What did the wingnuts gain?
They just got an agreement to confirm three horrible judicial nominees that never could have been otherwise confirmed without changing the Senate Rules. They just got an agreement that 7 Democratic Senators will not vote to sustain a filibuster unless there are “extraordinary circumstances.”
Since there are probably no judges in America more ‘extraordinary’ than Janice Rogers Brown, that means that there never will be any ‘extraordinary circumstances’. So, the GOP just got a precedent and an agreement that gives them total power to confirm every judge they want.
Of course, this is not entirely accurate. The agreement allows us to filibuster two less radical judges, Henry Saad and William Myers. However, it is unclear on what grounds these less objectionable judges are being torpedoed.
The bottom line? We just got our asses kicked.
What did the wingnuts lose?
They lost the ability to break the rules to change the rules. Or did they? No, not really. They didn’t lose the ability, they just lost a particular attempt to break the rules to change the rules.
The next time we try to hold up a judge, any judge, the GOP will scream that we are breaking the agreement and they will move to break the rules to change the rules.
The fact that this agreement was brokered is proof, to me, that Bill Frist did not have the votes. We just lost a chance to put this issue permanently to bed AND to keep Janice Rogers Brown off the circuit court AND to keep a bunch of other objectionable judges off the higher courts AND to kick Bill Frist’s ass.
But Bill Frist DID get his ass kicked. He got his ass kicked by John McCain.
In spite of this, this result has some upside. A coup attempt was deferred, the centrists exerted themselves FINALLY, and brought some sanity back to the Capitol. The Wingnut’s advance was slowed, though not stalled.
What I would like to see is this new centrist bloc exert a veto over the nominees that are brought to the Senate. They should tell the White House not to bother sending judges down that are not acceptable to the bloc.
And that goes for invasions of Arab or Persian nations as well.