. . . Monday May 23, 2005

Revenge of the Moderates

Senator Mark Pryor called it the revenge of the moderates as a group of middle leaning Senators helped the body to avert a humiliating and disastrous waltz into political nevermore.

Fourteen Republican and Democratic senators broke with their party leaders last night to avert a showdown vote over judicial nominees, agreeing to votes on some of President Bush’s nominees while preserving the right to filibuster others in “extraordinary circumstances.”

The dramatic announcement caught Senate leaders by surprise and came on the eve of a scheduled vote to ban filibusters of judicial nominees, the “nuclear option” that has dominated Senate discussions for weeks.

This was at least a tiny blow against the extremism that has increased its hold on both parties (let’s keep that momentum going).

It was also a blow to the leadership of both parties. Harry Reid got with the program and described the deal as “a significant victory for our country.”

Bill Frist, though, explained: “It has some good news and it has some disappointing news.”

The good news is for the Senate and the country. The disappointing news is all related to Frist’s 2008 presidential ambitions.

Concentration is important!