Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Compromise

After all I had to say about the filibuster, I find I don’t have much to say on the compromise that saved it. On the one hand, Democrats seem to be happier about it than Republicans. On the other, though, the Republicans are getting a few odious judges through, and the Democrats are getting a promise. It’s all very precarious, and hinges on what the various compromisers consider “extreme situations.” But, at the very least, it’s a small cease-fire in the Senate war, And it took some brave senators on both sides of the aisle to make it happen.

So to the 14 senators who risked a lot to get this compromise through: Thanks. In the words of Strong Bad: “You just keep doin’ what you’re doin’.”



Sharon GR said...

I've started this comment about six times now, and I'm still struggling for words. Let's see how coherent I can make this.

I'm glad a compromise was reached, but as always, no one is happy with the compromise. My first reaction was that the Democrats sold out but that's not really fair and in further study I see how both sides did compromise. But I don't view the fourteen senators who forged this compromise as brave, or that they risked anything. (What do you think they risked?) I view them as moderates trying to wave the bipartisan flag and have something to trumpet when it's time to get reelected. All the quotes I've read from them are patting each other on the back. Yes, they kept the senate moving forward and back to other business today, great. And they avoided some pretty bad things for the senate, good for them! But I'm suspicious of all the grandstanding and it's only been a day and a half- the news magazine articles and the Sunday morning pundits haven't even gotten started yet.

It was the right thing to do. They all hold a heap more of my respect than Frist, for sure. Good for them! But let's not forget it's politcs as usual.

Rob S. said...

Maybe I overstated things. (I was half-asleep on the train when I wrote it.) But the Sneators -- particularly the Republicans, although possibly the Dems as wel -- were defying party leadership to get that done. And those seven Repubs were definitely taking a risk, in that they're bound to be labeled RiNOs (Republicans in Name Only) and be ostracized and punished by their love-to-walk-in-lockstep party. Some will probably get primary challengers that might not have been there before. Which is a little odd, because if they decide to flex a little bit their lynchpin position will also make them courted by their party on crucial votes as well. But if anyone can come up with a way to both punish and reward, it's the Repugs.

So yes, you're right, it's politics. But Republicans breaking ranks with leadership on anything important is far form usual, IMO.

Sharon GR said...

There is a chance of being labeled RiNOs. But how much does it matter? Let's take a brief look:

Lincoln Chaffe(R-RI), Olympia Snowe(R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME): all Republicans in states that went blue in 2004. Bipartisan is a good thing.

Mike DeWine (R-OH): Ohio, for crissakes. Moderate/bipartisan is the best answer here too.

John McCain (R-AZ): He's John McCain. What do you expect? He's Mr. Moderate Bipartisan and very good at it. (Always liked McCain.)

John Warner (R-VA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC): You're right here. These two reached out and risked alienating their bases in bright red states. Good job.

A review of the Dems shows that of seven, only two of are from states that went blue in 2004 (Inouye and Lieberman.) So good for these two, but the rest need to court the moderates in their red states. But really, most every state isn't "red" or "blue," but some shade of purple, and the independents and moderates in all states are needed for election. The "rise above partisanship for good of all" factor is very nice in the campaign ads.

These 14 Senators rose above partisanship and deserve our respect, even if they had personal agendas in doing so. Primarily, I'm happy that they made Frist mad. This whole thing has been a power grab, and those willing to compromise showed who holds some of the power.

At the same time, my suspicious, cynical side (yes, I get even more suspicious than shows in the previous paragraphs!) wonders if how much these 14 defied their party's leadership. This was a standoff where the Repugs (I like that, Rob) couldn't win without looking power-hungry to those same moderate voters I mentioned before. I expect that some folks high up in the GOP knew that and pushed quietly for compromise. You don't get to be the majority party without knowing how to play the game.

Greg! said...

You get to be the "majority party" by knowing how to rig elections.

Jeri said...

I think the best indicator of who really lost on this compromise is the apoplectic reaction of the radical right. Those people are going nuts, vowing never to give money to the Republican Party again.

I wouldn't characterize VA as a bright red state. The northern part, whose population is exploding, is much more liberal, being filled with federal employees, as are some sections of the southeast. Remember, this is the state that didn't elect Oliver North to the Senate (and John Warner campaigned for his Democratic opponent, whose name slips my mind).