Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Arlen Problem

At first, I tended to agree with the well-reasoned Hugh Hewitt on the Arlen drama, though my preference is that Specter not even be in the Senate, let alone the head of the Judiciary Committee. He's far too liberal for my tastes, and frankly, I don't know why he even considers himself a Republican. Is he conservative on any issue? But he is in the Senate and is a part of our majority, and so long as he considers himself a Republican we should welcome him in. But since he is a minority ideologically, his power should be limited. Moreover, I'm worried that if Specter bolted from the party, he'd take the other RINO's with him (at least the northeastern ones and maybe McCain or Hagel). We'd be back where we were before or worse, with a slim majority or even in the minority.

The more I think about it, however, the more I think that this controversy is a good thing. It will be nice to see Specter reigned in. He is one of those "independent" minded politicians, who cares less about the party than himself. This controversy can serve as a vehicle to gain more loyalty out of Specter. He wants judiciary very bad and we should be able to get him to make some big concessions.

I'm sure Bush was able to get some concessions out of Specter before he signed on to help him during the primaries against Pat Toomey. Either way, Bush values loyalty above all else, and if Specter departs from Bush on his nominations, Bush will do what he can to hurt Specter.

My other thought on Bush, is that he is going to nominate who he wants to nominate, despite what Arlen Specter or any other Senator says. If Specter doesn't like it, too bad. Bush will go unilateral on this issue if he needs to.

If Specter doesn't get the chair, the party leaders will have a problem on their hands dealing with this guy. If he does get the chair, he could become a team player or cause the conservative nominees major heartache. Of those 3 options, 2 are bad. Specter should not get the job.