Alito cloture and confirmationThe Senate overwhelmingly rejected a Democratic filibuster attempt led by Senator Edward Kennedy by a vote of 72-25 yesterday. This means that today's vote to confirm Justice Alito will be a mere formality.
A quick glance at the sorts of people who were behind this attempt at a filibuster show us that Kennedy, the leader, was supported in his fight by the likes of People for the (un)American Way, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, all agents of the extreme left. The Democratic Party as a whole is quite aware of what would happen if word got out that their people were filibustering their nominee at the behest of those groups.
The Democrats' acceptance of Justice Alito is a great long-term victory for America, but in the short term, this victory has just taken the issue of obstructionism off the table as a possible election issue in the fall. Since a lot of people (myself included) voted for George W. Bush solely because of the judges he would appoint, judicial obstructionism is a major issue with many of us, and it will get the Republican base out.
Knowing that fact, if the Dems hope to win the fall General Election, obstruction has to be removed from the table as an issue of use to Republicans.