I don’t think Conservatives should automatically dismiss a centrist bloc as a bad thing. It all depends “where” in the center the bloc is. If the gang of fourteen moves those seven Democrats even slightly more to the right than the seven Republicans move to the left, then the center of gravity in American politics, or at least the Senate, has probably moved to the right. I think you can make that case. The Democrats — and not just the 7 of 14 (heh) — have agreed that two of the most “extreme,” “radical” and “rightwing” judges are actually good enough and mainstream enough to get a floor vote. That’s progress.
Yes, it’s annoying that McCain has solidified his role as a power broker, but the new watchword of the day is centrism. I think that pulls many Democratic Senators to the right and fewer Republican Senators to the left. I guess I’m coming around to the John Podhoretz position.