Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Doulbe-Take on the Compromise

I started as a strong member of the "Illin"...but I'm nearly converted to the "Chillin" side of the blogosphere.

OK, I'm not seeing red anymore over the Compromise, but I am thinking about a Red analogy that has soothed my partisan zeal. In essence, I'm thinking about the 'Nuclear' option and the Cuban-Missle Crisis. The agressors were the Soviets, shipping nuclear arms to Cuba. In the Judicial Confirmation Crisis, it was the Dems who were the aggressors...applying the filibuster in an unprecendented manner to block well-qualified nominees of the president. The U.S. responded to the Cuban-Missle Crisis with a blockade and a threat of military attack against Cuba (ending that country's Communist regime), that threatened the interests of the Soviets in supporting the Cuban regime as well as other Latin American countries. The Republicans resonded to the Judicial Confirmation Crisis with a political wedge issue (used in campaigns successfully, as against Daschele) and with the threat of the 'nuclear option' attack that would end the judicial filibuster for all time. In the Cuban-Missle Crisis, the Russians blinked and withdrew their nuclear weapons from Cuba (while still continuing to support them economically and militarily). And, it can be argued, in the Judicial Confirmation Crisis it was the Democrats / Moderates who blinked: withdrawing the blocks on the most important of the president's nominees while retaining the right to filibuster in theory.

Now, it isn't a perfect analogy. I think the victory won in the JCC is less definitive than that won in the CMC. But it may be closer than you think. In essence, this is a new starting point. The judicial filibusters are in the past. Though some Democratic senators have made noise about invoking further filibusters, they certainly haven't done so as of yet. They will have to be invoked again in regards to the Saad or Myers nominations should those nominations be brought to the floor. And just as if the Russians had once again sent missles back into Cuba, the Republicans will have the nuclear option in their pocket to once again threaten. It is a murkier situation. Would 2 of the 7 support the nuclear option in that case? How far can the Dems go in employing the judicial filibuster in regards to new nominess? Can they at all? What would be the response? Of course, the situation was very murky following the CMC. Would the Russians hold true to the deal to remove the missles? Would they renig and send them back in? Whither Cuba? Etc. etc. Furthermore, many U.S. observers believed that Kennedy had been outfoxed in the CMC. Some thought the U.S. had failed.

The reason I raise the issue of this analogy is to point to the fact that the outcomes of political compromises are rarely obvious in the immediate aftermath. But the parallel I offer would tend to suggest that the conservative skeptics may be a bit too pessimistic in regards to their evalutation. Alot depends on the days ahead, but we may be looking back, a few years from now, marveling at the Democrat capitulation over judges as represented in the MOU. D.GOOCH


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