Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Monday, May 23, 2005
No nukes
Chris Matthews is dropping love bombs all over John McCain (he's a Maverick! oh yes! A Maverick!!!) and Lindsey Graham, after they joined 12 other moderate (and not-so-moderate) Senators in killing Bill Frist's "nuclear option."

Just one day before the showdown at the 08 corrall, the seven Republicans: Graham, McCain, Lincoln Chafee (RI), Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Mike DeWine (Ohio), and consistently decent John Warner (Va), and seven Democrats: Constitutional lecturer in chief Robert Byrd, Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska), Colorado newbie Ken Salazar (who I still say was the most underplayed story of the 2004 election -- no offense to Obama), Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Dan Inouye of Hawaii and Joe Lieberman (CT), upended the true believers on both sides of the ideological aisle and cut a deal.

The compromise will let Democrats retain the right to fillibuster in "extreme circumstances," while letting seven of Bush's bottlenecked judicial nominees come to a vote, including some of the most controversial, like Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Prior. That won't make the left happy, but overall, I think the reaction is far more acidic on the right than it is on the left, since Democrats can still pull the fillbuster trigger on a potential Supreme Court nominee this summer, while the GOP has ceded the right to change the rules until 2007. According to the Washington Post, McCain -- who is being portrayed as the ringleader (although it looks like Warner and Byrd were instrumental in getting this done, as probably was Graham by changing his mind) -- was assured that the no-go-til 2007 option is good, so long as the seven Dems "don't go back on their word" to interpret the word "extraordinary" very, very narrowly.

The news can't be good for Bill Frist, who is planning to run for president solely on the basis of his talent for sucking up to James Dobson and other members of the cult of life. If he can diagnose his political future the way he diagnosed Terri Schiavo's condition, he'll likely be declaring himself DNR for 2008 by tomorrow morning.

If you want a good inkling of how Old Man Frist must be feeling right now, here's a line from a May 19 AP story, predicting doom for Frist if just such a deal as went down to day, were to come to pass:

"If he does get rolled on this issue, it's going to look a lot less like a gladiator and more like Barney Fife," said John J. Pitney Jr., a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California...

By the way, Barney Fife never became president either...

posted by JReid @ 5:28 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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