My prediction on the “nuclear showdown” in the Senate is that the Dems will not be able to line up enough Republican traitors to defeat the Cloture Rule Clarification (although those whom they have enlisted to betray the GOP should -- but probably won’t -- have their names recorded on RNC, NRSC and Senate Leadership Excrement-Lists, which should result in the cutting off of Republican donor dollars, active recruitment of Primary opponents, committee re-assignments and revoked chairmanships); therefore the Democrats, recognizing an imminent and crippling defeat, will assume the passive-aggressive behavior, learned from such mentors as Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Mihn, Breshnev and Bill Clinton, and cave -- or rather, execute a strategic retreat – with the purpose of wearing down the Republicans' resolve, and continuing to work on unraveling the Republicans' unity.
Whichever nominee is brought to the floor first, will not face a "filibuster," and therefore will be confirmed with 50-59 votes. Meanwhile, the Democrats will continue a war of attrition against Republican resolve, continuing with a well-coordinated PR campaign on tap as soon as the nuclear showdown is averted, complete with Mainstream Media tactical air-support.
In short a successful nuclear option would be a huge winner for the Republicans, and a huge loser for the Democrats. Therefore, the Democrats will fight and run away, so that they can live to fight another day, rather than lose decisively to the Nuclear Option. All the more reason that the GOP should have smacked down this filibuster nonsense on the day they organized the new Senate in January 2005. Nobody outside the beltway gives a rat’s rear-end about the venerable Senate Rules, but lot’s of people on both sides care intensely about judicial appointments, and as six election cycles have demonstrated, there are more of us than there are of them.