Thursday, November 11, 2004

more incoherence (vrwc)

Return to Apathy?

Many students at Lehigh this fall decided, for the first time, to immerse themselves in the electoral process and politics. I found myself discussing politics with tons of new people, many of whom I would have never imagined having a heated debate with. For the most part, I think this is great. I wish this interest would continue long after the president won re-election, but I have a feeling that for the most part it will subside. Let me start by saying that the majority of these students, whose interest I expect to subside, supported John Kerry. How can I say that? Well, firstly liberals outnumber conservatives two to one on thefacebook.com, which is unfortunately our best indicator of campus-wide political affiliation. Let’s assume that most of these people voted for their like-minded candidate. Furthermore, the majority of people in our age demographic supported John Kerry, especially those of us on college campuses. Then there is the empirical evidence – all the wake-like classes we had last Wednesday and Thursday when the teacher and students pouted to each other about the election result (I guess many of you know what I am talking about). Plus most campus activism leading up to the election was of the anti-Bush/pro-Kerry variety.

But what am I getting at, what do I see this evidence suggesting? One answer may be that these kids were greatly influenced by the likes of Michael Moore, Rock the Vote, P. Diddy’s Vote (Kerry) or Die, MoveOn.org and other 527 groups. Groups like Rock the Vote and Vote or Die stressed voting, but didn’t necessarily stress getting involved in political life. There are four years between presidential elections, but there are seven other election days in that timeframe. There’s more to voting than just voting for president, and there’s more to politics and government than just voting. So we have these groups drumming up support for the presidential election only, and front men for these groups who, and I don’t think this is a stretch, wanted Kerry to win. So now naïve young novice voters are coming out to the polls, convinced that it is our patriotic duty as an American to vote and saying that our forefathers died in wars to protect our freedom and now we must exercise that freedom by voting (I’ll come back to this later), and who’s there to meet them when they “seek” out information on who to vote for? Why, its Michael Moore and MoveOn.org. Agreed, there are groups on both sides, I will not dispute this. But I will say that I am working off the premise that most Lehigh students voted Kerry and are more sympathetic to groups like MoveOn and war profiteers like Moore than they are the Swift Boat Veterans.

These groups play off emotion. Michael Moore tries to stir up emotion. Moore doesn’t want people to actually investigate his claims, because when that happens he is exposed as the fraud he knows himself to be. Moore wanted you to vote against President Bush because of emotion. When Bush won re-election, I think a lot of these people said “well, I’m done with politics for the next four years.” Michael Moore and MoveOn.org did very little to improve politics in this country. The voting drives, I think, will prove to do little for politics in America. Worst yet, what we are seeing today are kids that, because they were brought into the process through emotion, are so upset about the result that they are cursing their fellow Americans from the “second-rate” red states, talking about moving to Canada, or saying they are going to stay at their study abroad location for four years. Part of me, of course, says let them go! That’s the beauty of this country. I won’t stop you from leaving, but if you do so, do it quietly. Furthermore, on your way out, realize that your actions are the height of hypocrisy. Realize that even talking about moving out of the country is so hypocritical that it defies explanation. The same people that were telling everyone to vote because our fellow citizens have fought and died to protect their freedoms and rights to vote are now upset with the result the country handed down, and they think its appropriate to joke about leaving the country!? I don’t mean to speak for a single American who has died in defense of this country, but I know I am absolutely ashamed of my fellow citizens who act in this way.

There are thousands of governments in this country. The federal government is just one of those governments. Even in the federal government, the presidency is just one elected office. People need to realize that there are thousands of important seats to fill in our country, and that takes a dedicated and informed electorate. There are more issues out there than the war, other important decisions to be made – Social Security, taxes, North Korea, education, the deficit, and many more. If you get involved, stay involved. You would be surprised to find how little the president does that actually affects your life, especially when up against Congress, your state government, the federal and state bureaucracies, your county, city, and school board. Did Michael Moore let you know this? Of course not. Your best hope was P. Diddy, I guess, but he was too busy planning his massive birthday party last week.

I know you may be thinking that I’m trying to encourage liberals to stay involved, which I am. Strange, I know. I don’t have a problem with a strong “loyal opposition” party, but I do have a problem if these people are talking about leaving the country and demeaning fellow citizens because Kerry lost. I find it hard to take people like this seriously. I want to take you seriously. Most of all, I want people to truly understand how government works, and I want them to appreciate how fortunate they are to live in the United States of America.

