Tuesday, May 24, 2005

When is compromise not compromise?

When only one side gives up ground, its not compromise. There are attempts all over to get a sense of who got the better end of the deal. On the whole I think it is not as bad as some think, but I don't see it as an actual win for the Democrats, it seems more of a holding action. The Republicans were able to get the three most controversial judicial nominees through and the Democrats get to keep a weakened filibuster. It may have been the best option the Dems could get in the short term, but unless the moderate Republicans are willing to stand by their seeming commitment to support more broadly accepted nominees in the future, we are likely to see this standoff again.

In the end the real point has been overlooked. The Republican majority threatened override the rules of the Senate (which state that 2/3 majority is required to change the rules) in order to change the eliminate rules that put limits on their power. It would have an abandonment over 200 years of precedence as well as a clear departure from the intent of the framers of the constitution.

This was not a debate over nominees but whether the majority party in the Senate has to right to overturn the rules in order to expand its power. The rules on the matter are clear, just as the Republicans are clear about their interest in shirking any and all limits to their power.

This agreement is a patch, this issue will continue to raise its head until responsible individuals who respect the framework of the government are elected.

- Murphy

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