorrow which is to cast a yes vote for the constitutional option.

    Madness.

    We have seen "Outfoxed" . . . so why are Democrats still appearing on Fox News?

    by Lords on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:39:32 PM PDT

  •  Oops, We Did It Again (4.00)
    It's like Election Day all over again... we've snatched defeat from the jaws of victory somehow.

    Let's see... here's what we accomplished:

    • We allowed the Thugs to stake a claim to legitimacy with their complaint that rejecting 10 of 200+ judges via filibuster is unreasonable;

    • We allowed Dobson and Gang to get their way on Owens, Brown and Pryor;

    • We've agreed to roll over in the future on any filibuster possibility or else face this same showdown yet again, only then they'll get to use our surrender on this as proof that their "we should get whatever we want" logic has merit.

    Jesus Christ. We had them by the balls on this one. Even if we had lost the vote, we had an absolutely golden issue to run on next year. Now... we've lost on the nominations, we've lost the moral high ground, we've lost everything.

    Good gawd.

    I'm fucking empty. Is there nobody in Washington willing to fight for me? Nobody at all?

    (Now it occurs to me that the liberal media will get to use their false equivalency game to make my position on this appear to be on equal footing with Dobson's. Oh joy. Yet another victory for Dobson.)

    Fuck.

      •  It's in the my original post (none)
        We had two ways to win here:

        • We win the vote on the nuclear option itself; or

        • We lose the vote on the nuclear option but use their abuse of power as a galvanizing issue next year.

        There are times when the opposition has to take a stand on principle just so they'll have that principle to run on come the next election. Iraq was one of those times and Kerry screwed it up. This was another.
    •  I agree (none)
      with your perspective.

      Perhaps this sort of "victory" or "compromise" is merely the result of the overall shift to the right.

      You know -

      Former extremists are now conservatives.
      Former moderates are now extremists.
      Former liberals are moderates.

      Our victory looks like defeat.

  •  Who is the Presiding Officer today? (none)
    I recognize him but for some reason cant put a name to that face.  PLEASE HELP, this is gonna bug me for the rest of the night...

    Thanks!

  •  both sides of the blogoshere (none)
    are complaining...what's that about?
  •  OK, another one.... (4.00)
    Here is why we won....

    By standing firm, we forced the moderates in the republican party to upchuck their leadership.  We stood tall, and they crumbled.  We got our original deal. They got hoodwinked by their own.  They will think twice before trying this again, 'cos the RINOs won a considerable amount of clout that they didn't before.  Is that bad for us politically?  No, because ALL of them willl face stiff primary challenges from the Dobsonites in their next election.  There wil be hell to pay in the Republican party and lots of infighting.  They are starting to crumble from within.  Frist never should have pushed so hard.

    You guys wanted all the judges to get blocked, well you can't have everything.  We only have 45 seats.  This is good news.

    Reid should be proud of what he accomplished, snatching a small vicotry from what would have been a terrible defeat.  More importantly, we still have a voice.  We wouldn't have if the nuclear bomb exploded tomorrow.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    •  I am absolutely thrilled and relieved! (none)
      I hope they split the difference in the actual votes on Brown (tolerate) and Owen (dump). Pryor will likely get a pass... But the BIG BIG NEWS is that we've put a big ole crack in the lock step mentality of the GOP!!!!

      How could anyone watch the annoucement and not be moved!

  •  Please note (none)
    "Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist."

    The Supreme Court is always an extraordinary circumstance. One's "own discretion and judgment" leaves a lot of latitude.
  •  I DONT KNOW HOW TO SAY IT AGAIN TO NAYSAYERS (4.00)
    WE DID NOT HAVE THE FUCKING VOTES! WE DID NOT HAVE THE FUCKING VOTES! WE DID NOT HAVE THE FUCKING VOTES! WE DID NOT HAVE THE FUCKING VOTES! WE DID NOT HAVE THE FUCKING VOTES!

