Via Avedon in her incarnation as Not Atrios, Jurassicpork has a great post up on the state of our nation. He focuses mainly on a piece in The Nation that profiles Hillary Clinton, but this I thought was the real money quote on what's wrong with the Democrats in general at the moment, as related to the Mukasey vote.
Clinton’s, Biden’s, Obama’s and Dodd’s no-shows didn’t affect the 53-40 outcome. But their cowardly refusal to make their verbal opposition known and official regardless of how they’d predicted the outcome isn’t exactly a profile in courage nor is anything close to the kind of leadership that we already desperately need now let alone from 2009 on. Not a single Republican voted against Mukasey and only three withheld their votes. Hillary and her rivals actually succeeded in once again making the government-loathing Republican party look more committed to their core principles, as rancid as they are, and to the Democratic process than even the Democrats themselves.
That's it in a nutshell. Whether the Democrats intentions are good, or they are intentionally allowing themselves to be outmanuvered to further some nebulous perceived advantage in 08, the ultimate result is they've only succeeded at cementing the notion that they're simply ineffective ever more firmly in the general public's mind.