Kevin Frost ‘06

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Specter Update

deacon and Hindrocket at Power Line agree with Hugh Hewitt on the Specter controversy. Hindrocket notes that in Specter's self-defense in the Wall Street Journal today that Specter claims his statements at that Nov. 3rd press conference were taken out of context, and interestingly, Fox News' Brian Wilson backs him up.

The crusade continues at the Corner, though, as K-Lo reports, "CNN just reported that Specter wants to meet behind closed doors with judiciary-committee republicans to explain what he meant in that interview and clear the air." Republican Senate offices are still getting a steady stream of calls thanks in part to the NRO efforts.

Meanwhile, Hugh continues to argue based on pragmatism and on his claim that we have a much better chance to get the right nominees confirmed if we don't alienate Specter and his fellow liberal Republican senators. Again, Hugh makes arguments that are smart and very worthy of consideration. He responds to Ramesh from the Corner and reiterates his position.

I think the following is the core of Hugh's position, but I urge everyone to read it for themselves:

In short, anyone who thinks we can spare a vote or two is nuts. Anyone who doesn't see the potential loss of up to five or even six votes in the humbling of Arlen Specter is not evaluating the situation with the detachment that is absolutely necessary.

...

Patrick Leahy... and the rest of the hard-left gang want nothing more that for Specter to be thrown under the bus. What's that tell you about the wisdom of that course of action?

Ramesh argues that my anti-anti-Specter arguments are all over the map. No, they are not. They are just too numerous to post at one time. And they all fall into one of two categories: Those arguments which underscore how denying Specter the chairmanship would increase the difficulty of successful confirmation battles, and the argument that upending traditions of comity within the Senate do enormous damage to politics generally.

We are already deep into an age of bitter politics, where every maneuver is justified by the ends being pursued. The decision in the last couple of years --led by Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy-- to radicalize judicial nominations even beyond the terrible precedents of the Bork and Thomas nomination battles was one of the most irresponsible ever taken, and now the prospect of filibusters and smear campaigns seems inevitable. The only chance of repairing this process is for a united and determined GOP caucus to demand a return to past, pre-Bork practices, and failing to obtain that demand, to launch and win a great debate leading to new rules on judicial nominations. That debate would be ferocious and would lead to an up-or-down vote on a package of rule changes on the floor. This so-called "nuclear option" was not attempted in the last few years because GOP leadership doubted that it had the votes. With a caucus of 55 and some sober Democrats across the aisle, the threat of that option might be enough to calm the Democrats and undo the knots which they have tied. The Specter debate is giving exactly the wrong signal, and forcing the very confrontation that might have been avoided.
Again, I think Specter will ultimately get it (though there are rumors beginning that he's in more trouble than initially thought) but he will owe Bush twice over. Hugh thinks that this battle will hurt Bush's nominees in the long run, with endless mention of it by the press. I hasten to note that Specter brought this on himself (through both his press conference and his record), though conservatives could end it tomorrow if they wanted.

Something I've come to realize about my position is that I'm actually more troubled about Specter's support for the International Criminal Court than his pro-abortion stance. I think support for the ICC shows a deep misunderstanding of the world and a preference for unaccountable international bodies over our Constitution. I don't expect the ICC to get much support in the Senate, and fortunately, I can't imagine any scenario where President Bush would sign the treaty, but it makes me question Specter's judgement even more. Yet, my instinct tells me that if Specter survives this battle, he'll be tempted to be more cooperative than he would either if nothing had happened or if he's thrown out.

If he is thrown out, I'm not convinced of disaster as Hugh is (he keeps likening this to the Jeffords situation), but I certianly see his point that things could become much more difficult. Still, I will not shed a tear for Arlen if he doesn't get his chairmanship.

Bush Makes His Choice

And the choice for Attorney General is White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.

I don't know much about Gonzales except that he and the president have been close for a long time and that he has Bush's trust. I would also note that this continues Bush's record of nominating minority candidates to high offices, more than any Democratic administration.

Not an hour after this was announced, though, CBS News was already trying to cast doubt on Gonzales, citing anonymous Justice Department sources saying they are concerned Gonzales is too close to the president and could be "a crony." Apparently, no one in the Justice Department remembers Janet Reno.

More Election Post-Mortem

I have to admit that I'm just really enjoying watching the Democrats move from depression to conspiracy theories to absolute insanity after losing last week. I mean, I really thought they went off the deep end during the campaign, but the stuff I've heard over the last week has just been looney.