    This compromise was THE BEST we could do..or the SENATE would be RUINED.

    We NEED the fillibuster. It's been with us for 200+ years.

    The fight is not over, not by a long shot. And thank goodness for Reid who will continue to fillibuster about two or three of the other judges up. "Fillibustered. Fillibustered. Fillibustered.". And he said it with CONVICTION...

    •  Two Problems (4.00)
      1. We had the votes in the electorate. This was a golden issue for us and we pissed it away.

      2. You seem to forget that we also pissed away the filibuster itself as part of the "deal." The very first time we try to invoke the "extraordinary" language, we'll be right back here again. Isn't that completely obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to the thugs the last 15 years?

      Unfuckingbelievable.
      •  Not sure (none)
        While I'm not certain that Reid did the right thing by accpeting this deal, I don't think that we could have taken this to the voters. The filibuster is vitally important to people who know a great deal about the Senate, but his isn't a concrete issue for non-ideologues and casual politcal observers.
    •  But we should have fought anyway... (4.00)
      This is not about the filibuster.  This is about the right's efforts to take over our court system. If we fought and lost then Americans would have seen 1) That we were willing to fight and 2) that the republicans were extremists who would force through illegal changes in government in order to stack the courts.  As it is, American's everywhere are going "Wow, Congress really is okay. The moderates ARE in charge".  But the moderates aren't in charge. The country has been taken over by extremist conservatives who have now been given a patina of "cooperation".

      Whoopee - we maintain the filibuster, and lose a rallying cry for 2006 that could have brought us back into power.  

    •  Reid said as much (none)
      earlier today on the Ed Shultze show on AAR.  At the time, I had no idea what he was doing admitting that; now I think he was signalling the base that this deal was a good thing, because the alternative would have been having  the nuclear option go off tomorrow morning.

      Even if this is just a delaying tactic, what's wrong with that?  With the Republican ratings dropping like a stone in the polls, surviving to fight this battle all over again another day doesn't sound so bad.  

      •  Thanks. (none)
        I think Reid knew he would lose honestly. Many of the Repugs even in this agreement said they would vote for the "constitutional option" Cough if the deal didn't work out. They were prepared to vote with Frist "Yes". Democrats wouldn't have the 51. Just wouldn't.
  •  Not much (none)
    --- but it's a nice rebuke to Frist, and it averts one of the worst possible consequences of the nuclear options -- namely, that the next batch of nominees would be even WORSE than the present crop o' wombats, and that there would then be absolutely nothing would could do about it.

    It sucks, but I'll live with it.

  •  "A fraction of infinity... (none)
    is still infinity."

    -- Jonathan Schell, The Fate Of The Earth

  •  I wish it were so, Mike (none)
    I appreciate your positive outlook on this Lord Mike, but this is the thing: it's not about these few judges.  Okay, so theywin a few judges here.  They get them through.  They're shitty judges and extreme and all, but this is about the 2006 elections.  We had tehm by the balls.  If we won, they were hsown to be out of step and too extreme even for their own party.  If we lost, then we could hold up their utter abuse of power to the public and make a very strong case for changing who's in power in 2006.  Now, we don't have either.  We just trundle along STILL ON THEIR AGENDA and at their whim.
  •  I think this was a win (none)
    for us. I dont think we had the votes. I think we had 49, maybe 50. And no one is going to be 51. Bush would threaten to shut down the base in their state or something else. We were in a tought position from the beginning. If one judge doesnt pass, then it's a big win.  If we do vote down some of them then that is good as well. And we keep the filibuster, and Frist and the extremist Republicans, including the White House, must be red in the face.

    Between Bush's commencement speech and his wife's Mid-East visit, the Bush family pissed off Christians, Jews and Muslims this weekend. -Randi Rhodes.

    by jj32 on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:51:19 PM PDT

  •  Long-term view: Deal=bad (none)
    The electorate voted for a Republican president and majority. Wouldn't it be best not to interfere with that? Let the Repubs reverse legislation re women's rights, environmental protection, worker rights, social safety net, etc etc ad nauseum, and let the chips fall where they may. That's what people voted for. And if it's not, they need to be more aware and more responsible in their voting choices in future.

