May 26, 2005

Losing is Winning

Robert Kuttner reconfirms who the real winners were in the filibuster "compromise."

As Kuttner explains, the original accounts depicted a cowed, humble Frist submitting to the pressure of moderate Republicans and Democratic heroes, all the while assailed by the rightwing of his party, and the angry religious base he serves. Poor Bill Frist -- armtwisted into compromise by those unrelenting liberals.

We come back to this story because it is way far from over (see more from my 5/24/05 post). In fact, the "heroic' Democrats who did the dirty work will rue the day they ever made an agreement with the likes of Bill Frist. As we know, Frist is already backtracking, and the slow dissolution of the agreement is inevitable. In the end, it will appear as though the Democrats reneged and the Republicans were the principled compromisers. If the Democrats give the Republicans enough rope, they will always be hung by the Republicans.

This maneuver will go down into American political history as a tour de force of parliamentary sleight-of-hand -- that is if we are able to save history in a democratic society.


No comments: