The Democrats have challenged Republicans to actually perform a filibuster in the Senate to delay legislation designed to renege on a deal made earlier about troop levels in Iraq. While they plan to go to the press to trash Bush during the filibuster, they are at least trying to break the filibuster. This stands in stark contrast to how the Republicans handled filibusters just one year ago.
Back then, the Republicans, instead of challenging the filibuster, went to the press and cried. There was never any real attempt to even make the Democrats actually perform a filibuster, they simply complained and sulked away. The second that a few Republicans decided to change the rules to avoid a filibuster, a deal was struck by the "moderate" Senators. Not once, did they actually force a real filibuster and try to break it.
As the Senators gear up for an actual 24 hour debate on Iraq (which will mostly consist of a Senator babbling on the floor to run the clock), comedy and political posturing will ensue. Howard Dean is sending out e-mails demanding an "up-or-down vote" on the Iraq bill, co-opting the language used during the gridlock over judicial nominees. With rumors of a pending Supreme Court retirement looming, it is doubtful this up-or-down rhetoric will extend towards a future nominee to the court. Obstructionism will likely be en vogue again.
At least the Democrats are facing the challenge head-on though. They aren't trying to change the rules to avoid a filibuster, they aren't crying in the press. They are saying if the Republicans want to filibuster, they're going to actually have to do it. Bluff called.
Democrats acknowledge they likely will not win the filibuster fight but they are going to wage it anyway. While I disagree with their principles, at least they fight for them. The Republicans should take notice, a candidate that will fight for his principles will do well in the primary, especially when the desired Republican nominee is currently "none of the above."