A big public fight is never good for Republicans. The media will define the issue using DNC talking points. In fact, they’ve already started.
See any mention of the fact no candidates have ever been filibustered before this Democratic Senate began the practice? Or that when a party has controlled both the executive and legislative branches, they generally get 100% of their nominees confirmed? Now try to name a Dem talking point that doesn’t appear in the article. There will be thousands more stories like this written in the MSM, right up until the 2006 election, if this goes through.
Just wait until the polling starts: “Do you believe in checks or balances, or should one party have total power?” I can see the caption: Public Opposes GOP Attempt to Seize Total Power followed by Dems Bask in Public Support of Senate Shutdown
We need to think about what the impact will be of this story being covered constantly for the next 1½ years. Yes, we’re right and they’re wrong. But do we want to risk throwing away the Republican majority on a few judges we may get with 60 votes soon anyway?
And if you think the GOP has any chance of winning the PR battle on this one, just remember: the Clinton impeachment, despite finding all kinds of misbehavior, actually worked in Dems' favor once the press got done spinning it. Can you imagine if Bush was caught having an affair with an intern and covering it up? Or imagine the media reaction if Don Rumsfeld did what Sandy Berger did, or if any Republican Senator had the past of Robert Byrd or Ted Kennedy (look what happened to Trent Lott over a comment). I could go on for dozens of examples, if I had time.