Baby (left) is not amused at the interpretation of the "advice" clause -- by John McCain (right) and his fellow members of the "Gang of 14" -- to mean the president, before nominating judges, should consult with senators "both Democratic and Republican," notes the WSJ's "Morning Brief." (Sissy Willis photo of Baby paired with internet photo of John McCain republished from our "You can't herd bloggers" post)
"The papers all trot out analyses, none of which are as impressed with the deal as Senator Byrd, who proclaimed modestly, 'We have kept the Republic,'" reports Slate re the announcement last night by 14 "moderate senators" of "a deal that will head off a showdown on the filibuster, at least for now":
The Democrats in the deal agreed to allow a floor vote on three of the 10 currently held-up judicial nominees: Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen. In return, the Republicans [led by John McCain] in on the deal said they won't kill the judicial filibuster so long as Democrats only invoke it in "extraordinary circumstances," whatever that means.
The 14 senators held the swing votes, so they didn't have bother getting their parties' respective support.
One prof told the Post, "I think they did what the Senate very often does. They kicked the can down the road."
That sounds about right. It was all politics all the time, as the Wall Street Journal's "Morning Brief" (not available online) notes:
The compromising senators, who struggled for weeks to work out a deal ahead of what would have been today's showdown, said they respected the party leaders they essentially thwarted -- the GOP's Bill Frist and Democrat Harry Reid. But they offered a subtle swipe at Mr. Bush, saying they interpret the Constitution's Article II, Section 2 on "advice" to mean the president, before nominating judges, should consult with senators "both Democratic and Republican."
The blogosphere is abuzz with what it all means. Two of our favorites: "Looks like both sides are upset, so it must be a good compromise," says Patterico's Pontifications, adding:
The next time John McCain [one of the 14 "moderates"] runs for any elective office, I pledge to support his opponent. I will use my blog to encourage others to vote for his opponent.
I am singling him out because of his fascist campaign finance law, which will not stop me in any way from using this blog to oppose John McCain for the rest of his days.
Then there's Little Miss Attilla, who notes that McCain has "been especially destructive to the First and Second Amendments. You know: the important ones" and takes the long view:
The odds are good -- or, if you like, the risk is real -- that she'll end up in the White House in 2009. If you believe (as I do) that her true convictions are considerably to the left of her behavior in the Senate, you should take very seriously the idea of her nominating judges, particularly to SCOTUS.
The judicial filibuster is a tool that we may well need someday in the not-too-distant future.
The very sound of McCain's smarmy voice as he oils his way across the political landscape always makes our toes curl. It isn't the insincerity per se, which is, after all, an occupational hazard of his chosen profession. It's the MSM's fawning over the "maverick" Republican that really grates. We always have to mute or surf away when Arizona's senior Senator comes into view on the TV screen. Our clicker finger has been very busy this morning.