I am afraid that we have been led into yet another trap by media-cult-of-personality McCain on this. At some point in the game, McCain had to realize that he simply wasn't getting enough people to go along with him to vote "no" on the Byrd Option, and so he instead decided that it would be infinitely more cunning of him to kill the Byrd Option with a compromise. It's not as good as being the leader of a "Maverick Caucus" of 6, but it's almost as good, by God. Notice how carefully this has all been orchestrated. Earlier in the evening, reports were circulating that an emergency meeting was taking place in *gasp* the offices of John McCain. When the deal was announced, it was McCain striding confidently to the head of the pack with deal in hand.
The effect of this compromise has been simple. Before, we had to go get the approval of Harry Reid at the head of 45 Democrats to get a nominee pushed through. Now, we have to go get the approval of John McCain at the head of 14 "centrists" (this is a euphemism for "Democrats", including those who have not yet realized which party they belong to).
Everybody gets screwed on this deal. Reid gets screwed because clearly McCain can garner the cloture votes over Reid's objections. Frist gets screwed because he's effectively handed over the GOP leadership position on judges over to McCain by accepting this compromise. Now, the party leaders from either side must come crawling to McCain's door for permission in fear that whatever public position they take, McCain can assemble his crack coalition behind closed doors and wash away four years worth of party discipline. Everybody gets screwed except - as usual - John McCain, who has created for himself automatic media spotlight during all future nominations, as reporters go to the real source of Senate power to find out whether the nominee will get through. Given that the upcoming SCOTUS fights are sure to be the most politically charged and publicized fights since the election aftermath of 2000, McCain has somehow managed to create more of a media frenzy upon himself than he had before.
Unless you intended to send a party run by John McCain into control of the Senate, it's time to pick up the chant again. Not. One. Dime. Not until this party re-learns the meaning of party discipline on the issues that matter to us the most. Not. One. Dime. Not until a Majority Leader arises with the courage and tenacity to face down McCain and the MSM and do the right thing.
Not. One. Dime. Not until the tyranny of the 14 has ended.