I've been trying to write a longish post about an unrelated matter, so I'm barely up to speed on the filibuster deal, but what Ezra Klein says sounds reasonable to me:
...it seems like we got what we wanted -- the preservation of the filibuster for the Supreme Court nominee. It seems, too, that the right didn't get what they wanted -- the end of the filibuster before Rehnquist retires. So long as the question was appellate judges, few would see why it was such a big deal. A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, however, is widely understood to matter, and trying to end the minority's options on that will prove significantly harder in the court of public opinion. Plus, the Republicans wanted this vote to happen and the Democrats didn't. That the vote was averted is, in the end, a defeat for them.
So I'm happy. Most of all because I think Democrats would've lost the fallout. Eliminating the judicial filibuster over some obscure judges just wouldn't, I fear, strike people as a big enough deal to shut down the Senate over.
-- Let me add there that the Democratic plan wasn't to shut down the Senate, but to keep paying the bills but slow work on GOP agenda items. However, I'm not sure the public would be able to tell the difference between that and a real shutdown, so I think Ezra's point holds.
... we can still hang this power grab on the Republicans' neck come 2006. As part of a wider argument about their abuses of power, it'll make perfect sense, and the fact that seven Republicans signed on to stop it will only strengthen our case. Plus, anything that makes James Dobson this angry is bound to leave me pleased:
This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans ...
I still want a full-on fight in the court of public opinion over the worst judges. Of the three who'll be votred on, I think Priscilla Owen would be hard to defeat that way (too many people, even pro-choice people, are uncomfortable with teenage abortion, regardless of the law), but Janice Rogers "Your Social Security Check = Socialist Revolution" Brown and William "Hitching Post" Pryor strike me as quite possibly beatable.