“Democratic Disarray in the Senate,” by Ken Blanchard, South Dakota Politics, 15 July 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week28/index.html#a0005605559.
South Dakota Politics jumps on the tdaxp “Republicans Won the Filibuster War” bandwagon
As the White House comes closer to a nomination, the Democratic Senate appears in near-total disarray. Conflicting statements from Democratic leaders appear to be ferocious one day and fawning the next. What is clear is that there is a dangerous and growing disconnect between Democratic leaders and their base. . . . [S]ince the fight over the filibuster rule, shifting Democratic positions have been not just inexplicable but incoherent.
If Turley’s portrait is to be trusted, and he is after all a fellow Scot, two things are clear. One is the SouthDakotaPolitics was right to argue, against the wisdom of most conservative blogs, that the filibuster deal was strategic victory for Frist’s Republicans.
Seven Democratic senators agreed to a proposal that protected the right of the filibuster while allowing some candidates to be confirmed. The result was a disaster for the Democrats. To this day, most people cannot figure out what the Democrats got from the deal. The four candidates that the Democrats had vowed to filibuster as the previously deemed “worst of the worst” were allowed to be confirmed, while the Democrats promised (according to some of the signatories) not to filibuster any nominee on the basis of ideology. At the time, Minority Leader Harry Reid heartily praised the deal and the dealmakers for a masterful and historic agreement. Now, the Democrats are facing either a breach of the agreement by voting on the basis of ideology or a vote with Republicans to prevent a filibuster under the prior agreement.
In case you are wondering, that’s what winning looks like.
The second thing is that the Thune organization, and South Dakota Republicans in general, did more than just beat a powerful Senate incumbent in the last election. They crippled the Senate Democratic leadership at a key moment in the Bush presidency [a good example of node takedown — tdaxp]. It seems almost certain that Bush will get at least two SCOTUS appointments, and perhaps as many as four. Not bad work.
But the correlation of forces is against the no-change center-leftists who run the Senate Democrats, and the random-change far-leftists who run MoveOn and other groups.
The speed of policies in American politics is not known. But their direction is.