As I wrote in a long post last evening, if the Congressional Dems keep rolling over to Republicans, even when the Terrible President and Congressional Republicans are suffering from self-inflicted wounds, then there is far less reason to be optimistic.
This article from the Washington Post is telling me we have no reason to believe the Dems are going to filibuster Judge Alito's appointment to the US Supreme Court--when the evidence is clear he is a supporter of the Terrible President's administration's view that torture is okay, is a big supporter of government's right to eavesdrop on US citizens without any warrants or probable cause, and may well end up overturning Roe v. Wade (either relegating it to a state matter or worse, deciding a fetus is a person in all respects, which I guess makes us all nine months older than we are...A little humor helps, I think).
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), as majority leader, needs to start the filibuster and dare those Dems who don't want to filibuster to vote against his leadership. That's what real leaders do. They take the risks of their office on important issues. While I can think of more important issues than the US Supreme Court nominees (such as trade deals, labor reform, tax issues, and foreign affairs), this is an important enough issue because we are talking about a permanent seat to replace a swing vote--and the issues Alito will hear may involve the very backbone of our Founders' fear of an unchecked executive.
This is a moment to watch the national Democratic Party leaders in the Senate. And for the grass roots activists to rise up against those who do not want to filibuster.
UPDATE: Robert Byrd (D-WV), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Tim Johnson (D-S. Dakota) have said they will approve Alito. Aren't there any good Democrats in W. Virginia, Nebraska and S. Dakota willing to run in primaries against these guys? Democrats who will not fight, and that means you too Harry Reid (D-NV), are not worth supporting any longer. Alito is taking O'Connor's place, Senator Reid!
The weakness among these capitulating Democrats is now at pathetically deep levels. The Dems who support a filibuster should begin a filibuster, dare these other Democrats to vote with the Republicans for cloture, and then, as to those who voted with the Republicans for cloture, analyze the by-laws and rules at the DNC and see if the DNC can cut funding from the DNC to those who failed to support the filibuster. If the Dems show some unity here for once, they will force the Republicans to vote to repeal the filibuster rule in an election year where everyone will see clearly how radicalized these Republicans are. Republican women who support Roe v. Wade and libertarians who normally vote Republican are mighty nervous right now and this will show them another big reason why they must vote Democratic in the mid-term elections later this year.