I've read a few commentators and listened to some talk radio, and my very basic, instinctive reaction is that all the claims about victory, tauntings about defeat, and expressions of satisfaction about agreement are part of playing a continuing political game. I didn't feel like writing even that, but then for some reason, Kausfiles focused my thinking:
So what did the 14 moderates actually accomplish with their deal? "They kicked the can down the road" .... [But i]nstead of fighting the "nuclear" fight all over again from square one, Dems and GOPs will first wage a new rhetorical war over what is "extraordinary" and what is "bad faith." The need to justify this loaded rhetoric presumably makes a filibuster battle at least somewhat less likely.So, yes, when the subject comes back up, it will get discussed in a new way, with reference back to the terms of the agreement. But will the discussion really be that different from what we endured over the past week or so? The agreement says "each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether [extraordinary] circumstances exist." How will this new argument go? No, you weren't really using your "discretion and judgment" just then, you were doing something else.
Maybe having had a trial run, they'll do a better job of predicting how bad they'll sound and will back off. But if there's a Supreme Court opening, too much is at stake.
Kaus (and others) assume the recent experience will cause Bush to nominate a more moderate jurist for the Supreme Court:
[T]he mere postponement--until, presumably, a Supreme Court seat opens up--favors the Democrats.... Bush will need to nominate someone who will either avoid or win such a somewhat-less-likely filibuster battle when the stakes are high enough for the bulk of the voters to be paying attention. This effectively narrows Bush's choices...Is that really true? After waiting all this time to get a Supreme Court appointment, Bush is going to pick a different person -- because of this compromise? That doesn't seem Bush-like. And if more people are paying attention and more is at stake, who will decide it's a good time to back down? I predict Bush picks a staunch conservative, the Democrats fight with everything they've got, and that won't be enough to defeat the appointment.