It was a close call. Late Monday night, a team of 14 moderate
senators — seven Democrats, seven Republicans — defused an imminent vote on
the so-called “nuclear option” — the elimination by the majority Republicans
of the filibuster rule for judicial nominees. The details were arcane, but important:
Under the compromise, three of Bush’s nominees for appellate courts will advance
while two more will remain subject to filibuster, and the “nuclear option” is
off the table — at least for now. This means a couple of crazies might make
it to the federal bench, but the Democrats retain the procedural ability to
put up a fight when it comes time for Supreme Court nominations once Rehnquist
Both sides claimed victory, but look at who’s most angry about the outcome.
The right-wing maximalist Christian conservatives who thought they were going
to run away with the government on 51 percent “mandate” are foaming mad — less
so at the Democrats than at the moderates of their own party for “stabbing them
in the back.”
“This whole [compromise] is intellectually dishonest . . . The dignity of the
Senate has not been preserved; it’s been befouled. I mean, the most deliberate
body — no, this is the most craven body. If a decision can be avoided they will
avoid it and then they’ll go congratulate each other and take their kudos from
the Washington Post and The New York Times.”

—The Rush Limbaugh Show

“It was like watching a parallel universe. Seven giddy Republicans talking mutual
trust with Robert Byrd, while Harry Reid continues attacking the president and
bragging about saving the Supreme Court from the radical right. The American
people won’t take this lying down.”

—Jan LaRue, “Seven Republican Dwarves
Sold Out Snow White, Left Democrats With
Key to Castle,” Christian Wire Service

“[The seven Republicans who signed the compromise] didn’t have the backbone
and the fortitude to stand up for the fact that we are the majority.”

—The Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman and
founder of the Traditional Values Coalition

“This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal
of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats . . . Justice Clarence
Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice William Rehnquist would never
have served on the U.S. Supreme Court if this agreement had been in place during
their confirmations. The unconstitutional filibuster survives in the arsenal
of Senate liberals.”

—James Dobson, Focus on the Family

From the right-wing blogs:
Powerline: “It would be hard to overstate what a disaster this is for the Republican
Michelle Malkin: “With this pathetic cave-in, the Republicans have sealed their
fate as a Majority in Name Only.”
Captain Ed: “We can thank Bill Frist for his lack of leadership and resolve
for taking a majority and turning it into a minority. Not One Dime for the NRSC
as long as Frist remains majority leader, or for the Seven Dwarves ever.”

LA Weekly