    In the meanwhile, Dems should be clearly and consistently advocating for things that will improve the lives of the vast majority of the middle class: national health care, proper education funding, end to Iraq war, a responsible foreign policy, etc etc. No compromise. Dems need to grasp the cartoon nature of today's public discourse: yes/no, black/white, good/evil. Too much intellectual wanking and shades of gray is not a good thing when dealing with the TV generation.

    The electorate needs to wake up. They need to learn to connect their choices with the real consequences in their lives. Letting the filibuster get nuked, and having the Repubs abuse of power be all on their own hands, could have been a useful object lesson.

    Pardon my harsh reaction on this. I'm peeved. Heh. Good thing I'm not a politician.

    I am not being paid by any party or individual to express these views.

    by Alien Abductee on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:51:39 PM PDT

  •  So in other words... (none)
    The democrats caved in as usual?

    I don't see how this deal is good for us at all. We all know the Democrats will be labeled as flip floppers, deal breakers, etc if they decide to challenge a judge in the future. It will be a PR nightmare to "go back on our word" and challenge a judge.

    Good work to the Republicans as usual.. you got exactly what you wanted by threatening to blow stuff up. Nice job.

    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere"

    by Morbo on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:51:57 PM PDT

  •  Negotiations (4.00)
    I have negotiated contracts since 1977 and it is clear that there are usually more recriminations from one's own supporters after a deal is announced than from the other side. This is a perfect example. Those of you complaining about how much was given away have no idea how much we really had to bargain with in the first place.

    The filibuster is still in place and with it a rare example of bipartisan compromise. Do you naysayers really not see what a blow this is to the far right? They hate moderation way more than they hate Democrats - and they're going to have a much tougher time nominating a cracker for the Supreme Court. This is one of the first defeats for Bush - and when I say Bush I mean Cheney.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:52:29 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (none)
      I think you've got it exactly.  I was in negotiations on the Hill on legislation for years, and only those in the room know what their strengths and weakness are.  I too think this is the best Reid could have done, and that he played it right.

      I also don't think it's a guarantee that Brown, at least, will be confirmed - she is so extreme, I think it's quite possible she'll go down.

    •  Someone once said (none)
      The only good compromise is one which leaves everyone leave the table unhappy.

      Yeah? At least YOUR Congressional District has elected a Democrat sometime in the last 124 years. (TN-1)

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:00:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lipstick on a Pig (none)
    What a disaster.  What's the problem with letting the Republicans break the Senate rules?  We'll run agains them at the polls with that result.  Now the Republicans can boast about getting their way with the wimpy Democrats without negative consequences for their extremism.  These Democrats blinked and let the Republicans push through their nominees.  The Republicans just got rid of the filibuster without actually getting rid of the filibuster.  I'm disgusted.
  •  What does this do for Bolton? (none)
    What do you guys think about the implications for the Bolton nomination?  Although it's not a judicial nomination, it seems unlikely that Frist will be able to go nuclear successfully with the existence of an agreement between Senate moderates.  My guess is Bolton isn't going anywhere - his chances were tied to the Nuclear Option.
  •  We have no ability to filibuster NOW. (none)
    So what's the difference between the deal and losing the fight? On the substance of it: nothing.

    We lost. Period.

    •  That's weird. (none)
      The above comment was supposed to be in reply to an earlier comment. Oh well.
    •  Because the GOP made sure that the filibuster (none)
      remained in place just in case they become the minority in the near future.  That's why they preserved it.  They didn't do it to help the Democrats, they did it to help themselves.

      The Democrats went along with it again.

