An inevitable deal?

Gary Andres in the Washington Times praises the deal that the Bush administration cut with Senate Democrats over judicial nominations. We have criticized the deal, under which the Democrats agreed to floor votes on 25 Bush nominees in exchange for the president’s agreement not to make any more recess judicial appointments this year. Andres argues, however, that the Bush administration had already decided not to make any more recess appointments; thus the White House got 25 lifetime appointments for Republicans in exchange for agreeing to something it was going to do anyway. However, Andres points out that the Democratic threat to shut-down the confirmation process carried a huge potential risk for the Dems. In particular, he notes that such obstructionism posed a threat to the re-election prospects of Tom Daschle, who is facing the fight of his life in his conservative state. Accordingly, I suspect that the Democrats can say pretty much the same thing that Andres is saying on behalf of the Republicans: that they received something — no more ultra-conservative recess appointments — is exchange for agreeing to do something that they would have done anyway.

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