Skip to comments.Evolution of a deal on Senate fight over judicial nominees
Posted on 05/28/2005 7:33:02 PM PDT by Valin
WASHINGTON -- The signatures of 14 Senate centrists, seven from each party, spilled across the last page of a hard-won compromise on President Bush's judicial nominees. But whatever elation the negotiators felt, the Senate's Democratic leader did not share it.
In the privacy of his Capitol office last Monday night, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., asked for commitments from six Democrats fresh from the talks. Would they pledge to support filibusters against Brett Kavanaugh and William Haynes, two nominees not specifically covered by the pact with Republicans?
Some of the Democrats agreed. At least one, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, declined.
Details of Reid's attempt to kill the two nominations within minutes of the agreement, as well as other events during this tumultuous time, were obtained by The Associated Press in interviews with senators and aides in both parties. They spoke on condition of anonymity, citing confidentiality pledges.
The conversation in Reid's office was among the final acts of a drama that played out unpredictably over several weeks. It culminated in a deal that cleared the way for votes on some nominees long blocked by Democrats, left other nominees in limbo and averted a bruising fight over the Senate's filibuster rules.
"I think the place would have shut down or been severely disrupted had there been that bitter vote," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
(snip) Not so Frist.
After meeting with the GOP bargainers, he walked to the Senate floor to say pointedly he was "not a party" to the pact.
The next day, speaking to Republican colleagues, he was more blunt.
The seven GOP negotiators, one listener recalled Frist saying, "signed our rights away."
(Excerpt) Read more at stamfordadvocate.com ...
Was it evolution or intelligent design?
Sometime in the next two-three weeks Frist needs a big win or he's history. By big win I mean he needs to kick dingy harry's ass.
What's really called for is party discipline.
Yep. It is not like Frist was kept in the dark was it or if he was that is even sadder.
I personally don't dislike the deal IF as Graham has promised:
1. All of the Bush nominees go through the usual prior to 2001 confirmation process. If the Dims can either block in committee or find 50 votes against confirming Meyer and Saad, so be it. But NO FILIBUSTER and that is what Graham has now promised.
2. There is no filibuster of Bush Supreme Court nominees.
3. Bolton is confirmed in the new spirit of cooperation.
But add this article, if true, to Thursday' session of the Senate and we know:
A. Some members of Dims agree to break the agreement within MINUTES of reaching it. [Typical wishy washy moderate telling Graham what he wanted to hear and immediately Reid what he wanted to hear even though they were contradictory.]
B. The deal was publically broken on Thursday when Bolton was filibustered despite Dim promises. It was specifically broken by Lieberman, Bryd and Salazar when they voted no on cloture. Some would say that Inouye also broke it by not voting, but maybe he really was not there.
So the deal is broken. I agree Frist needs a big win. Also Dewine facing reelection needs a huge win. That big win could be either all the nominees get up or down votes and all Bush Supreme Court nominees do too with out changing the rules or Dewine needs a chance to vote to change the rules. The same is true for Graham. But Dewine is up in 2006 and he will have really hurt his chances unless one of the two things mentioned above happens.
"Frist should grow a pair and shout from the mountain top"
He's a far cry from LBJ.
"But Dewine is up in 2006 and he will have really hurt his chances unless one of the two things mentioned above happens."
I think we need to start mobilizing the "Dump DeWine in '06" campaign immediately. If he redeems himself, we can always halt it later. If he betrays us now, we will have lost most of the important battles by the time we actually get rid of him. Now is the time. A candidate should be sought who is willing to accept the above terms.
In addition, the candidate should be someone willing to "give way" to a stronger candidate later if it really is necessary to remove DeWine, as a truly strong candidate would probably not commit under these circumstances. For a secondary figure in Ohio politics, this will be a great chance to get national exposure and take a step upward.
There will be significant Right-to-Life cash available right now for an organzation and candidate ready to receive it.
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