Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Nuclear Results

Here’s an interesting story in the Washington Post:

The Senate’s top two Democrats, seeking a break in the impasse over seven stalled judicial nominees, said for the first time yesterday that they would consider a compromise in which some of the seven would be confirmed and the others withdrawn.

The comments by Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin (Ill.) startled some liberal groups because Democratic leaders have said until now that all seven nominees were unacceptable because of their sharply conservative stands on women’s issues, civil rights, the environment and other issues.

It is far from clear that such a deal would be acceptable to Republicans, because it would require them to drop their threat to change Senate rules in order to ban filibusters of judicial nominees. Democrats, who hold 44 of the Senate’s 100 seats, used the filibuster to block 10 appellate court nominees in President Bush’s first term. It takes 60 votes to end a filibuster.

While a compromise on the part of the Democrats would undoubtedly piss off some — maybe a lot of — liberals, that’s nothing compared to the reaction from James Dobson and his minions on the right if the Republicans are seen as willing to negotiate with “anti-Christians.” Harry Reid and Dick Durbin would take some heat, assuming that the Republicans even bite on the idea of letting one or two judges through, but Bill Frist would be crucified for betraying the hard right, who brook no compromises on their agenda and look askance at anyone who suggests that there might be a middle ground. Frist should know that you never negotiate with terrorists, especially if they’re on your side.