Yay! We're back where we started...: Put the duct tape and clear plastic sheets away, the Senatorial crisis over judical nominees is over. In exchange for up-or-down votes on a handful of appellate court judges, the Democrats get to reserve the right to use the filibuster only in "extreme" situations. You have to ponder the merits of that qualification. Since the Dems get to define what is "extreme", isn't that like giving an obese person on a diet the power to decide what is "fattening" ("Yes, but they're low carb!!!")?
I mean this thing got so bad, you had otherwise well-spoken people like Arlen Specter sounding like a pundit lost in a metaphor factory, noting that the nominees are being "held hostage as pawns in a convoluted chess game that is spinning out of control." For those counting, he was one metaphor away from the world record for a sentence with fewer than 25 words.
Our buddy Erik is gathering the conservative blog reaction (which ranges from full-on hissy tantrums, to skeptical optimism), and the consensus seems to be that three judges will get floor votes, while Saad and Myers will not.
I never thought that the filibuster was in real danger - not even Frist and DeLay are that short-sighted to throw out the only real weapon the minority has - but at the same time, I'm happy this is over so the Senate can focus on some serious business. I hear there's a lame horse about to be put down somewhere in Kentucky that may need immediate legislative intervention.