Sean Hannity has, as a public service, been giving liberals the opportunity to call his show and chew him out to make themselves feel better. In today's segment one guy called to say how Bush had explosives planted in the World Trade Center towers prior to 9/11, and the next caller told Hannity that he and al Zarkawi could be twins because the believe essentially the same thing.

I was certain before the election that if the Democrats lost they would simply circle the drain ever faster, and with brilliant ideas like replacing Terry McAuliffe with Howard Dean, the downward spiral continues. Not to mention their perenially winning idea to condescend to religious people and those concerned with morals and values. Jonah Goldberg knocks down one of the most prominent pushers of the idea that social conservatives are stupid in one of his columns.

Of course, you can't ignore liberals' new collective victim status, and both Captain Ed and Rush spent some time discussing their trauma.

The guys at Power Line have apparently found interesting things behind the moronic secession suggestions of lefties. I have to go with the captain's thoughts on this one, though:

It's embarrassing when mainstream voices in a major party call for the breakup of the United States, and it's an insult to the men who gave their lives to keep the Union together less than 150 years ago, especially since the stakes are so superficial and petty.
Ed also notes that at least someone in the MSM has be forced to recognize that Bush may perhaps be a shrewd politician.

Updates on Specter, the AG, and Germany

Starting with Specter, Ramesh Ponnuru has taken the time to respond to Hugh Hewitt's arguments in the Corner. Meanwhile, K-Lo posts some tough questions for Specter from another Corner reader.

Not Specter.com has placed a call to fisk Specter's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. I think someone at the Corner will likely slice and dice this.

Rush, on the other hand, is wearing his Maha Rushie cap, assuring everyone that things will work out here. Of course, he has an excellent track record, so I'm inclined to trust his judgement. Well, I'm not sure this will necessarily "work out," but here's what I think will happen:

Specter is going to get his chairmanship because whatever else may happen, the Senate likes its traditions and is loathe to break with them. However, the calls of conservatives are not going unheard. It's clear that Bill Frist and Karl Rove are paying attention and I think Rove in particular is inclined to let Specter twist in the wind for a while and then recommend that Frist give him his chair. Rove and the White House will then be able to reminds Specter that they've now saved him twice and he owes President Bush big time. How this will all play out, I'm less sure of. Specter does indeed owe Bush, but Specter is likely to still want to stick his neck out. I'm really not sure how much trouble he'll cause, but I would not at all be surprised if he doesn't look this gift horse squarely in the mouth and complain about the plaque. It's also possible that he may just be happy with his little kingdom and simply play his part but continue to say things every once in a while that make people uneasy.

The bottom line, though, is that the Republican leadership is listening, so if you want to make your voice heard, call Frist, Santorum, the other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, or just your own Republican senator. Head to the Senate website for phone numbers. If you can't get through to their Washington offices, try one of their local ones (start with the one located in the capital or largest city of their state).

On the Cabinet beat, Captain Ed is echoing a suggestion I've heard whispered over the past couple months: replace John Ashcroft with Rudy Giuliani. I think the captain makes some very good points and I'm having trouble seeing much of a downside here outside of Giuliani not being pro-life. However, I'm certain he would uphold the law as written. Beyond that, he was tough on crime in New York City, transforming that town, and he has been an outspoken defender of the Patriot Act. I'd love to see the liberals try to take on Giuliani in that position. I would especially enjoy their self-destruction if they tried the "Nazi" business. I'm not necessarily set on this, though, so I'd be interested to read arguments against Giuliani.

deacon of Power Line, on the other hand, is advocating a man named Boyden Gray, who he says is "a tireless champion of conservative causes." I'll take his word for it, but I'm curious as to why Giuliani would act too liberal. The Power Line boys also have some well-deserved praise for Ashcroft here.

In the "What the hell is wrong with these people?" category today, we have this discussion of Germans who want to re-divide the country reprinted in the Wall Street Journal from Der Spiegel (The Mirror). The author writes:

Many things in the new Germany are absurd, unintentionally funny and quite unique. We have a government that doesn't govern, an opposition that doesn't oppose, and a public that is distressed because it is doing well.
I would add another bit of lunacy to that. Germans are frustrated with their double-digit unemployment, yet their anger is almost universally directed at George W. Bush rather than Gerhard Schroeder. And the liberals in America want us to be more like Europe...

World affairs article

For your enjoyment, in all its incoherent glory (I just got this done 2 minutes ago and I haven't had a good night's sleep in a week) is my article for the World Affairs publication.

