The Washington Post’s David Broder urges the Democrats to back down from their filibusters of judicial nominees. He does so for reasons of principle and strategy. As a matter of principle:
Voters placed Republicans in control of the White House and the Senate, and while the opposition still has a constitutional role to play, at the end of the day that function has to be more than talking important matters to death.
As a matter of strategy, “the Republicans — with Vice President Cheney in the chair — could well muster the 51 votes needed to change Senate rules and abolish judicial filibusters.” If the Democrats were then to keep their promise to bring the Senate’s business to a halt, the Democrats would “take the brunt of the blame.” In addition, the Democrats would be unable to filibuster President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees, no matter how “objectionable.”
Broder’s column can be viewed as further evidence that the Republicans do indeed have the 51 votes they need to break the filibusters.