Speaking at the press conference yesterday that announced the compromise to avert a filibuster showdown, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., conceded some conservatives would be angry at him for not helping to push the nuclear button. That’s putting it mildly. If the right-wing bloggers are any indication, hardcore conservatives think the GOP gave away the store and delivered a key victory to Democrats.
Captain’s Quarters complained, “This, in short, has been a clear victory for the Democrats and a massive failure for the GOP and the White House. The GOP just endorsed the filibuster, and will have no intellectual capacity to argue against its use later on.”
The Buzz Blog mocked the negotiating skills of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: “The Senate Leadership and President Bush have been sold down the river by these seven Republicans. This so called “deal” was a retreat from earlier claims that Democrats were willing to approve five of the seven filibustered nominees. Talk about bad negotiating tactics — McCain and company actually lost ground when the GOP held all the cards. This is a sad day for the Republic.”
Powerline called the compromise a fiasco for the GOP: “What a hideous deal! Someone explain to me why the Republicans haven’t been rolled once again. To me, it looks like a pathetic collapse on the part of the Republicans–not the leadership, but Senators like McCain who sold out their party.”
And Michelle Malkin complained, “The GOP parade of pusillanimity marches on. With this pathetic cave-in, the Republicans have sealed their fate as a Majority in Name Only.”
But not all conservatives would blame moderates who reached a deal. At Redstate.org, Josh Trevino wrote that the whole controversy was a Republican black eye: “Historians will look back with no small amount of wonder at this bizarre episode, wherein a majority seized with a maximalist vision of its own power and mission, and facilitated by the personal ambitions of one man, decided to sweep away the institutional checks upon which it itself so recently relied to stymie its opposition’s plans.”