The Corner

John …

John, I am not against compromise, but compromise has to take account of ALL the relevant facts, not be entered into just because we want to appear reasonable. Otherwise, it’s not a fair compromise — it’s just a bad deal. Here, the facts include that 3 good nominees have already been defeated, and that the filibuster is denying a VOTE, not a WIN.

I think all 10 of these nominees should have gotten through. They are eminently qualified. If they had gotten a vote, however, I doubt all 10 would have been confirmed (I have never bought into the rhetoric that asserts otherwise). It would be a travesty if 2 or 3 qualified people were beaten, but the rules are the rules, the senators have a right to vote nominees down for any reason or no reason, and that’s life in the big City. I am not demanding a right to win. I am demanding a right to hold people accountable. The compromise here avoids accountability while denying confirmation to at least some nominees who would otherwise get through. That makes it a bad deal, and one that is not redeemed by the fact that you can label it a compromise.

Put in a setting I am more comfortable with, let’s say I had compelling evidence that a guy committed 10 robberies for which he should be sentenced to 50 years in jail, but he was willing to spare me the trial by pleading guilty to 1 robbery that would send him to jail for 5 years if I dismissed the other 9. If I took such a bad deal, I don’t think it would help me much to tell my angry boss, the U.S. Attorney, “You people of conviction just hate compromise.”

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