“Filibuster Fizzle” Reactions

Here are some reactions to the news that three judicial nominees will be given up or down votes and that the Democrats will reserve the filibuster for “extraordinary circumstances.”

No doubt that this is a win. Why? Because the filibuster is still a part of our political system. Checks and balances have been preserved. Yes, we will get some right-wing judges, but less of them.

Oliver Willis: For Dems

The GOP parade of pusillanimity marches on. With this pathetic cave-in, the Republicans have sealed their fate as a Majority in Name Only.

Michelle Malkin: Breaking: Filibuster Compromise

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.

John Hindraker: Disappointing, I’m Afraid

There’ll be more outrage from their side, since quite frankly, they lost. Obviously we didn’t get everything we wanted, but they lost the ability to have carte blanche on the next supreme court justice.

Marcos Zuniga: The other side isn’t happy

Am I the only one who sees this as a win for Republicans? The Democrats will have to justify their filibusters as “extraordinary circumstances.” If they abuse this, the Republicans will retain the right to vote to eliminate judicial filibusters. Democrats now have the burden of justifying their filibusters, and Republicans can back out if they don’t agree that they are justified. So basically, the whole issue of judicial filibusters was postponed. It will be resurrected the next time Democrats filibuster a nominee. The Republicans will say it is not justified, the Democrats will say that it is, and we’ll have the showdown all over again. In the meantime, three nominees will get votes! How the heck is this not a Republican win? People seem to be operating under a philosophy of “nothing less than elimination of the filibuster is a victory for the Republicans.” I ask them this: what is the goal for the Republicans. Simple: the goal is to get up or down votes on all nominees. Getting votes for three of them is progress towards that goal. Forcing Democrats to justify future filibusters while Republicans retain the right to change the rules if the Democrats dig in their heels is progress towards that goal.

The Republicans gave up nothing. The Democrats gave up three judges they wanted to block. If you have an empty glass, and then it is filled halfway with water, is it half-full or half-empty? It’s half-full… you started with an empty glass! It may not be the “yee-haw, eat my shorts Lefties!” victory that many on the Right wanted, but it is still a win.

11 thoughts on ““Filibuster Fizzle” Reactions

  1. Charles W. Stricklin

    You and I talked about this a bit last night, and you know I was originally disappointed, but I’ve come around to your way of looking at it.

    I suppose I wanted the obstructionists to be buried under the nuclear option.

    It’s as if we were playing poker, with my hand being a royal flush, yours as a pair of threes, and you folded when I wanted you to bluff a little longer so I could clean you out. Disappointed? A little bit. Happy to win? Yeah.

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  3. Aaron (subscribed)

    What about the other 7 nominees? If this deal had NOT been made, the nuclear/constitution/Byrd option would have passed and these three would have passed anyway. Then we would have also had an opportunity to vote on all the others waiting for a vote as well as return the Senate tradition back to 50-votes-equals-confirmation.

    This compromise was unnecessary and did nothing but limit our ability to get votes for qualified nominees…

  4. beautifulatrocities

    I’m with you. Does no one see Zuniga’s bluffing? He NEVER wanted these nominees to go to the floor. Let him bluff. Bush’s genius is in letting the other side save face even as he gets his way. The Powerline hyperventilating makes them sound like Sully

  5. Charles W. Stricklin

    Frist has said today that he will bring all the nominees up for a vote, so the nuclear option is not off the table.

    Besides, this seems to me like a plan by the RINOS for the Democrats to save face.

    We really won, but somehow it isn’t as satisfying as a showdown.

  6. Aaron (subscribed)

    I heard that as well, I also heard an interview with Sen. Grahm in which he stated that if the dems continue to filibuster any nominees, he will absolutely vote to “pull the trigger”. Good news!

  7. Mark Post author

    What about the other 7 nominees?

    They’re still on the table! If they had been taken off the table in the deal, that would have been a loss, but they’re still very much in the running.

    This compromise was unnecessary and did nothing but limit our ability to get votes for qualified nominees…

    I don’t think that it was necessary, but it serves a purpose. Republicans need the votes of independents and moderates and Democrats in order to stay in power. The goal is to get all the nominees to an up or down vote. This way, Republicans can still do it, but they come off looking merciful and reasonable, while still getting what they want. The ends hasn’t changed, just the means.

    And I don’t think Republicans have been limited. The burden of proof is on the Democrats. As soon as they fail to meet it and filibuster without good reason, the deal falls apart, and Democrats look like jerks for breaking the terms of the agreement. Obviously this will be spun in different directions, but the Republicans will be able to say “look, we tried a compromise, but the Democrats aren’t interested in compromise or discussion… they’re interested in blocking qualified judicial nominees because they want to stack the courts with their left-wing political judges. They begged us for a deal, and then broke it, just as quickly.”

    The bottom line is this: if a majority of Senators want a nominee to go through, the nominee is going through, where it be this way, or the “fun” way. ;-)

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