Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Boy, the Bush Administration drives a hard bargain.

According to Byron York, who writes about Bush's week-kneed judicial collapse in today's NRO:
The agreement came after weeks of frustrated negotiations between the two sides. In the end, it was Republicans who forced an end to the stalemate. They did so by threatening to bring up for a vote the president's lower-court nomination of Marcia G. Cooke, an African-American lawyer from Florida who is supported by both of her (Democratic) home-state senators. If Democrats wanted to maintain their blockade and use the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education to stall the nomination of a clearly qualified black woman, Republicans said, they were welcome to do so. As it turned out, Democrats didn't want to do that, and accepted what was, for them, an extremely attractive White House offer.
Only the Bush Administration could twist the opposition party's arm enough to get it to agree, under duress, to do exactly what it's already been doing for 3 1/2 years.

Pretty sweet deal for Bush. As York points out:
In return, Daschle promised to let 25 of the affected nominees through the Senate. That number includes 20 District Court nominees and five appeals court nominees, who will receive Senate action by the end of June. All of them are non-controversial; Democrats did not agree to stop their filibusters of nominees Priscilla Owen, Carolyn Kuhl, and Janice Rogers Brown (another filibuster target, Miguel Estrada, withdrew his nomination in the face of Democratic opposition). Democrats also did not agree to forgo more filibusters in coming months; some in the GOP expect Democrats to filibuster nominees Terence Boyle, Claude Allen, Brett Kavanaugh, and possibly others if Republicans attempt to bring them before the Senate for votes.
You drive a hard bargain, Mr. President. You gave all your power away in exchange for a return to the logjammed status quo ante of two months ago.

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