How the Democrats won the McCain Mutiny.


Nobody can seem to decide who won the "compromise deal" on President Bush's conservative nominees. Here's why the Democrats won.

Second—term presidents have only a short time to govern. The president starts to bleed power, starting with Inauguration Day.  It's already happening, with games being played by Hillary Clinton, Bill Frist, George Allen, and of course, John McCain.

The McCain Mutiny postpones the real battle until Supreme Court vacancies occur.  Those may come in months or one to three years, depending on the health of the sitting Justices. The longer that  battle is postponed, the weaker President Bush becomes. Time is not on our side.

In military terms, Senate Republicans  had a chance to prepare the battlefield, to put Democrats on a level playing field by abolishing the judicial filibuster. The GOP lost. By postponing the battle, they made it much harder to change the judiciary. They blinked, and the ripple effects may affect America for decades.

It will now take a supermajority to pass any Supreme Court nominee. The Dems, led by John McCain, will be able to drive a half dozen wedges through GOP ranks, one for each presidential aspirant.

That is the real meaning of the McCain Mutiny. If Mr. Bush doesn't start playing real hardball now, the Supreme Court will not change.

James Lewis    5 25 05