Well, since Hugh's asking us all for our opinions again, I figured I'd add my two cents.
It is with great hesitation, after much deliberation, and only to be used as a last resort that I would recommend using what has commonly been referred to as the "nuclear option" regarding the override of a potential Democratic filibuster of Dubya's judicial nominees.
For those of you who've read my blog before you know better than to come here for insightful legal advice. I'm just a simple wookie trying to get into the medical field who happens to be an opinionated loudmouth as well. Don't ask me how all this government mumbo-jumbo works, for that you can go read Hugh, Powerline, or some of those other lawyers out there.
I just finished watching Field of Dreams on AMC. It's one of my favorite movies and I always get choked up at the end, not because Kevin Costner repairs his relationship with his dad, not because James Earl Jones "dies" and joins the other ballplayers in heaven, amd not because Kevin's little girl falls off the benches and then Doc Graham has to give up baseball again to save her and then he has to go and walk off into the corn forever.
To me the movie is about James Earl Jones' speech toward the end about the traditions of America. America has been a slate "wiped clean, rebuilt, then wiped clean again." When our founding fathers began this country freedom was the goal, but they were smart enough to realize that they didn't know what the future would bring, so they left us the ability to make the necessary changes as times changed. In the grand scheme of things, America as a country is still a teeneager; we're rebellious, we don't like being told what to do by others, and regardless of what you say we're going to do what we feel is right (damn, that makes us sound an awful lot like the French, *shudder*). We don't have the grand history of the French or Italians or British. All we have is our freedom and our traditions no matter how short lived.
And it is with our traditions in mind that I am so reluctant to put aside Senate tradition, so that Republicans can rewrite the judicial process to prevent judicial filibusters. Once we've done that and "gone nuclear" there is no turning back. That is something that cannot be undone. Should this happen perhaps we'll have shot ourselves in the foot for the future when Democrats try to push Michael Moore or their latest darling Ward Churchill through judicial nomination process. What could we do then?
This does not mean that I am not furious with Democrats for taking us to the point where we have to even consider this option. They are breaking Senate traditions as well by filibustering Dubya's nominees. Again. But as Hugh points out this could be a good thing in the long run, but Republicans should weather the storm. It shows that the Democrats are really starting to lose their sanity, doing things never before done. They are afraid of losing their two remaining bastions of hope: the courts (and the legal profession in general) and academia.
With Dubya winning his second term in what is in retrospect a landslide, the country gave Dubya his mandate (on a side note, for all you morons out there with the "53% is not a mandate" bumper stickers... get a grip. Just because you disagree, doesn't mean it's not a mandate. If roles were reversed and Kerry had won with 53%, you'd be screaming from every mountain top that "the nation had spoken" to "hold Bush accountable for his" *gag, wretch* "war crimes." Please. Take it like a man; stop whining.) The public is now being made aware of the atrocities being preached in our universities in the name of diversity; the Ward Churchill debacle is a prime example. And now Dubya is trying to swing our courts back toward the center from the far, far left.
This possible filibuster is the Democrats chance to save their party. If they decide to filibuster, they will further marginalize themselves and push mainstream, political centrist Americans away by mocking their faith and their beliefs in standards and accountability. Or, as Hugh suggested, perhaps a Democrat with some common sense will step forward and speak out against the filibuster in an effort to save their party (this really could be a shining moment for Hillary. It would go a long way with middle America) . We'll have to wait and see.
Think of the nuclear option in terms of the weapon it alludes to. When we dropped "the bomb" on the Japanese to bring them to their knees and prevent future years worth of war and killing, it gave the left-wing, moonbat peaceniks something to hold over the head of this country. You still hear them ridicule this country and guilt trip those in power with their tired sayings like "the only country to actually use a nuclear weapon." Let's not give them anymore ammunition.
For Republicans, the nuclear option should remain just that, an option. Use it for leverage; use it to threaten. But push that button only if all other options have failed.