Dwight Meredith, as usual, has an incisive view of the filibuster agreement between the centristically-moderate-super-duper-centrists (i.e., those who are only slightly to the right of Clarence Thomas) in his post: Defining 'Extraordinary Circumstances'. It's most definitely worth a read.
I'll partly let the cat out of the bag with this extract from his post:
In defining what “extreme circumstances” means, the proper question is not:Now, this is not to say that deal has *actually* been good for the Democrats. It may have averted the "nuclear option", but as Bill Scher explains, the rest of the developments don't look good at all for the Democrats: the media's fully expected on-the-knees pandering to these Senators, making the Democrats who stood on principle against the most egregious and immoral candidates look "extreme"; the Democrats' capitulation on Bolton; the apparent intent of these 7 Democratic Senators to kill the national Democratic Party for a generation by cutting more deals with the Bushies, etc.Who is the most extreme nominee who was not filibustered?Having the power to block a nominee through use of the filibuster is not the same as having a duty to do so in each instance.
The proper question is:Who is the least extreme nominee for whom a filibuster has been determined to be justified?That makes the precedent established by the compromise much more favorable to Democrats.
While I can certainly forgive the Clarence Thomas 7 (which is what I'm going to call these faux centrist Democrats, for the time being) for the filibuster deal since Reid probably didn't have the votes to avert the nuclear option, any attempts to capitulate to the Bushies by cooperating on the Far Right (social, judicial or economic) agenda will make it very clear that these people don't stand for any moral principles, but rather, for positive press on "centrism".
As I said before, these folks and their enablers in the media have completely changed the notion of centrism - from that of an acceptable moderate position within a realm of otherwise acceptable positions, to a position purely based on political calculation (and no moral principles) that indicates a craven willingness to accept almost any element of the Far Right agenda, however immoral.
To put it bluntly, the actions of the Clarence Thomas 7 in the coming weeks (and months) will show once and for all whether they have any *real* principles and whether they have any interest in the success of the Democratic Party's future in this country, as opposed to making themselves look good in front of the cameras, using the media's fake descriptions of who they really are.
UPDATE: Yes, I know they are not literally to the right of Clarence Thomas - but their actions and craven, self-serving support for an extremist agenda makes it seem that way.