There are plenty of other good reasons why so many people are wringing their hands over the outcome of the Virginia Senate race between George Allen and Jim Webb. If Webb maintains his lead through the canvassing and recount process, a fairly good bet at this point, control of the Senate will strengthen the hands of the Democrats as they negotiate with the White House on issues foreign and domestic.
On the other hand, if Allen miraculously comes back to win, the Senate will remain in GOP hands and thus temper whatever policy initiatives come out of the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
But one of the most vital and long-lasting reasons why control of the U.S. Senate matters is the role that body plays in confirming federal judges. If the Democrats regain control of the Senate, President Bush will no longer be able to try to force through that body staunchly conservative judicial nominees like the two men he recently nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court– Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito– and countless other lower federal courts judges who are even more ideological and partisan than those Justices.
If the President wants to succeed in appointing any judges at all in the face of a Democratic Senate, he will have to look to more moderate jurists. And there are still plenty of them out there, in case you were wondering.