Capitulation Posing as Compromise
The so-called compromise on the filibustering of judges is a capitulation by Democrats. Allowing the intemperate Janice Brown, the corporate political activist Priscilla Owen, and the general right winger, William Pryor, to ascend to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench is nothing but a defeat for the Democratic Party as a national party. In fact, more than ever, I smell the scent of the Whig Party, circa 1850.
When one considers the hypocrisy of the Republicans having dumped the "blue slip" they used to deprive a Democratic Party president (Clinton) of his judicial appointments, of stopping that president's nominees from even having a hearing (scroll down on link) before the Judiciary Committee, and the fact that 208 (scroll down on link) out of 218 judges Bush has proposed have been confirmed by most Democrats in the Senate, this so-called compromise has no integrity whatsoever.
To save the filibuster for "extraordinary circumstances," when somehow that means Janice Brown is not an extraordinary circumstance, only proves the vacuousness of the phrase in this context.
Please note, however: A commenter at Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly web log reports Senator Lindsay Graham (R-NC) has told MSNBC that one of the "non-extraordinary circumstance" three (Pryor, Brown, and Owen) will be voted down by a bi-partisan majority on an up-down vote of the entire Senate.
Even if Janice Brown is the one sacrificial judicial nominee, this capitulation by various Democratic Party senators who claim the mantle "moderate" nonetheless represents another sad moment in an already pathetic political decade. For regardless of the vote on Brown, she will be found to have passed the test of non-extraordinary circumstances and will become the litmus test used by Republicans against the Democrats exercising the filibuster option.
Update: David Sirota and some others who I adore are trying to say the capitulation is okay since the Freeperland is screaming betrayal at their Republican leaders. Sorry. The freepers screaming at their Republican leaders are lunatics and their inability to see that they've won...again...is consistent with such hard rightwingers having difficulties recognizing reality.