Much puzzlement at first, then gnashing of teeth, then a growing sense of triumph as we try to make sense of what just happened. We’ll know more in the next few days as details come out and we see how the votes on nominations actually play out. But the take right now is, this is a winner for dems.
- Frist has 55 votes to our 45 and yet he couldn’t deliver. Dobson & friends are not into compromise; they hate moderation more than they hate Democrats. They are going to be apoplectic. Read some initial reactions from the far right here.
- Frist was forced to accept essentially the same deal Reid offered him 10 days ago. He now looks weak.
- In defiance of Bush, Rove, Frist, & Dobson, 7 moderate Republicans - enough to break Frist's majority - forged a deal with moderate Democrats. They all stood together on national television smiling and congratulating each other on their loyalty to the republic, to the senate, to tradition, to the American people. Note: not their loyalty to Bush.
- We're not sure, but it looks as if part of the deal may be to vote down some of the nominees when they come to the full senate. If so, then this was a great deal.
- Reid looks happy; Frist looks whipped.
- Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the White House should show a little more deference to the senate in future nominations.
- The filibuster remains on the table if we need it - but then so does the nuclear option.