GOP moderates in the Senate -- an admittedly endangered species -- yesterday emasculated their majority leader and refused to go along with the "nuclear option", which would have revised centuries-old rules of order to prevent "tyranny of the majority".
God, speaking through Dr. James Dobson, is allegedly unhappy:
"This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats..."
More of that can be found here.
Frist looked stricken to say the least. He stressed that he was not a party to the agreement and that he hoped it would end a "miserable chapter in the history of the Senate," but he also stated what he keeps calling the "constitutional option" was still on the table. He also said he "will monitor this agreement closely."
Harry Reid, in contrast, seemed pleased. He said he was willing to work with Bush on his agenda, "but he should have a little more humility."
For the record, the nominations of Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen will proceed to a floor vote. The rest get no guarantees. The fact that the Republicans needed only 50 votes (with Dick Cheney breaking the tie) in a caucus of 55 means they had six Senators --or more -- who passed on pushing the "nuk-ya-ler" button.
Frist's presidential aspirations (that's the only reason he was doing this, for 2006 and the evangelical bloc) exploded on the launchpad. And John McCain's got stronger. But that's kaffe klatsch for another day.
What the GOP really failed to get was carte blanche on the next Supreme Court nominee.
That wonderful smell isn't just your morning coffee; it's victory.
Savor it, and stay girded for the next battle.