« Supremes Do Their Job: Nothing | Main | Cutting a Deal for Real Judicial Restraint »

May 24, 2005

Moderate Republicans Win Filibuster Fight

It's obvious who won the filibuster fight.

Not the Democrats, who will see a whole bunch more of rightwing judges like Priscilla Owens and Janice Brown confirmed. And they got no firm promise from the moderate Republicans not to invoke the nuclear option at a later date.

And of course, I thought eliminating the filibuster overall would be a great thing for progressives in any case, so I always better to force the GOP eliminate the filibuster and show their oppressive tendencies.

I did think eliminating the filibuster would fail because the moderate Republicans would be voting to cut their own throats, eliminating any leverage they had in the caucus. Goodbye chairmanships of committees for all of them.

So this deal is perfect for the moderate GOPers. Filibusters are allowed only on judges that the moderate GOPers say may be filibustered. And those moderate GOPers get to vote against those candidates that are filibustered, playing the double game of keeping their conservative bona fides while claiming to uphold traditions of the Senate.

As for the moderate Dems? Nothing. They betrayed other Democrats while gaining no real new power. If the Democrats as a group had decided to go for the deal, it might have reflected a tactical win for the Democratic caucus, but this is just a stab in the back.

I understand that many folks see not losing the filibuster as the victory, but that just reflects the low standards of victory people have developed. Losing less has become the standard of success for progressives, unfortunately.

Posted by Nathan at May 24, 2005 09:00 AM