Frist's Retreat:

February is long past and the majority leader is giving no indication of when he may call a vote on a Bush judicial nominee. He now says he wants to negotiate with Democrats, specifically moderate Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), in hopes of avoiding a rule change prohibiting judicial filibusters.

Increasingly partisan Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) does not sound open to compromise. “There’s nothing on the table at this stage,” Reid said. “And I repeat that I would do nothing that would hurt this institution that I understand historically for 217 years has worked pretty well.” In Reid’s view, prohibiting judicial filibusters would hurt the Senate.