May 25, 2005


The Senate's Real Leader (David S. Broder, May 25, 2005, Washington Post)

In contrast to Majority Leader Bill Frist, who was unable to negotiate a compromise with Minority Leader Harry Reid or hold his Republicans in line to clear the way for all of President Bush's nominees to be confirmed, McCain looks like the man who achieved his objectives.

If -- as many expect -- McCain and Frist find themselves rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, the gap in their performance will be remembered.

To be sure, McCain was only one of 14 senators -- seven from each party -- who forged an agreement to clear three of the roadblocked circuit court nominees at once, shelve two others, and reserve the option of future filibusters only for "exceptional circumstances." And the deal forged in McCain's office probably would not have been possible without the support of such Senate elders as Republican John Warner and Democrat Robert Byrd.

But no one else in the negotiating group has McCain's national stature, and no one else is a likely presidential contender three years from now. So, while such would-be candidates as George Allen of Virginia and Sam Brownback of Kansas lined up behind Frist, McCain took the harder road and helped organize the bipartisan effort that averted the looming crisis.

He did that knowing he would incur the wrath of the conservative activists who want no barriers placed before their favorites for possible vacancies on the Supreme Court. But contrary to myth, the heroes of the far right rarely win presidential nominations -- as witness the fate of Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson, among others.

The first post-W presidency will be about passing the remainder of his program and Mr. McCain is both a proven dealmaker and the one candidate who's guaranteed to win by enough to have a veto-proof margin in the Senate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 25, 2005 3:39 PM

He's also the man who needed to be defeated in 2000 because he is a Democrat-light. Not my words, Orrin, yours.

If this vainglorious fool becomes president, he will undo all Bush's achievements, just to satisfy his colossal ego.

Posted by: Peter at May 25, 2005 3:49 PM

If he even runs OJ I'll send you a book

Posted by: BJW at May 25, 2005 4:02 PM

Don't let The Wife hear that...

Posted by: oj at May 25, 2005 4:05 PM

Come on, oj, we all know that Condi will be named VP next year and she'll be Bush's hand-picked heir to finish his agenda.

Posted by: b at May 25, 2005 4:15 PM

But suppose W picked McCain instead, annointing him as the successor?

Posted by: oj at May 25, 2005 4:19 PM

If Bush picks McCain as his successor, I will:

1) Eat my hat.

2) Write in Zell Miller.

Posted by: b at May 25, 2005 4:34 PM


Yes. It mattered in 2000, but not now.

Posted by: oj at May 25, 2005 4:52 PM

There you go, all. If OJ ever really ticks you off, just mail him a box with some books and a note on the outside – "Here's your first shipment from Book of the Week!".

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 25, 2005 6:40 PM

I'll send The Adventures of Augie March if somebody can send me a picture of OJ's facial expression when he opens the package.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 25, 2005 7:36 PM

Maybe it'll look something like this?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 25, 2005 7:39 PM

I'm getting really annoyed with the fawning over McCain that I see goin on. There is a reason that Frist is the majority leader, and there is a reason why we have 55 members of the GOP in the Senate. This stupid little deal only delays the time when we will have to use the Constitutional option, and it shows that we have 7 in the party who don't have the guts to go on record making a hard choice. To paraphrase the Iron Lady, "Consensus shows an abscence of leadership." We could have gotten all the nominees without this, but now we have to worry about our lilly-livered moderates.

Posted by: jay at May 26, 2005 9:48 AM


If Frist had fifty votes he'd have changed the rules at the beginning of this Congress, when it would have been a normal order of business.

Posted by: oj at May 26, 2005 10:27 AM

Hmm, isn't it a problem that McCain isn't a BELIEVER in the Bush program, and doesn't give a flip about getting it passed -- hence Orrin's own complaints in 2000 (and yes, that would seem to matter).

Sorry, I'll pass.

Posted by: kevin whited at May 31, 2005 11:38 AM


Now that there is a program though he can help pass it. His lack of any program of his own gives the GOP Congress back the power that W took.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2005 11:46 AM