The Filibuster Deal: Compromise Isn’t Always a Bad Word

I was late in coming to the position that the nuclear option should be used to coerce Democrats into playing fair on judicial nominees. My fear all along has been that the Republicans would regret the day that the power of the filibuster was weakened; on that day when they need it.

This assumes that the Republicans will not always be the majority in the Senate, a bet I’d be willing to make. There is an arrogance that comes with victory, and with having the strong arm in the all three Houses—Senate, Representative, and White.

I came around during the Terri Schiavo case, when an unresponsive and irresponsible judiciary irked me.

So, my approval of The Deal may be suspect. Perhaps I am a Moderate. Oh, my. But on most issues I am probably a moderate only in comparison to a very hard right.Although we’ll hear a lot about how The Deal solves nothing and about how the weak-kneed Republican leadership failed, it appears that the potential downsides of the deal are much greater for the Democrats. Although the Republicans may have to fight the same battles again, it is more likely that the Democrats will have to go along with an up/down vote for candidates that they would have otherwise threatened to filibuster. They will look disingenuous if candidates they filibuster meet the Owen/Brown/Pryor standard.

I believe it was wise to compromise, that it is a good deal for the Republicans, and that there some progress on assuring fairness in the President’s appointment of his own judges. If we can continue on that track without messing with Senate rules, that is preferable.

–James Jewell

About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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