As a conservative who is not a huge supporter of the president, I must admit that there was a time a few weeks before the election when I was debating whether I would pull the lever for George W. Bush. Of course, this left me in limbo between Bush and the libertarian Michael Badnarik, not John Kerry. In the end, I came to support the president because, as Pat Buchanan put it last week in his endorsement for Bush in The American Conservative, “Bush is right on taxes, judges, sovereignty, and values. Kerry is right on nothing.”

After taking a week to reflect on the election result (and suffer through the treachery of exams), I am very hopeful for this second term. I see some positive things taking form: Ashcroft stepping down (hopefully replaced by a Giuliani-type Republican), over 100,000 Iraqi troops ready for service by the January elections, the prospect of renewed peace talks in the Middle East under new Palestinian leadership, and an in-depth dialogue on reform in Social Security and the tax code. I am not worried about the “fanatical religious right-wing agenda” that so many people, including many here at Lehigh, are claiming the president will pursue. I’m sorry to disappoint both cynics on the left or believers on the right, but there will not be a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage by this or any Congress in the near term, and the president’s judicial appointees will not be mandating prayer in public school, the imprisonment of atheists, public stoning of women who miss mass on Sunday or whatever other crazy misperceptions you may have of those “lesser citizens” from the red states. No, there’s no time for that in this term. As I alluded to earlier, this term will be remembered for three main things (barring another catastrophic attack on the homeland): handling of the Middle East peace process, perhaps more in Israel/Palestine than Iraq if the Roadmap is completed, handling of Social Security, and reform of the tax code.

The two fiscal questions are among my favorite governmental puzzles, which is an odd thing for a twenty-one student to say. For some reason, I have always loved the idea of a flat income tax, and with this president I feel that we are very close to a monumental change in the way Americans are taxed. In my opinion, the implementation a flat tax in the U.S. would not only be the most fair and efficient way to collect money, but it would bring in more revenue to the treasury, allowing us to fight some of the other fast-growing problems of public finance we face like the national debt, Medicare, education, and Social Security. For Social Security, the president is proposing setting aside a mere 2% of the money paid in payroll taxes to the individual in a private account, which could then be invested in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. I know I am just beginning my study of public finance, but to me, at least this is a suggested solution. It’s an attempt to ensure that you and I have something set aside when we retire. Instead of intelligently debating the issue during the campaign, the democrats tried to scare seniors into believing that the president was going to take away their retirement money by privatizing the whole system. Sorry John Kerry, 2% does not equal 100%.

We face a serious problem with Social Security. There is a $27 trillion unfunded liability for Social Security. I’m sorry to break this to those of you who said that Iraq war spending is going to be our fiscal downfall, but $27 trillion is slightly more than $87 billion (the magic number) or the roughly $200 billion we have spent during operations. There are millions of baby boomers who are going to retire, and they are going to want their money. On top of that, we aren’t having kids anymore! Our birth rate is right at the level of replacement. Our workforce won’t be able to support all of these retirees at the present tax levels and the present retirement age. Now, I would love to take one for the team and have twenty-five children, but I have trouble finding girls to date as it is. The point is this is an important puzzle that needs to be solved, and one which might be politically unpopular. I believe, however, that we have the right man (of the two) at the helm, the right Congress to work alongside, and the right time to undertake this effort – because by the next election the first batch of baby boomers will be on their way to the beaches and cruise ships on our dime.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

It seems that this anniversary has been largely overlooked in the media, but 15 years ago today, the Berlin Wall came down, signalling the beginning of the end of the Cold War. I really wish I remembered more about that day and the years between 1989 and 1991. Unfortunately, I only remember bits and pieces, as I was just too young. In 1989, I clearly remember the inaugeration of George H. W. Bush, the second flight of Discovery after its triumphal return to space the previous Septemeber, and the footage at the Wall, but not much else. The only other things from that period I clearly remember seeing are the beginning of the Gulf War in early 1991 and the coup against Gorbachev in August.

The History Channel had an extremely interesting documentary about the "Rise and Fall of the Wall" last night that said the lifting of travel restrictions in East Germany that led to the Wall coming down, was in part due to a mistaken announcement by a GDR leader. I'd love to have a book on the years 1989-1991 with all the recently declassified information from both American and Soviet records.

In the meantime, Instapundit points out a couple of interesting commentaries on the anniversary. He links Tim Worstall's comments, and a column by Vodkapundit that he wrote on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Wall's fall.

