A staffer of one of the Senators on the Judiciary Committee sheds some light on the committee action coming in the Miers nomination. The gist of it is that Republicans want to kill the nomination (there's even talk of Bush withdrawing it), and they want to paint it as a Democrat-led (with GOP defections) killing of the nomination.
In other words, they want to have their cake and eat it, too.
The sad thing is, Miers failing to be confirmed (or even make it out of committee) could burn Democrats. If played right by the GOP, it makes the Democrats look to be blocking the up-or-down vote by getting a few Republicans to join them and kill it in committee. But if they vote to pass her to the floor, they force the Relpublican's hand there...at the same time as they confirm a seeming Bush crony who isn't really qualified to be on the high court.
Mabye it's time to stop being silent on the Miers issue for Democrats in the Senate. Come out clearly in favor of her or against her publicly after the hearings...make it clear there is no intention to filibuster, and that any "no" votes are on the issue of qualification. If/when her nomination comes out of committee, make a clear vote for cloture, and then vote however they will...yea or nay...but be clear about not being obstructionist.
Why? Because Miers frankly isn't worth the fight, or the bad press. I don't see her as an extremist, an ideologue, and I see no reason to filibuster or otherwise attempt to block confirmation. But I do see plenty of reasons for a "nay" in the up-or-down vote. Let the Republicans kill this, if they want. Don't give them any unnecessary nuclear option fodder. If Miers is confirmed, her lack of real experience will not be a major disaster, and she is a fairly experienced lawyer, so she'll probably do OK in the Supreme Court, though I'd vote "nay" were I a Senator.
But don't give the Republicans any political cannon fodder. The replacment nominee may well be the one we want to expend ammo on.