A great deal has been written and said about the filibuster deal. There are declarations of victory and defeat on both sides of the political aisle. I'm not happy that some of Bush's nominees will have lifetime appointments on the bench. But I'd rather preserve the right to filibuster on Supreme Court nominees than lose that right and find all of Bush's nominees sent through. And while there's no guarantee that Frist's filibuster "rule change that's not a rule change" would have gone through, it was a strong possibility.
Some folks are claiming that the Dems can't filibuster based on ideology since they've let these extremist judges through and the deal they made was to filibuster only in extraordinary circumstances. I think it's reasonable to say that an appointment of an extremist to the Supreme Court is an extraordinary circumstance. I'd also argue that the Republican's elimination of all other means of blocking a nomination, combined with the President's choice to accept the "consent" of the Senate but not it's "advice", if resulting in nominees that are entirely extreme (no moderates) might qualify as extraordinary.
We'll see. For now, I'll accept that compromise is necessary if we are ever to overcome the partisan divide in this country. And I'll embrace the fact that the real extremists on the right were sent a message that they don't control the Republican party, that they weren't elected to office and don't dictate what our representatives will do. That's the real value of this compromise.