Cutting deals

There has been a lot of furor going around regarding the Republicans (well, seven of them anyway) cutting a deal with the Dems on the judicial nominations rather than “going nucular”.

I think it was a good move.

The Democrats have taken a huge amount of damage politically by filibustering the nominees; now they have agreed to let most of them through and promised to only filibuster “extreme” cases. If they turn around and filibuster again, they had better have a damn strong — I mean air tight — case regarding the person’s “extremism”, or they will only take further damage. They know this… and in the long run, if they do it anyway, the Republicans can always go nucular later.

Many people are arguing that if the positions had been reversed, there is no way that the Democrats would have cut a deal — they would have unhesitatingly steamrolled the opposition the moment they had the votes to do it. I agree with this assessment; but remember: the Democrats are idiots. They’ve spent the last six years gleefully shooting themselves in the ass, over and over again. The seven Republican senators (at least), and perhaps even the seven Dems, are smarter than that.

In short, the Republicans have cut a deal that allows the Democrats to back down and save a little face, in the process powerfully undermining the accusation that Republicans in general are themselves extreme. In the meantime the nominations will go through — probably all of them.

Update: Jay Briant at has a slightly different take, but in essence his essay coincides with my argument, (Hat Tip: Neal Boortz). I would also point out however, that he seems to be under the mistaken impression that the “Nucular Option” would have eliminated filibusters entirely, when in fact it was far more focused than that, and only intended to eliminate filibusters on judicial nominations.

Comments are invited and encouraged

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