"Under an eleventh-hour deal largely brokered by GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Democratic leaders, the Senate agreed Tuesday to quickly confirm five of Mr. Obama's executive nominees. In return, Democrats stood down from a threat to strip Republicans of the power to use the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to overcome, to stall or delay executive-branch nominations."
Yet, the article goes on to warn, "Republicans cautioned that the week's bipartisan truce could weaken when the debate turns to fiscal issues."
At The New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg concludes, "The difference between this filibuster flap and previous ones is that, this time, the Democrats were actually willing to do the deed. Harry Reid wasn’t bluffing, and the Republicans knew it. In the language of Nevada’s biggest industry, Reid won the pot. But the pot would have been a lot bigger if the G.O.P. hadn’t folded in the last round of betting."
Meanwhile, Norm Ornstein, writing in the National Journal, see it differently: "The deal fundamentally gives Democrats, and the president, everything they wanted on executive nominations. Normalcy, for the moment, is restored. But if the larger web of norms that has governed the Senate is not at least partially mended—meaning, not just the diminution or elimination of unwarranted blockage of executive nominees but a reduction in the use of the Senate’s weapons of mass obstruction over judicial nominations and the routine requirement of supermajorities for all bills—the delicate organism of the U.S. Senate will be damaged again, and we will be back to confrontation."