Senators Avert Showdown Over Filibusters

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a dramatic reach across party lines, Senate centrists sealed a compromise Monday night that cleared the way for confirmation of many of President Bush's stalled judicial nominees, left others in limbo and preserved venerable filibuster rules.

"We have reached an agreement to try to avert a crisis in the United States Senate and pull the institution back from a precipice," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., adding the deal was based on "trust, respect and mutual desire to .... protect the rights of the minority.

"We have lifted ourselves above politics," agreed Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W. Va., "And we have signed this the interest of freedom of speech, freedom of debate and freedom to dissent in the United States Senate.

(Here from the AP via the NYTimes).

Don't get me wrong: This warms my heart. It really does. But isn't this precisely what we elected and paid these people to do in the first place? Why has it taken so long?

I think our astonishment should be directed to the unnecessary gridlock we've suffered for the last six or ten weeks, and not to the fact that our elected representatives have finally done their jobs.

Look, if I hired and paid someone to mow my lawn, or prepare my will, or educate my children, or whatever, and s/he spent ten weeks pissing and moaning and fighting with everyone and doing nothing before actually doing his/her job ten weeks late, I would fire his/her ass for incompetence on the spot. And I would not expect the New York Times and every other paper of record to trumpet his/her achievement in finally getting the lawn mowed.

There are several things rotten in Denmark . . . .