      "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny imposed upon the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

      by independentchristian on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:09:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fresh from the oven (none)
    My opinion: you can't tell how good the cake is right after you take it out of the oven. You have to let it cool before you can taste it.

    The Deal is to fresh for us to know if it is a winner or loser. The real winners will be those who can spin it to there advantage in the future. It could days, if not weeks, before we can really judge it.

    Until then, I'm content to sniff.

  •  "Extreme Circumstances" (none)
    The phrase "Extreme Circumstances" is going to be this decade's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

    A meaningless phrase that lets us pretend we dealt with the issue. Until it inevitably comes up again.

  •  Why would they (none)
    have a harder time nominating a "cracker" to the supreme court?  Seems to me, they have the cover now to push the filibuster off unless people are EVEN MORE extreme.
  •  Really quite a remarkable agreement (none)
    thanks for the post of the actual text...

    OK, we had to throw them a bone by allowing them to vote for Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor  and Priscilla Owen (ugh, are you all holding your noses too?)

    BUT...
    "Part II relates to subsequent individual nominations to be made by the President and to be acted upon by the Senate's Judiciary Committee.

    "Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith."  Sounds friggin good to me!

    "We believe that.... the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration."  In other words Shrub, fucking clear your nominees before they are nominees in consultation with the Senate, you asshole.

  •  I feel better now (4.00)
    This is a win because the moderate Rs stood up against the radicals and said don't f#ck with us or we will form an alliance that can stop you.

    In fact, that is exactly what they did.

    Frobson wanted to be able to push through any and all judges and laws with a simple majority rubberstamping whatever Bush wanted, without any input from the minority.  Rs said they were only eliminating the filibuster for judges, but no one believed that.  Eventually they would have eliminated the filibuster for everything.

    Dems all sound like winners tonight too.  Schumer gave a good speech just now.

    Radical Rs look upset.  Good.

    But most important, all the moderate Rs who didn;t have the b@lls to actually openly state they were opposed to the nuclear option can now breathe a sigh of relief that these others have put themselves on the line.  They didn;t want to have to vote for it either.

    I am feeling better about this the more I think about it.  It looks like the moderates have thrown their weight around on the Red team, which helps us, and the radicals found that their power would be checked from WITHIN THEIR OWN PARTY, which is wonderful for the Blue team.

    This will certainly cause all out civil war in the R party, perhaps for 2006 but certainly for 2008 as round one of McCain/Frist goes to McCain.

    Since '08 is the first time in my lifetime that neither party will have an incumbent running and primaries will be crucial for both parties, it helps us in 08 if the infighting on the R side is bitter and nasty so that Dems look reasonable in comparison.

    Fact check alert:  Wayne Allard (and anyone else who says that every nominee with majority support has received an up or down vote) is just a liar.  When Dems had the majority in the senate, individual R senators placed holds on significant nominees.  Not 41 senators stopping an up or down vote, just ONE.  Anyone who won't acknowledge this either has a really short memory or is a flat out LIAR.

    Dems need to get the list of names of Clinton nominees who were stopped by holds while the Dems were in the majority.  Repeat those names until we get sick of them!

    I'll start:  John Tait of Idaho!  David NYC had a good diary about this last week.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:00:02 PM PDT

  •  Update on "Fresh From the Oven" (none)
    I think I should be a little more forceful here. While it remains to be seen whether this deal is a winner for the Dems, those who are screaming "SELLOUT!" on the Dem side are not doing us any favors. As I said above, the real winners will be those who can spin this to be a victory for their side. Democrats won't be able to do this if the loudest chorus consists of people screaming that the deal stinks and it proves that Dems are wimps. Talk about re-enforcing negative stereotypes!

    So please, those of you who are convinced this is a bad deal, take a deep breath, walk away from your computer, come back in a few hours/days, and then let us know what you think after absorbing it a while longer. If it is a stinker we will know soon enough. No need to make it so by way of your criticism.

