February 20, 2003


This is how the filibuster will fall to pieces (Byron York, 2/19/03, The Hill)
Republicans know there are some moderate Democrats who do not passionately oppose Estrada but who have so far stuck with the party in upholding the filibuster. Republicans also realize that, since hard-line Democratic leaders have made specific demands and vowed Estrada would not be confirmed unless the White House met those demands, those moderate Democrats will need some sort of Republican gesture they can use as cover to change their minds and stop supporting the filibuster.

That might already be happening. It has not been widely reported, but while the filibuster has been going on, Estrada has met with several Democratic senators, among them Mary Landrieu (La.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Bill Nelson (Neb.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), and Thomas Carper (Del.). Presumably he has been answering some questions.

A few more such meetings, along with some reassuring words about the content of the Justice Department memos, and some moderate Democratic minds might change.

Mr. York explains in some detail--too long to quote--how the GOP can make, has already made, the necessary gestures. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2003 4:44 PM
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