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May 24, 2005

"7 Republicans abandon GOP on filibuster"

-- by Dave Johnson

That's a headline at the Washington Times.

Seven Senate Republicans bolted from their leaders last night and dropped their support for the "nuclear option" in exchange for seven Democrats' abandoning filibusters against three of President Bush's judicial nominees.

"This is really good news for every American tonight," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said moments after the deal was announced last night on live television. "This is a significant victory."

The right is playing this as a significant defeat. And this isn't the usual victimization whining, this is an announcement to the base, "We lost."

AND this agreement is aimed directly at Bush and Rove, saying these Senators are tired of being told to act as an extension of Bush's executive branch:

The two-page agreement specifically admonished President Bush, saying that the word "advice" in the Senate's constitutional responsibility should not be taken lightly.

"We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration," the senators wrote in the memorandum of understanding signed by the 14 negotiators.

Note the use of the words, "prior to."

Here is something very important about this. These Republican Senators have "burned" themselves with the far-right base of The Party. There is no going back for them. The Right does not forgive. Can you imagine the abusive phone calls and mail they will be getting from the wingnuts from now on? (Will it be as bad as liberal bloggers get?) Will they still feel obligated to vote for those judges that were sent to the floor by this deal? Will they still feel compelled to support other elements of the far-right's agenda?

(The above link is to the Crooks and Liars roundup. Be sure to watch Senator Lindsey Graham's statement. Another great roundup here at Swing State Project.)

Posted by Dave Johnson at May 24, 2005 8:34 AM

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Tracked on May 24, 2005 2:24 PM


Comments

Had we pushed it to a vote and had the Republicans prevailed Bush would have been able to do anything. It is not just about these judges, Bush could have had Patriot Act II without the filibuster. This gives us a chance to prevent that.

Posted by: Alice Marshall at May 24, 2005 8:49 AM

Oh come on. This was a strategic withdrawal, (read fucking cave) by the Dems. The R's just succeeded in pushing the goddamned debate further to the right. The D's agreed not to use their constitutional power in order to keep it? Jesus, what the fuck kind of compromise is that?

Posted by: Vinnie at May 24, 2005 9:07 AM

I agree that the fact that the moderate Republicans finally defied Dobson, Rove, and Bush is the most positive thing about this. It might take a little of the air out of the Armageddonists' self-importance, or even split the Republican Party.

So on Day II I'm a little more optimistic than I was yesterday. We're still playing a defensive game, though, and I hate seeing Lieberman regain respectability -- I'm sure he'll be making some demands on Reid.

Posted by: John Emerson at May 24, 2005 9:22 AM

Vinnie: "The D's agreed not to use their constitutional power in order to keep it? Jesus, what the fuck kind of compromise is that?"

The kind where they kept the Constitutional power, and the Constitution. We were just that close to losing it yesterday. This stuff is for real, we did almost lose the Constitution. Go read some right-wing blogs to see what kind of life they were planning for you once that old-fashioned thing was out of the way.

Posted by: Dave Johnson at May 24, 2005 9:34 AM

Appears to be some disagreement on the left today.

Peace in Our Time

Posted by: bob mcmanus at May 24, 2005 10:15 AM

Sorry Dave, you are wrong on this. We let the Republicans make us get to a "compromise" because they threatened to get rid of the Constitution. They won. We lost. We should have been defending the Constitution with our dying breath. Had we lost, finally some Americans might wake up. Bush is going to get what he wants now anyway.

Posted by: Nancy at May 24, 2005 3:41 PM

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