    •  Dems lose for lots of reasons - a BIG one (none)
      is that people like you love to throw around words like "criticsm" and "negative" and "angry" and "pessimism" and ... whenever anyone has a perspective which doesn't comply with your image of smiling happy people at the ski lodge with straight white teeth.  

      I could recommend that you surround yourself with only other shiny happy upbeat positive people, but, since you probably do only hang out with the emotionally fragile, you'd miss the sarcasm.

      rmm.

  •  The compromise was necessary... (none)
    If it had not been done, no one would have looked good in the end. Truth be known. I did like the fact that Lindsay Graham said that the President needs to learn to utilize the "advice" part of the advise and consent. He said it with a certain degree of acidity that I didn't miss.

    There is something else you might like - this reaction from Hinkraker:

    "Someone explain to me why the Republicans haven't been rolled once again. To me, it looks like a pathetic collapse on the part of the Republicans--not the leadership, but Senators like McCain who sold out their party.

    ONE MORE: Now the Republicans are treating the execrable Robert Byrd like a hero! Unbelievable. What a low moment. "We have kept the Republic," Byrd says. I think I'm going to be sick."

  •  Reid's Floor Statement (none)
    You can see Minority Leader Reid's floor statement here.

    Come on over and start your diary at DEMBloggers

    by Brian Hopkins on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:07:46 PM PDT

  •  From Dobson's website (none)
    He called Graham's compromise "disastrous" in a call to followers to contact their reps, earlier today before it happened.

    Gary Bauer said Friday: any middle way could have a tremendous impact on Bush's SC nominations, which is what the whole debate is all about. Marriage, 10 C's, "under God" in pledge, yadda, yadda, sanctity of life, etc... compromise would undermine geeting country back on right track.

    Dobson: primarily about the SC, and primarily about "life".

    Flack: "Compromise reduces debate to game of 3-card monte."

    Mother Nature bats last.

    by pigpaste on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:11:16 PM PDT

  •  BAH (none)
    everything is a sell out to you people
    just as bad as dobson or whatever his name is
    except we have 45 sens and they have 55

    just WHAT exactly did you guys expect/want?

    REALISTIC expectations

  •  Supreme Court & extraordinary circumstances (none)
    Seems like we have one good and one not so good outcome from today regarding the Supreme Court. If we can filibuster in "extraordinary" cases, Bush may be obliged to nominate a conservative who is not a crazed piece of slime in order to avoid the filibuster. On the other hand, if Owen gets through the Senate to the appeals court, then what's to stop Bush from nominating her for the SC? How would we claim there were extraordinary circumstances if she'd made it through the Senate once?
  •  A larger issue here is the arrested power-grab. (none)
    Reid and the moderates (both Rs and Ds) have successfully defused the ticking-time bomb that was the Republican power-grab that, to me, was the whole point of the evangelical push.  The Dobsonites were USING this particular issue to set precedent in changing the Senate rules (the winger judges were the cherry on top).  

    The larger issue was the changing of the rules - to not require the super-majority to make a rules change.  If that precedent would have been set, the right would have truly unchecked power over not only the House, but the Senate too, all while re-making the judiciary while they went about it.  Absolutely evil and shameless.  And Cheney was going to smile when he did it.

    So, while this deal may not be all that attractive for Dems with regards to the judges, this totally road-blocks Cheney's tiebreaker-move.   This is the issue that Rove and the evangelicals will be pissed about.  They want it all, and thought this was how they were going to get closer to getting it.  Now they will have to settle for confirmation of 3 of the 7.  
    Frist must be just sick over it.

    But watch them closely, their media darlings are already spinning what Rove is faxing to them, so don't get cozy.  
    Reid did good.
    I think he weighed the stakes, and compromised where it would both inflict the least damage to the Senate, while striking down the power-grab.

