All Hail the Great Compromise!


I know DC is a company town, but the boosterism on the Wash Post's editorial page today is quease-inducing.

First up is the David Broder's extended brain fart regarding John McCain (aka "the Senate's real leader"). Broder starts off by averring that "the Monday night agreement to avert a showdown vote over judicial filibusters…spared the Senate from a potentially ruinous clash."

Ruinous? How exactly? By making the Dems and Reps actually declare and define something approaching core principles and ideological allegiances? Come on–a Senate showdown on this would not have only been a fascinating spectacle, it would have been a pretty damned good civics lesson. Broder may be right that McCain is a big winner here but who cares (and who takes seriously that McCain is really going to make it all the way to the White House come '08; the guy is mush-brained buttinsky who has tried and failed multiple times already)?

Then the usually insightful and super-sharp David Ignatius slobbers all over "two venerable, white-haired politicians clinging to the vanishing center: Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, 87, and Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, 78," who were at the center of "The Great Compromise."

Come on, Byrd is a total hypocrite on this matter, having threatened in 1979 to make the very rule change that the GOP leadership is pushing now. "This Congress is not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past," said Byrd at the time. As for Warner as statesman, does anyone really think that his legacy will be anything other than having been married to Elizabeth Taylor?

I suspect the new agreement will dissolve faster than a cake in the rain. As it should. And then maybe we'll see something really worth paying attention to: political discourse rooted in ideas. (But probably not.)