May 23, 2005
Deal Brings in Cooling Off Period
You go see a movie and big political news breaks out. There's a deal on President Bush's judicial nominations. Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor will all get their confirmation votes. William Meyers and Henry Saad remain in limbo. Democratic signatories promise to only filibuster in "extrordinary circumstances" while their GOP counterparts promise not to change the rules. All that goes out the window as soon as an "extreme" nominee to the Supreme Court is named.
There's already a lot of GOP bashing coming from the right side of the blogosphere. I'm with Ed Whelan that "this MOU marks only a very temporary cooling off." I also agree with Whelan that these "moderates" (Sen. Byrd was one of the signatories) have misconstrued the initially vague "advice and consent" clause. In no way are those GOP signatories conservative. Their reading of the constitution ignores the two hundred years of tradition where the President nominates and the Senate either votes up or down as their form of advice and consent. Instead they choose to conserve the filibuster, an object with a lesser hold (via The Commissar) in American political tradition. (John Dean takes a different viewpoint by advocating more involvement by the Senate. But no one has ever claimed he was a conservative.)
"Senators Avert Showdown Over Filibusters"
UPDATE: Viking Pundit calls it "a minor, if temporary, win for the Republicans."
To say Patrick is upset is an understatement.
Owen isn't happy either.
Kevin calls it a "very bad deal."
Jib thinks the GOP base will lash out in 2006, presumbably by not showing up at the polls.