Conservatives are breathing a collective sigh of relief at the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. They wanted a brilliant originalist, and from all reports they seem to have gotten one. NRO is delighted, Hugh Hewitt thinks POTUS has hit "a home run" with SCOTUS, and Powerline is "Over the moon."
Meanwhile, the Democrats are in a difficult fix. Maybe two dozen or so of the hardest lefties among them will want to fight it out on the Senate floor, but a substantial minority of the Democrat caucus will likely lack the stomach to go to the mat opposing a candidate so highly qualified and highly esteemed by his colleagues. The special interests which comprise their base, however, will be demanding they do just that. Harry Reid may find himself trying to herd cats on this one, but if he makes only a perfunctory effort before conceding that this is not a nominee who meets the "extraordinary circumstance" test, he'll get drawn and quartered by People For the American Way, NARAL, and MoveOn.org.
Given Roberts' credentials it's certainly hard to see the Dems invoking or sustaining a filibuster. They may try it, but it'll probably not survive a cloture vote, and if it does the Republicans in the Senate will almost certainly call for a change in the rules on filibusters (the Constitutional option) and amass the simple majority necessary to prevail.
The Dems appear to be in a no-win situation. Unless there is some sort of shocking revelation in the Senate hearings that disqualifies Roberts, they have to decide how best to minimize their losses. It would seem that the last thing they would want to do, given the almost inevitable outcome of this nomination, is to lose the ability to filibuster future nominees, and the surest way to do that is to filibuster this one.
They must feel like Wile E. Coyote being foiled again by the Bush Road Runner.