If the Democrats do not filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito, it will show, yet again, why the party will remain a minority party--or, at best, do very little to show any kind of leadership to the millions of people who need a real oppositional party.
It's clear that with Alito on the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade will be overturned. It's even more clear to me that the rights of individuals will be further shrunk, that Alito will favor big corporations over workers, and that Alito is perfectly happy to let the Executive branch amass a scary amount of power, undermining the checks and balances we all learn about in school.
The apparent--and I say "apparent" because I am basing my perception based solely on public statements--unwillingness of the Democratic Party to take this fight is deeply troubling. As the Republicans proved during the Clinton Administration, the minority party in the Senate has an enormous amount of power, far more than a minority party in the House.
First, there is the filibuster. If Harry Reid can't muster 40 votes to launch a filibuster (assuming Reid himself wants to fight the nomination), who, then, does the party represent? Certainly not the huge numbers of people who will be directly hurt by the votes of a Justice Alito.
The Democrats have been cowed by the threat by Majority Leader Bill First to use the so-called "nuclear option"--ruling the filibuster out of order for judicial nominations. With this threat looming, the Democrats seem not to want to have the fight.
Why not have the fight? Let Frist rule the filibuster out of order. Have the fight. Take it on. Show the American people that you have some spine. Yes, you may lose--but millions of people will see the party stand for something.
And, then, bring the Senate to a halt. A single Senator can effectively bring the Senate to a grinding stop by objecting to consideration of a whole host of matters that the majority party attempts to pass by "unanimous consent." If the Republicans wants to ram through the nomination of Alito, let them pay a price--make First pay by making it impossible for him to advance significant legislation.
If the people who represent us don't have the guts to fight, then, they should step aside and cede their positions to other people who want to fight.