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May 24, 2005


Naturally I concur in most, if not all of this analysis. The fact is that Dobson DID believe he was in control of Frist, and that meant in control of the the Senate Republicans. Bush thought that too. Those have both been disproven.

And then there is the matter of GOP intercine warfare, and who it drives closer to whom. Perhaps it was you who linked to Ed Kilgore's post False Prophets but I read it this am. It explains a lot to those of us whose cast of mind is very different from the religious zealots. Well worth a read.

Time will tell just who has won and who's been left behind, but I'm, modestly hopeful considering how far down we are in power.

One interesting point. The one abstention from the cloture vote on Owen? Inouye. Given the agreement, it looks like Chafee and Inouye were thrown on at the last minute to make sure they had 14.

Given the agreement, it looks like Chafee and Inouye were thrown on at the last minute to make sure they had 14.

I thought it was really conspicuous that the "gang of 12" became the gang of 14. I tried to figure out why, so naturally I started counting, and realized that if there are 7 in the deal, nobody can be called the deciding vote. This was done by the Dems and McCain to take the heat off DeWine and Graham. And I suspect you're right that it was Chafee who got added to the list.

Mimikatz: Mark Schmitt linked to that, but I haven't read it yet. I'll do so now; thanks for the recommendation.

Just some more details, because I CAN'T TURN OFF CSPAN.

Specter is looking every bit the Judiciary Chairman, holding hearings to tout the Republican judges. By not voting for the deal, he's going to be able to shepherd these forward.

He was asked about Myers. Said that since the loggers and the ranchers think Myers is a good guy (no, really?? What the fuck about those of us who don't rape the land for a living??). But that he was willing to lose Myers as a least worst outcome.

Then Nelson was up. He said that he would probably vote against one of the three, which seems to support Graham's claim that one of the judges won't pass. I suspect it's NOT Owen (not like any of us thought it was) because Nelson hadn't spoken with the judge yet.

He also said that Myers and Saad MAY get votes on the floor. Which leads me to believe that they are "acceptable" filibusters (particularly if Specter is saying that Myers is out). Which also would support my speculation that extraordinary circumstances are understood to be legally extraordinary (Saad's FBI file and Myers' active investigations).

C'mon emptywheel, you don't want it to end this way, do you? Think of your dog, do you want your dog to know you let it happen this way? So why don't you just put down the remote, put it down on the ground, and kick it over to the side. C'mon, give me the remote, and nobody gets hurt...

Oh, and ONE MORE detail. Nelson said that he voted against cloture on Saad in the past because he had still not received something he had asked for in order to assess the nomination. It sounded very much like it was his FBI file. Anyway, Nelson said, "I find that an exceptional circumstance, when I didn't have all the materials I needed to vote." I find this very interesting, because it is an EXACT parallel with the Bolton nomination. Particularly since the WH is probably trying to hide stuff just as they tried to hide whatever the black mark is in Saad's file.

It didn't work, DHinMI. I'm now thoroughly subject to the will of Senator Byrd, who is hypnotizing me with a parable on the Pardoner's Tale.

Besides, I'm streaming. No remote. Can't bill without being on the computer. Therefore, can't leave the computer.

Addiction is never pretty.

I think we can make this an even bigger win with spin. I wrote a diary about how the Talk Radio wing of the GOP is reacting. The are livid and are driving their listeners up the wall.

So if we play the reasonable people who are not exactly happy about the deal but are happy we compromised, I think we can win the PR war and grab more moderates. The extremists on the right will show themselves as, well, extreme.


Well, since last night I, too, have read a metric ton worth of comments and commentary, quite a bit of it put forward by people with a much firmer grasp on issues of this sort than I, including most of the folks here. So I'm hardly in a position to argue effectively.

Almost all of what you've written in this post makes sense to me. Except I can't get over one phrase you wrote that would seem to call everything into question: a chastened Bush administration . Never have these guys accepted chastisement previously, so I am not yet persuaded that they will do so in this case even though the chastisement arrived via members of the GOP.

I shall be most happy to be proved wrong.

MB: I hesitated in writing that phrase, but I think it's likely to occur, because--in an admittedly somewhat circular explanation--of the problems I laid out in post. Like I argued, up until know they've never had to worry about the Republicans. About the only time they did was on the Medicare bill, when Hastert and DeLay had to resort to bribing Nick Smith to support the bill. But other than that, they've pretty much gotten everything they asked for from the Republicans. But two things are coming back at them right now, the reluctance--even resistance--of lots of Republicans to carry the administration's water on Social Security, and now this open rebuke to the White House. They gave the marching orders, and all the Republicans followed. But that ain't gonna happen any more. Either they recognize that, which will result in them acting chastened, or they wage war on their own party. I'm sure the Dobsonites favor the later, but I have to believe Rove will opt for the former.

They'll either be chastened or impotent. It's their choice, because short of another terrorist attack, I don't think Bush has enough leverage on the Congressional Repubs anymore; Frist is done, DeLay is besieged, and Bush is quickly becoming a lame duck.

Does anyone think that this agreement brings appellate court nominees under more scrutiny than ever before? Before this, only supreme court nominees got national attention.

Now that will change, if only because the nuclear showdown is still looming over the Republicans. Bush will give us an "extraordinary" supreme court nominee. You can take that to the bank. He's just too much of a bad-ass to admit the game is over and he and Frist have lost the gambit. Bush should move onto the next game, but he won't. He'll keep trying to win this one, and that means he wants another Bork. Someone to invigorate the right's sense of victimization and maintain the polarized atmosphere that his politics depends on.

"any future use of the filibuster will center not on whether the filibuster is legitimate, but whether it’s a legitimate application of the filibuster"

And filibustering a nominee along the lines of Janice Rogers Brown is no longer legitimate...

"The biggest loser is Bill Frist. He promised something he couldn’t deliver, and his political career is done."

Yesterday, Reid got suckered by a classic good cop / bad cop play. He made a lousy deal with the good cop, and now the lefty blogospheric consensus has become that the bad cop somehow emerges as a loser.

Folks seem to be mesmerized by the kabuki dance to the point that they believe that it was actually in Frist's interests for things to go nuclear.

Before yesterday, I thought Frist was a dead man walking. And after the deal, I think he's now the favorite for the '08 nomination. I hope all my loses take a shape like that.

So, taken out of the context of this particular political debate, why do you support the filibuster or the disproportionate nature of the Senate? Your arguments on the specifics are pretty compelling, but to an extent they rely on the idea that the filibuster is something worth preserving outside the realm of Bush's court appointments.

Also, why wouldn't obstructionism that turns people against the Federal government for the 2006 election and stops most of President Bush's agenda be more in the Democrats' interests (and more importantly, our's)? I doubt the electorate would distinguish between Democratic and Republican incumbents if they were pissed at the government as a whole for not getting anything done. I think it's more likely that, properly done, obstructionism would generate an anti-incumbent sentiment that would probably help the minority party.

In any case, I hope you're right.

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