Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 25, 2005
POLITICS: Cease Fire

I can't add a lot to the rivers of pixels that have been expended on the filibuster "deal." Obviously, it's not a good deal for Republicans, who for the future get only vague assurances of not filibustering except in "extraordinary" cases, which means nothing. Plus, as with cease-fires in war, an agreement of this nature is only useful if the will to enforce it can be summoned at the first violation. Making a deal when you have your forced mobilized always makes it harder to rally them again later.

Then again, it's not such a great deal for Democrats, either, as the Republican promises in the deal are entirely unenforceable once the Democrats filibuster again on ideological grounds. Thus, the only thing the Democrats get is to step back for a while from the brink at a time when the GOP may or may not have had the votes.

In that light, the deal's not a disaster overall - both sides went home unhappy, and Bill Frist got humiliated, but Bush does get a floor vote on three appellate court nominees, so unlike the typical Trent Lott-era deal at least there should be something lasting to show for all this.

Anyway, the pressure will only increase now on both parties not to compromise again at the next stage, when a Supreme Court nominee comes up. It's gonna be ugly.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:11 AM | Politics 2005 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

It's worth noting that one of the Democratic signatories already failed to live up to his part of the bargain by not voting for cloture on Owens.

Posted by: Richard at May 25, 2005 1:16 PM

Why is that worth noting? Didn't Owen move on after a 81-18 cloture vote? She got her up-and-down vote, and now her undeserved lifetime appointment. Try not to be such an ungracious winner, Richard.

Posted by: Mr Furious at May 25, 2005 4:27 PM

I haven't looked at the tally, but if one of the signatories violated the agreement the day after it was signed, that bodes ill for its chances of surviving very long.

Posted by: The Crank at May 25, 2005 4:36 PM

FYI, it was Inouye who abstained.

Posted by: Richard (different than above) at May 25, 2005 7:13 PM

Not having read the specific text of the agreement, my take on this would be similar to the Voinovich/Bolton situation—the signatories agreed to move the nominee on to an up-or-down vote, but didn't promise (or weren't required to promise) how they'd vote. (Much as Voinovich voted to move Bolton out of committee, and then promptly voted against him) And since the Dems won't filibuster, it doesn't actually matter how they vote, the cloture will be reached.

Posted by: Mr Furious at May 26, 2005 2:37 PM

The agreement explicitly stated that the signatories would vote yes on cloture for Owens.

Posted by: Richard at May 26, 2005 6:22 PM
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