There's great reading on the topic at Right Wing Nut House from Superhawk, and by Will Collier at Vodkapundit. Collier points out that the filibusters have religious and racial undertones, although no Democrat would be 'brutally stupid' enough to state so explicitly. At RWNH the discussion centers more on the splintering of the party over whether to "go nuclear" in changing the rule on judicial nominees to eliminate the filibuster as a tactic and force an up or down vote on each nominee who clears committee.
Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted earlier this week on the Brit Hume/Jonathan Turley discussion of the merits/extremism of the nominees. Of the 10 being held up by the Democrats Turley really could not find a single one who qualified as a judicial 'extremist'. Two he thought were perhaps extreme in their work as Bush administration lawyers, and one, though not extreme, had had a number of decisions reversed on appeal. So seven of the 10, at least, should be acceptable - Turley is certainly no right wing extremist himself.
I don't believe, like Captain Ed, that holding back donations to the
RNC NRSC is a useful tactic, agreeing instead with Superhawk that it can divide the party at a time when the Democrats are circling the wagons and uniting, because that's all they have. And I agree with Collier that it's a mistake for Sen. Frist to appear to be a mouthpiece for the Christian Right. There's nothing wrong with Frist and the Christian Right having similar views. There's nothing wrong with Frist getting support from the CR for his views. I do have a problem with any politician appearing as if his lips are being moved by an influence group, and that's what it looks like for Frist, at least the way it's been presented in the media.
I would have preferred that Frist and the Senate Republicans change the rule immediately, in January, with little fanfare and forewarning, and then move ahead as if nothing much had happened. The Democrats would not have been as well organized. The mistake was telegraphing the move, leaking the possibility of using it. Remember, it's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. Now, obviously, it's a difficult slog.
UPDATE: Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy makes a point that I had intended to, but overlooked. Make them filibuster. Make them actually stand up for hour, after hour, after hour for days on end on the floor of the Senate blocking someone like Janice Rogers Brown. Having missed the chance to do it quickly and quietly early in the term, now make it noisy, and force those blocking the nominations to make the noise.