WHO WOULDN’T WANT A ‘GREAT DEBATE’?…. Conservative activist Manuel Miranda was on MSNBC yesterday, talking about his coalition’s efforts to have Senate Republicans filibuster the Sonia Sotomayor nomination as long as they can. Except, yesterday, the scandal-plagued Miranda tried to reframe judicial filibusters — a tactic he once described as “unconstitutional” — as simply a matter of dialog.

“We didn’t call for a fight; we didn’t say anything about bruising. What we said was, have a great debate…. The letter we wrote, which is the nature of the story, is basically a call for Senate Republican leaders to have a great debate.”

The comments came a day after Miranda’s conservative coalition told GOP senators, “We request that you will lead 40 or more senators to participate in a great debate.”

This is all quite silly. The debate over the nomination began in May, when President Obama nominated Sotomayor. The debate will continue through the summer, extend through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, and carry onto the Senate floor before the confirmation vote. The Democratic leadership intends to have the vote in time for the August recess, but Miranda hopes a filibuster might push the issue into September.

Why? Because a debate that extends from May to August won’t be “great” enough. How does the right know? They just do.

Please. This isn’t some mystery — conservative activists want to use this fight to raise money and stay on the attack. Hiding behind pleas for a “great debate” is just insulting to the rest of the political world’s intelligence.

There’s a reason even senior GOP Senate aides refer to Miranda as a “disgrace.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.