The Compromise of the Fourteen

Fourteen U.S. Senators have earned their paychecks by forging a compromise and averting a collision in the game of chicken being played between Senate leaderships. The text of the deal is here, courtesy of National Review Online, and the AP story that broke less than an hour ago is here.

This is good news for the Senate, good news for the White House, good news for the courts, and good news for the American people. The Democrats promise to vote for cloture on three nominees - Brown, Pryor, and Owen - and make no commitment on Saad and Myers. The moderate Dems also pledge not to filibuster except "under extraordinary circumstances", which no doubt include any Supreme Court nomination.

The pundits will now set about arguing who came out better in this deal: Reid or Frist. Probably both profited from the whole confrontation. They got a lot of press and they looked tough and uncompromising, which appeals to base voters. However, whether any of those who actually took action will end up profiting remains to be seen. The Democrats took a greater risk; they can be accused of "selling out" in the next go-round at the polls, whereas the Republicans did not make any concrete concessions, and the worst that can be said is that they compromised. And compromise is exactly what we should be desirous of in the senior circuit of U.S. lawmaking.

Posted by Chops at May 23, 2005 8:58 PM