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The Bravest Political Act of the Century

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Hilary Rosen is right, the cloture compromise is a loss for the right wing of the Republican Party. Harry Reid is justifiably happy and James Dobson is justifiably outraged and disappointed. Nothing outrages and disappoints an extremist more than compromise.

Senator Reid was on the verge of becoming the weakest Minority Leader in Senate history. But for the last minute defections of Lindsey Graham and Mike DeWine, the Republicans had the votes to change the cloture rule. Senator Reid played his side of the chess board brillantly. And Bill Frist knows it. That's why Senator Frist couldn't even fake a smile and claim victory.

If John McCain is not the next Republican presidential nominee, it will be because he outraged the Dobson wing of his party with the cloture compromise. Senator McCain knew that he was risking his political future every minute he was in the room discussing compromise. What Senator McCain did in the end -- pushing both gangs of seven together for the press conference announcing what no one thought they could accomplish -- is easily the bravest political act of this century.