Ever since the mid-80s (and probably before) both parties have held up each other's nominations because of ideology, political power plays, or whatever else. Please don't play the whining victim pretending Orrin Hatch (who I actually kind of like, by the way) was Mr. Pure Intentions when it came to this stuff.
This "racism" argument cuts both ways you know. Democrats (and Republicans) have held up both white and non-white candidates for a variety of reasons. Saying "Democrats can't hold up Estrada! He's Hispanic! Democrats have to give a free pass to Hispanics!" is ridiculous. It's OK by you guys that we hold up Charles Pickering because he's white? It's ironic that this party who claims that they never take race into account are the first ones to play the race card when things don't go their way.
Look, I have no idea why the Dems are holding up Estrada. It probably related to some weird power politics I don't understand and don't really care to. But it happens all the time, on both sides of the aisle, and it's just part of politics in America. The Senate has their rules, and people try to use them to their best political advantage. It's not some big cosmic commentary on the hypocracy of the Democratic party.
Edit: Here is an interesting take on political aspect of the whole thing by Dick Morris.
(edited by MoeGates on 6.3.03 1603) It seems that I am - in no particular order - Zack Morris, John Adams, a Siren, Janeane Garofalo, Cheer Bear, Aphrodite, a Chihuahua, Data, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, Amy-Wynn Pastor, Hydrogen, Bjork, Spider-Man, Boston, and a Chaotic Good Elvin Bard-Mage.
Filibustering a Circuit Court nominee is most definitely not part of politics in America, as this is the first time it's happened.
From a purely political standpoint, do you think the Dems are afraid that if and when (I pray never ) they get the White House back, the Republicans might give 'em a taste of their own medicine? (My own feeling is that the Republicans lack the viciousness and savvy to be able to do this).
"... I don't believe in damn curses. Wake up the damn Bambino and have me face him. Maybe I'll drill him in the ass..."
Well, no. I look at it from this perspective: the Dems are giving the GOP a taste of their own medicine from when they held up all the Clinton nominees, only a little bit worse. For instance, they used single, anonymous holds on appointees to indefintely hold up a vote, which had never been done before.
And the GOP looked at that era as giving the Dems a taste of their own medicine from when the Dems held up Reagan and Bush nominees, only a little bit worse. Etc., Etc. Eventually, they are probably going to have sit down in the back room and work something out, before it gets too out-of-hand, if it isn't already. It'll probably have to be in the lame-duck area when the outgoing president is of a different party then the incoming one, so both parties are guarenteed of getting some of their nominees through.
To think that politician of either party lack "viciousness and savvy" is laughable. I'm a yellow-dog Democrat, but even I am not so enamoured of a political party to think that they are too nice to fight dirty.
It seems that I am - in no particular order - Zack Morris, John Adams, a Siren, Janeane Garofalo, Cheer Bear, Aphrodite, a Chihuahua, Data, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, Amy-Wynn Pastor, Hydrogen, Bjork, Spider-Man, Boston, and a Chaotic Good Elvin Bard-Mage.
They collided at 37,000 feet and survived to tell the tale. This is a pretty amazing read. I haven't heard anything about this in the news yet, although looking at the sidebar of this article shows there are some related links on nytimes.com.