Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Winning and Losing

After a day of R and R yesterday, the Senator woke up this morning to find that a compromise had been reached over the president's judicial nominees and the nuclear option. What do we make of this?

Over at the CarpetbaggerReport, they are saying the interpretation depends on what we think the outcome would have been had the nuclear option been voted on. As this blog indicated some days ago, we believe the nuclear option would have been exercised, and the filibuster voted down and out. Advantage: Democrats.

But there's another point, isn't there? It's about what the outcome would have been had the nuclear option been voted on and either supported or rejected. Ezra Klein thinks progressives would have ultimately been hurt by the aftermath, being branded as obstructionists by either maintaining the filibuster of the nominees (if the nuclear option was voted down), or by grounding Senate work to a halt (as promised should the nuclear option been voted up). Since the ultimate goal, according to Ezra, was to preserve the filibuster for future Supreme Court picks, advantage Democrats.

Finally, assuming the nuclear option passes, Democrats are likely stuck with seven bad judges instead of just three. Assuming the option would fail, then Democrats get three bad judges instead of zero. There's a game theory conclusion here somewhere, where zero is the preferred result, seven is the least desired result, and three or four is the compromise. While this would normally be a break even result, the assumption that the option would pass means Dems would have been stuck with seven instead of three, their possible result. Advantage Democrats.

James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Free Republic posters ticked off--priceless.

A final further arguments goes to the effect of having these three put on their respective circuit court of appeals and the change in the balance of power they would cause. The confirmation of Owens and Prior wouldn't necessarily worsen their courts, but the confirmation of Brown would.

Cross your fingers that Brown is voted down.

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