The First Post-Election Bitch Slap Award Goes to…Arlen Specter!
As the expected chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee it was initially consoling to hear Specter warn the White House last Wednesday when he told reporters, “When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely," but it wasn’t surprising that he so quickly retreated the next day and offered condolences to his spine by backpedaling:
Contrary to press accounts, I did not warn the President about anything and was very respectful of his Constitutional authority on the appointment of federal judges.
As the record shows, I have supported every one of President Bush’s nominees in the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor. I have never and would never apply any litmus test on the abortion issue and, as the record shows, I have voted to confirm Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justice O’Connor, and Justice Kennedy and led the fight to confirm Justice Thomas.
See, he does confirm right wing judges! What happened is illustrative of what we’ll see a lot of over the next couple of years, I’m afraid. Specter won’t be the first moderate we see being bullied into siding with the far right agenda of his party. You’re either with them or against them and there’s no room for independent voices. After right wing interests groups like The Conservative Voice, Focus On Family Bill Frist and Karl Rove all more or less let Specter know he was out of line he quickly moved to renounce his old relativist ways. Some conservatives now think it imperative that Specter be refused chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We’ll be watching this one with great interest.