And that is too bad, because a filibuster will help Democrats prevail in the upcoming midterm elections.
Thus, after the SOTU, the number one story won't be Bush's speech, but instead will be the debate over the right to choose, the right to privacy, the protection of the environment, the rights of individuals vs. corporations, and all the other issues on which Democrats play well with American voters. Any time you focus the debate on issues in your favor, it helps politically.
A filibuster will also show once and for all that the Democrats are willing to stand firmly for what they believe in, and are willing to fight for their values. The Democrats lost that image among the body politic when they caved on the Iraq war. A sense of being willing to fight when it counts helps with swing voters. Just look at how well Feingold did in Wisconsin in 2004, despite the fact that his positions are far more liberal than that of the average Wisconsin voter. Backbone is a good political quality, and one Democrats desperately need.
And even if we lose the battle, because the Republicans launch the nuclear option, it would have been worth it. The nuclear option takes the burden off the Democrats of being the "extreme" party, with the filibuster, and puts it squarely on the Republicans. It will show Republicans once again to be lawless, and that they are willing to break the rules when it suits them. (The Nuclear Option, Democrats will explain, is therefore just like the Abramoff scandal, with it's bribe taking and campaign finance lawbreaking, and the NSA scandal, where Republicans wiretapped US citizens without warrants, in violation of federal law).
We can win this case politically. And we would have a ok shot at stopping Alito as well. This is a sound political strategy, and a potential win-win. Let's hope Senate Democrats agree.