Capitulation, says Feingold
Here is Russ Feingold's (D-WI) response to the capitulation to the GOP hard right on the filibuster issue:
"This is not a good deal for the U.S. Senate or for the American people. Democrats should have stood together firmly against the bullying tactics of the Republican leadership abusing their power as they control both houses of Congress and the White House. Confirming unacceptable judicial nominations is simply a green light for the Bush administration to send more nominees who lack the judicial temperament or record to serve in these lifetime positions. I value the many traditions of the Senate, including the tradition of bipartisanship to forge consensus. I do not, however, value threatening to disregard an important Senate tradition, like occasional unlimited debate, when necessary. I respect all my colleagues very much who thought to end this playground squabble over judges, but I am disappointed in this deal."
Senator Feingold may have finally learned his lesson with the GOP when he agreed to join Republicans in supporting, at least in the Judiciary Committee, the odious, woodenheaded John Ashcroft to be attorney general. At the time, he did draw the distinction between having someone at one's side and a judge or a commissioner at the FCC. But the larger effect of his compromise was to show the Republicans that they could pick apart the Democrats and roll over them in opposition. Feingold had made a bad move, particularly when Bush had already been shown to have lost the popular vote--and Ashcroft was not well liked in the Senate (not to mention Ashcroft having lost his relection campaign two months before his ascension to the AG position).