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May 24, 2005

NRO Gets it Right

National Review Online has editorialized about why the deal on the filibuster is not a good deal. It's spot on.

In essence, the problem is that when, not if, but when, the deal goes bust, the wording of the deal will be worse for Republicans than it will be for Democrats, all of whom, including the seven in the deal, need merely say that they are "voting their conscience." Once the Democrat Seven "vote their consciences," then Republicans will have to decide whether (i) to take it and have another nomination filibustered or (ii) to change the rules to end the rule of the minority. The risk of number two is that it will take collective action, whereas the Democrats only need engage in 41 individual actions. Thus, the Republican caucus will have to take the formal step that breaks the deal. Republicans will, not may, but will, be labeled as the "dealbreakers," with all the negative publicity that such a move will engender. Given the guts that Republicans have shown thus far on the overall issue, is there any serious person who thinks that the Republicans would take option two and "break the deal." No. Instead, another nominee will be filibustered. Meanwhile, six to nine months will have passed . . . and nothing will have been accomplished, other than three judges getting confirmed.

Update: Put another way, here is what each side can say is what they have achieved tangibly based on the deal today, even if it goes bust:

Democrats: We have preserved the ability to filibuster judicial nominees for the price of caving on three judges. What did we head off? Republicans could have simply changed the rules and run the table on the judges, gettting most if not all of them approved.

Republicans: We get three judges!!!!

Update II: Roll Call is reporting that the Congressional Black Caucaus is not happy with the deal and hopes that Senators ignore it. (Subscription required for full story. Thanks to my friend Brian for the news tip.)

Posted by Mark at May 24, 2005 01:01 PM

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