Here is the History Channel's page on the event.

On a much more somber note, this is also the anniversary of Kristallnacht. You can find some information here and here. This is the face of REAL facism, but I fear that there are many in this world today who would allow such a thing to happen again.

The Cabinet Shift Begins

Fox News is reporting that Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans have both resigned. Before the replacement speculation gets underway, though, it's still not clear whether these are actual resignations or part of the tradition of Cabinet secretaries resigning and the president refusing those resignations if he wants them to stay.

As for replacements? How about Pete Coors for Commerce? Hugh Hewitt for Attorney General! (Not gonna happen).

UPDATE: Bush has accepted both resignations, so chages are definitely coming.

Frist, Thune, Reid, and Specter

Power Line has the text of an email Bill Frist is sending people concerned about Specter and the leadership of the Senate. Nothing real substantial here, but he's clearly paying attention, so we'll have to see what he eventually decides.

Not Specter.com links this post in the Corner, noting that the National Right to Life Committee thinks more highly of Harry Reid than Arlen Specter. John J. Miller writes, "Imagine that: the Democrats' [presumed] minority leader is more consistently pro-life than the Republican who is next in line to chair the Judiciary Committee."

Not Specter.com also notes that John Thune, the Daschle Slayer, has commented on this contoversy.

Quote of the Day

Today feels like a day where we need a quote of the day, and the inimitable James Lileks just happened to supply a couple candidates.

Before that, though, you might be interested in this collection of election maps (warning: this may be heartening to Democrats, so show your dispairing liberal friends at your discretion). (Via The Volokh Conspiracy)

Okay, now the quotes. I'm still partial to Lileks on Specter that you can find below in the post "Hugh's Views," but Lileks also wrote this gem about Falluja:

Paul Harvey, of all people, noted that the hard phase of the battle would involve house-to-house combat, “just like Vietnam.” Sigh. It’s now the all-purpose metaphor. There could be a war on the moon with armies on dune buggies launching crossbows at each other, and someone would pronounce it a repeat of a disastrous battle in the Mekong Delta.

Specter Around the Blogosphere

Michelle Malkin is solidly in the NRO camp, as she declares in this post.

Robert Novak writes his column on the Specter business this week, giving background and his own insight.

Redstate (creators of Not Specter.com) has this telling picture.

Also telling: Chuck Schumer would like to see Specter as a justice on the Supreme Court.

Todd Zywicki has his thoughts on Specter at the Volokh Conspiracy here and here.

Back and Forth on Specter

Hugh and his audience spent most of the rest of his radio show discussing the Specter issue, but I think tomorrow's show will be very interesting when Kathryn Jean Lopez of the Corner will be on. Hugh has accurately pegged K-Lo as a sort of "Joan of Arc" of the not Specter movement, so I really urge everyone to listen if they can.

This is not to give the impression that Hugh and K-Lo are not good friends; they are. They just happen to be on opposite sides of this issue.

Everyone in the Corner has been commenting on Specter thing, so scroll around over there to get various takes and information from there perspective. On the other side, this post on Hugh's blog should not be missed, where he lays out many of his reasons and asks questions worth pondering. I'm still not convinced, though, and I think Jim Geraghty of the Kerry Spot responds along my line of thought. Go back to Hugh's post to see his response to Geraghty.

Though I'm still not persuaded by Hugh's arguments, I almost want to be, since I respect him enormously. I'm wondering if there's something he's seen in his years of political experience that the rest of us just are not seeing, and that's why I'm paying close attention to the arguments he's making. However, I think Specter's unreliable record and his election-year conservatism are enough to not trust him with such an important position. I'm not convinced that "alienating" Specter, as Hugh thinks this movement is, will make him behave much differently than he normally does. I'm thinking a major difference here is how we believe the rest of the party should handle liberal Republicans. It seems to me that Hugh would treat them as we treat any other Republican, but my feeling is that it is better to treat them as occasionally friendly Democrats. That may conflict with big-tent Republicanism, but my feeling is that Specter, Chaffee, Snow, etc, are much more unreliable than a McCain or Giuliani and thus should be treated as such. That's my gut feeling, so I think I'd be open to persuasive arguments to the contrary, as I don't feel I have that completely thought out yet.

As for Specter specifically, it still goes back to his record, his past attitude and his pattern of statements and actions. Hugh likes to point out that Specter defended Clarence Thomas and has voted for all of Bush's nominees and that Bork was the aberration. My problem is that his history makes it look as if things are precisely the other way around: his defense of Thomas the exception, and his treatment of Bork the rule.

