Compelling theater on the floor of the United States Senate tonight (Friday PM).

The Good News: Comity, pragmatism, and the national interest reigned within the Upper Chamber this evening, as the Senate passed the President's FISA bill.

An AP account of the proceedings here.

Watching the drama play out on C-SPAN2, one could not help but notice that the production appeared skillfully orchestrated. Even as the Democrats were voting against the Republican-crafted version of the bill, certain members seemed designated to raise the total to the needed sixty votes for passage. Red-state Democrats (Southerners like David Pryor and Mary Landrieu and lower Mid-Westerners like Claire McCaskill) provided the needed margin, while all the Democratic candidates for president voted against the measure.

Another wrinkle: Although the Senate website has not posted the roll call vote yet, I distinctly heard Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Mikulski, and Bill Nelson, all Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee, vote in the affirmative for the bill.

A humorous aside: I think I heard Mary Landrieu change her vote twice, voting in the affirmative initially, re-voting in the negative, and then casting her third and final vote in favor.

All in all, well done. The mission was accomplished, the Democratic leadership saved face, Russ Feingold scolded, and almost everybody seemed to exit the chamber smiling and friendly, happily headed home, and deservedly proud of one another--having done their duty.

Good show.

One last thing: The junior senator from New York waited until near the end of the vote to cast her "thumbs down," and I was holding my breath wondering if she was going to further set herself apart from her nearest rival, the junior senator from Illinois. I really wanted to title this post: "Mrs. Clinton? Aye!" What a fitting end to a week in which candidate Clinton advocated an adult foreign policy, while Barack Obama seemed adrift. But, alas, not tonight.