Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Nuclear free for now

The nuclear option compromise is messy and disadvantageous to Democrats in various ways. But the main movers behind the nuclear option, Dobson et al, are going nuclear themselves over the “sellout” by Frist and Co.

So this looks like a good deal for Democrats. They fought a superior force to a standoff. They maneuvered the GOP into an awkward position at cross-purposes with its base. They gave up something to do it, but that’s politics.

And the Senate is still the Senate, as opposed to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the White House – for now.

But of course this will come up again. But as Mickey Kaus noted, right now nobody’s paying attention. If the next nuclear showdown occurs during a debate over a Supreme Court nominee, everybody will be watching and that will not help the Republicans, especially if Bush nominates a Bork or a Thomas II. So conceivably Bush will have to think twice before doing so. Not that he ever has in the past.