I agree Senator Frist’s speech was not as “hard-line” as some would have liked, but I think it is important to consider the timing. The Republicans have just increased their Senate majority substantially and knocked off the Democrats obstructionist-in-chief. At this point, it is not immediately clear that the Senate Democratic caucus retains its collective resolve to continue the filibusters of judicial nominees. So I think it is best to view Frist’s speech as a shot across the bow — a declaration to the Senate Democrats that judges will remain atop the agenda until the Democrats play nice. The judges issue was used successfully by Republican candidates in 2002 and 2004, and polls showed a clear majority of Americans preferred to judges appointed by Bush than by Senator Kerry. Frist’s speech was a warning that judges could also be used against Democrats in 2006. So at this point I’m willing to give Frist the benefit of the doubt.