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James Boyce Headshot

Filibust.

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Today, the Democratic Caucus meets on the issue of what to do about Judge Alito. His views are clear and consistent. His agenda is real. The support of the extreme right wing of what used to be the Republican Party is authentic and resolute. So what will happen?

The Democratic Senators will shuffle out of the room. Harry Reid will approach the mikes. I predict there will be "misgivings" and "concerns." I see some "we have taken a close look at his record and nothing conclusively shows that he has a political agenda." comments popping up.

Some Democratic Senators will "believe him when he says his views have changed." There might be vague references to "last minute change of heart" and "we just don't have the votes" but essentially, the news can be summed up in two words. No filibuster.

This my friends is why for all that has gone wrong in this country, more has gone wrong in this party. Why is it when you remove yourself from Washington, when your eyes reopen to the world around you, only then can you see what is so clear to the rest of us?

John Edwards left Washington and starts an op-ed piece on Iraq with the phrase, "I was wrong." Didn't he learn anything from his fellow Senators Biden and Kerry? You don't use three words when three hundred will do. Now, John Edwards is calling on his fellow Senators to filibuster Alito. Sadly, somewhere in the halls of the capital, a Senator and his staff walk, wondering aloud what John Edwards is possible thinking.

Al Gore appears to have recovered nicely from his time in Washington. Five years of clean air and being surrounded by people who don't TIVO "Meet The Press" has Al feeling better. He understands the war in Iraq, and the NSA issue and global warming - his former colleagues in our capital still don't.

So wait for the word. Hope for the best. Going in there were rumors that it was fifty-fifty chance of a filibuster, but I suspect that was placating bravdo. Who knows? Maybe Russ Feingold will stand up. It might be nice if a female Senator decided to defend the basic rights of half of America. Perhaps Joe Biden could put that remarkable verbosity to good use. Heck, get Biden and Kerry up there together - it'll be the filibuster for the ages, it'll be late next week before people will even be able to tell if they're filibustering or not.

If I could pop into that caucus for a second, I'd ask a simple question:

if not now, when?

What's the filibuster for if not to protect the rights of American women? What's the filbuster for if not to protect the rights of every American to vote? We can get back the House. We can win back the Senate. We can win The White House in 2008. But if we don't stand up now, we lose the Supreme Court for the next twenty years or longer.

Keep your fingers crossed.