May 24, 2005
The Dust Settles on the Compromise
A day has pasted since the filibuster deal, and I'm still not ticked. All the deal did was end the fight temporarily. Democrats could start up another filibuster as soon as they felt "extraordinary circumstances" existed. Then Republicans could call the deal off. Sen. Graham said,
One of the major elements of the deal makes clear that if one of my seven Democratic colleagues decides to filibuster in the future because of an Ďextraordinary circumstance,í I retain the right to vote for a rules change. Itís my hope we never get to that point.
The result is three nominees get a vote, and Senate tradition still stands. That's better than getting no nominees a vote and possibly seeing a political disaster with the "nuclear option" losing because of Republicans.
What we do know is both parties' Senate leadership are quite weak. Neither Sens. Frist nor Reid have a firm grasp on their caucuses. I wonder if this show of strength by the "Filibuster 14" will move beyond the judicial battle.
"About that Filibuster Compromise..."
UPDATE: As this Cox & Forkum cartoon demonstrates Senate Democrats may turn trivial things into "extrodinary circumstances." It will require some intestinal fortitude by all Republican Senators. But that was needed anyway before the compromise. This will really come to a head when President Bush makes his first Supreme Court nomination that replaces a liberal justice.