Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We won!...something, right?

WASHINGTON (AP)—Averting a showdown, centrists from both parties ...blah blah blah...

“In a Senate that is increasingly polarized, the bipartisan center held,” said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.

The Senate is back in business,” echoed Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of 14 senators who signed the two-page memorandum of agreement, which cited “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.

As for future nominees, the agreement said they should “only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances,” with each Democrat senator holding the discretion to decide when those conditions had been met*.

I wouldn't worry too much about Frist, nor feel particularly exultant at his supposed defeat. The movement conservatives love to see themselves as opressed underdogs, even when they're in power, and that's how he'll spin it, as a battle against the no-good scheming moderates for the soul of his party. And the money will flow.

Bush will get three of his marquee nominations and give up two of the lesser known ones. We get to keep the fillibuster, just as long as we promise not to use it. (Just one person could still scuttle this, and that thought makes me miss Wellstone all the more. He could've talked about... I don't know, the details of why Owens, Rogers Brown and Pryor are so unpalatable? You know, the annoying factoids the national press can't be bothered with?)

And the wackos on the right are protected from the public seeing them being wackos, unlike in the Schiavo scandal(which the dems also failed to exploit). I discussed their need to do this in January, here.

This is a "republican defeat" as transitory and insignificant as Jeffords's defection in 2001 proved to be in November of 2002.

*A right they already had- yipee!