My guess is that even those Democratic Senators who voted in favor of an Alito filibuster did so only because they counted the votes and knew it would fail. Taking falsely principled stands on hopeless issues is one of their often used tactics. It allows them to posture grandly before their constituents. Watch them all piously vote “NO” in the Alito confirmation vote, taking cover once again by casting a meaningless vote.
This batch of Democratic Senators love for their privileges is far greater than commitment to any principle. Along with their pals, their Republican colleagues and also the equally privileged superstar members of the media, their main goal is always to preserve the status quo where they all sit comfortably near the top of the American plutocracy.
Soon a little cluster of Democratic Senators will skip off to compete in the presidential primaries. Very likely once again one of them will win and we will get excited about their gibberish and posturing and starry eyed we will troop off to vote in another predetermined, meaningless election.
What a mess.
(UPDATE: digby has a more eloguent, more optimistic, more in depth analysis, here LINK)