Updated: Filibuster coming within reach!

You're pushing the debate! Last week, Harry Reid was "almost apologetic," in the words of the New York Times, as he told his fellow Senators: "I hope that this matter will be resolved without too much more talking." Right up through Thursday, Dianne Feinstein was against a filibuster, saying: "This might be a man I disagree with, but it doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court."

Well Feinstein's office's lines were tied up Thursday and Friday as you let her know what you thought about her easy acquiescence. Reid's were humming, too.

Both are now on board with the filibuster, as is Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, Chris Dodd, Ron Wyden, Paul Sarbanes and the list is growing. Only three Democratic senators have said that they will definitely vote for cloture (five more are quietly opposing the filibuster and hoping nobody notices).

And don't forget the two moderate New England Republicans who might still be in play, Olympia Snowe and Lincoln Chaffee (Susan Collins is definitely voting for cloture). They need to feel heat, too.

The cloture vote's scheduled for Monday at 4:30. Let's not believe the media when they say it's impossible; let's make it politically dangerous for Dems and the few Repubs who fancy themselves moderates to weasel out of their responsibility to their institution, if not their country. The Alito nomination, more than being about any single issue, is really about the separation of powers.

Call over the weekend, and then call again on Monday. Let's shut down the Capitol switchboard Monday morning.

UPDATE: Sean Paul Kelly of the Agonist writes:


Just got off the phone with someone highly placed in the filibuster fight: this is doable. It is an uphill battle, no doubt, but that person's words were: the momentum is shifting and has shifted perceptibly since Thursday.
Voice mailboxes are filling up, so you may not be able to get through by phone. FDL's Jane Hamsher posted two sites where you can send free faxes, here and here. Only the first one works right now, perhaps because of heavy traffic.

Here are the fax numbers for every Senate Dem.

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