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i just watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 2 weekends ago. _great_ film.

But wouldn't trying to start a filibuster when you know you don't have the votes to avoid cloture the worst possible outcome?

Believe it our not, I'm on the fence about that. What are we worried about here really? The press making fun of the Dems? That's going to happen no matter what. If I were Queen of the Universe and the Dems didn't have the votes, I'd want a Senator to filibuster the good old fashioned way. I think it would pull public opinion along - especially if the Dems marketed it right. Then they'd get all the votes they needed to block Alito. The thing here is time and using that time to control the message. If they're filibustering, they have a chance to control the message a tiny bit. Caving yet again to conventional wisdom is the worst possible thing that could happen.

Back to reality: I think they have the votes for a one-time, empty, remember-this-when-we-ask-for-money cloture vote. That would be the typical compromise. Getting that second vote will probably be impossible - especially because in the face of the first, the corporate media will scare the Dems to death. The Dems will believe the hype and run for cover as soon as they can.

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