  •  At this point, it looks like a clear Dem win (4.00)
           - Polls show the public knows the Reps wanted to change the rules. Now the Dems have stopped them. Dems will be perceived as strong and standing up for the rule of law (which is a Rep frame for themselves), Reps as weak and caving in (the Rep frame for Dems). So the Dems 'captured' the Reps frame;
           -  Frist wanted to make Dems (and 5 moderate/liberal Reps) irrelevant. Wanted to confirm any judge especially ultraright wingnut Supreme Court nominees with only 50 votes. Still needs 60. He failed.;
           -  Frist stated that no compromise would be made, ever. But he made the deal, and so went back on his word and solemn promise. Looks weak to public, but especially weak to Dobson, freepers, neocons, et al, i.e. weak (all his supporters);
           - If Frist was sure of his votes, he would never have made the deal. But he did. So he looks to public like he's not even in control of his own party, let alone the Senate. That there was a deal at all made means Reid held the line on every single Dem, and was expected by Frist to have a 50-50 shot at swaying a full 6 Reps (or more). Reid looks like he's in control of his own party, plus looks as if he has more control of part of Frist's own party than he does;
        - Reid started from 10 down and fought his way up to a tie ; Frist started 10 up and fell down to a tie. So Frist looks like a loser who blew his big lead;
       - All Dems have to do to filibuster in the future is to use the "extraordinary circumstances" frame -a frame accepted by both sides from the start of the deal - explicity before doing so (verbal reinforcing). If Reps object, Dems can say they're trying to go back on the deal they made. So the Reps look even weaker and even less law-abiding;
        - the we-reserve-the-right-to-do-this-later caveat will become less and less relevant as more and more information surfaces about these toxic judges (which it inevitably will), and as '06 approaches;
        - the two judges which will pass would likely have passed anyway, so that point is moot;

           Put another way: Frist started a fight saying nothing but a win was acceptable. Reid joined the fight only needing a tie. He got one. Reid - and the Dem Party - wins.

                                      SR

    •  Ball's in our court, it's our serve (none)
      But Dems still have to play the game and play hard -- harder than they have been.

      Pugs wanted to take away our serve entirely. (Or turn at bat if volleyball and tennis aren't your thing.)

      In our favor: SC nominees will get the full brunt of progressive groups' pushback and we can establish early that GOP extremists went back on the moderates' deal. Saving the senate, preserving the constitution, restoring checks and balances is a Dem value. Recklessness and the inability of moderates to control the radicals is what all GOP candidates have to explain in the coming months.

      Also bubbling up: plenty of crap buried in the GOP/media landfill to show the full mess that GOP douchebaggery has made of things. I doubt the public will be down with GOP attempts to vilify Dems' as 'obstructionist' for questioning ANYTHING coming out of the Chimperor's palace.

      I don't know if this is a win yet -- the game's still on but we got the ball.

      This machine fights fascism - motto on a Woody Guthrie guitar

      by Peanut on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:10:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes and No (none)
      You're right that the tie is a win for the Dems. When it's a Supreme Court nominee, it will be one person for the public to focus on. As more comes out about an inevitably scary Bush choice, the public will pay attention and polling will be against him/her, giving Dems the cover of "extraordinary circumstances" to filibuster.

      Frist looks weak for not controlling his caucus, but he was not a party to the deal or a part of the negotiations. It was made around him. He's still got a good shot at the religious right vote in 2008, which is all that matters to him anyway. McCain is trying to move the party away from the religious right, so he wasn't counting on their votes anyway. Should be interesting.

  •  Thank you (none)
    I feel much better now that everyone has vented. I was soooo mad to begin with, but I can accept this now and even smile just a bit. If Owen, Brown and Pryor are no's, this is a BIG win.
  •  I got this text from Free Republic (none)
    Text of Filibuster Deal
    Received via e-mail | Monday, May 23, 2005 | Rats and Rinos

    Posted on 05/23/2005 5:23:07 PM PDT by kristinn

    MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS

    We respect the diligent, conscientious efforts, to date, rendered to the Senate by Majority Leader Frist and Democratic Leader Reid. This memorandum confirms an understanding among the signatories, based upon mutual trust and confidence, related to pending and future judicial nominations in the 109th Congress.