On the other hand, Deacon at Power Line seems to be defending Hugh's position in a way that makes sense to me. Go read his thoughts.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hugh's Views

Listening to Hugh Hewitt's radio show tonight, it seems that he's emphasizing a certain point about Specter in that if we don't accomodate liberal Republicans, they won't assist us with the nominees we want to get through. But I think Lileks was correct when he was on the show earlier and pointed out that Specter is not likely to help with the kind of nominees we want anyway, which I think is the crux of the matter. Olympia Snowe, Lincoln Chaffee, et al, are not likely to support conservative candidates anyway, so why let them blackmail the rest of the party?

I'm enjoying this debate, but it's becoming clearer to me that Specter should not be given that chairmanship.

However, Roll Call is apparently reporting that Specter will get the chair as long as Santorum agrees. Not Specter.com tells people what to do about that...

Lileks had a fantastic quote about Specter, though: "At best he is an emory board on the gums of conservatives, and at worst a cheese grater."

Bork on Specter

Judge Robert Bork called the Hannity show after Specter was finished to give his view on the man. He reminded everyone of Specter's shifts from liberal to conservative near election time.

Bork also reminded me of something that I think is a deal-breaker for me. Specter is a supporter of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and of subjecting our military to its jurisdiction. I don't think I could possibly trust anyone who holds this view with the Chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Specter has to go.

I think this is also a good place to link Steven Den Beste's excellent commentary on the ICC, which you can find here, here, and here. All three are well worth the time to read.

Not Specter.com will likely have a transcript of Specter's chat with Hannity today, so keep checking for updates there.

UPDATE: You must read this post at Not Specter.com illustrating Specter's thoughts on Ronald Reagan.

Specter Update

He'll be on Hannity's radio show at 4:30 PM Eastern. Hannity is supposed to ask him some tough questions. Go to his website to hear a replay. His show repeats every three hours until the new show the next day.

I neglected to mention something very interesting (and, I think, telling) about Specter from John J. Miller's article. Miller writes:

Specter tried to complicate [Senator Rick] Santorum's first Senate primary by recruiting a pro-abortion woman to run against him. His first choice was Teresa Heinz, widow of the late Republican senator John Heinz (and now the wife of John Kerry).[Emphasis mine]

Worth a Read

James Lileks has some post-election thoughts, including some of his views on the "gay marriage lost the election for Democrats" meme. (If you've been reading him like you should be, you'll know that it'll be at the bottom of the Bleat, after the parenting stories.)

Meanwhile, Donald Sensing points out Michael Jericho's absolute smackdown of Jane Smiley's hysteric, hateful rant against "red-staters." Jericho spends his whole post just correcting the outright falsehoods in just one paragraph. Very enjoyable reading.

More on Specter

K-Lo and Kate O'Beirne respond to Hugh Hewitt's take on the Specter controversy in the Corner. Read both of them (they're short).

I'm still thinking I just don't want Specter in that position because he's an unreliable Republican, and as Kate says, he's not all that helpful to the party. On the other hand, Hugh makes a very important point that we shouldn't do so much to push people out of the GOP tent. Still, that does not mean that those of minority opinion should be allowed to stymie what the majority of the party is clearly in favor of, especially when it comes to something as important as judicial nominees. Specter's liberal record clearly puts him in the minority, and while he may be welcomed in the party, I return to what I said earlier by stating that I do not believe that his behavior should be rewarded.

See, Pennsylvania, if you'd just voted for Pat Toomey, this wouldn't have been a problem...

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Are We Being Too Rash?

Hugh Hewitt calls for moderation and restraint in the Arlen Specter matter today. I think he makes excellent points-conservative points-but I'm still not quite convinced about leaving Specter alone.

I think I agree with Hugh that a bigger tent party is a good thing, but Specter's history still troubles me. It's fine to have John McCains, Arlen Specters, Lincoln Chaffees, and others mixed in with the Rick Santorums, Denny Hasterts, George Bushes, and John Thunes. However, if Specter is going to be difficult with something as important as Supreme Court justices, going against what the majority of the party wants, I think that's a problem. It's Specter's history of election year conservatism that makes him less than reliable.

I think I'm less clear about this now than I was before, though, so I may take some time to think about it before I blog more. Hugh and the folks in the Corner both make excellent arguments, and they're both worth considering.