I have seen a lot of debate on who in the GOP comes out the winner and who comes out the loser in the filibuster deal.
Some are claiming the Frist has martyred himself for judges and is the big loser. Others claim that McCain has permanently divorced himself from the religious right. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, but here is my take.
Frist loses the biggest. First, he has shown that he can't hold together his own party when it comes down to the wire. This hurts his appearance as a leader. Second, he has shown himself as being inflexible, which the American people are getting fed up with. Third, it shows him beholden to the extremist right, and not in the main stream.
McCain, loses, but much less. He loses support from the extremist right, but looks strong to the moderate Republicans and Democrats that are his traditional base.
Both are presumed candidates for the 2008 election. The filibuster fight will help Frist in the primaries, but would kill him in the general election. McCain loses ground in the primaries where support from the religious right is needed, but picks up support from fiscal conservatives and moderate Democrats in the general election. Either way, I am hoping Frist is the GOP nominee. He is possibly the only man with less charisma than Al Gore.
Update: interesting take by Broder