    This memorandum is in two parts. Part I relates to the currently pending judicial nominees; Part II relates to subsequent individual nominations to be made by the President and to be acted upon by the Senate's Judiciary Committee.

    We have agreed to the following:

    Part I:  Commitments on Pending Judicial Nominations

    A.        Votes for Certain Nominees. We will vote to invoke cloture on the following judicial nominees: Janice Rogers Brown (D.C. Circuit), William Pryor (11th Circuit), and Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit).

    B.        Status of Other Nominees. Signatories make no commitment to vote for or against cloture on the following judicial nominees: William Myers (9th Circuit) and Henry Saad (6th Circuit).

    Part II:  Commitments for Future Nominations

    A.        Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.

    B.        Rules Changes. In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement, we commit to oppose the rules changes in the 109th Congress, which we understand to be any amendment to or interpretation of the Rules of the Senate that would force a vote on a judicial nomination by means other than unanimous consent or Rule XXII.

    We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.

    Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate.

    We firmly believe this agreement is consistent with the traditions of the United States Senate that we as Senators seek to uphold.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:46:19 PM PDT

  •  Extraordinary circumstances (none)
    Like a right-wing takeover of the U.S.? Surprise! It's here already! Filibuster away!

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

    by makemefree on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:10:58 PM PDT

  •  Now that I think about it (none)
    I think it's a good deal for us. I'm one of those who has been saying that Democrats shouldn't negotiate at all, because from my point of view the Republicans were just wrong and I believed they would only hurt themselves in the public's eyes by going to such an extreme. But they've already hurt themselves in the public's eyes on this issue and the only thing that really matters now is to stop them from loading the courts with radical judges.

    Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

    by rogun on Mon May 23, 2005 at 08:12:16 PM PDT

    •  Now that I think about it even more (none)
      I take all that back. Republicans were the real winners, even if they lost the media battle. They get their radical judges pushed through and Democrats get a promise that the nuclear option is off the table unless Democrats oppose another radical judge in the future. I don't see anything good for Democrats here.

      If Democrats would have held off and lost they atleast would have wasted a bit more time until the mid-term elections when they might pick up more seats. The also would have sent a message to Republicans that they're going to do everything they possibly can to prevent them from getting radical judges approved.

      Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

      by rogun on Mon May 23, 2005 at 11:15:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is how it turns out? (none)
    How should we feel about this? Since we don't know if the Dems had the votes, I guess it is a victory in that the right to filibuster is preserved. But if the Dems didn't have the votes for the appeals courts, are we really to believe they will have them for the Supreme Court? This seems like one big charade that will keep things going until Renquist steps down. Are we really to think that the right to filibuster in "extraordinary circumstances" is to somehow force Bush towards moderation. No.

    My only solace is that this is a big fuck you to Dobson and the rest of the religious right. But if the GOP moderates finally get to wield a little clout and McCain can bring a little sanity back to his party (as doubtful as that is), the country will be better off.

    On the other hand, Reid was rightfully relieved to have a compromise. Now he won't need to shut down the Senate, which would have looked awful considering most Americans don't follow this stuff too closely. The Dems will still be able to torpedo Bush's agenda and let the DeLay scandal play itself out in time for the 2006 elections. The poll numbers for Bush and Congress mean 2006 is there for the taking, as long as the Dems don't screw it up.

  •  Brown, Pryor and Priscilla Owens get through? (none)
    Fucking disgusting.

    What a fucking piece of shit sell-out crap is that?

    Why the fuck should we expect that they won't pull the trigger on the SCOTUS nominations or any other court nominations if we block it?

    What the fuck are we doing letting Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen's get on the bench?

    These freaks are a hairs breath away in 'moderation' from freaks like Roy Moore.

    Fucking lame and fucking pathetic.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:12:13 AM PDT

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