11/05/2004

Arlen Specter Update

Reader Steve S. points out that Senator Specter hasn't been very consistent with regard to his stance on the finer points of the abortion issue, and Stephen from Race2008 points out Specter's backpedalling on his own website...

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.
This is a disappointing retreat, and a lost opportunity for the Republicans. Had Specter not caved, the Bush administration could have issued a statement proclaiming their respect for Specter's beliefs and their faith that he'd make a great Judiciary chairman. It would have killed the controversy and given Bush a chance to do some of that "reaching out" he spoke of in his victory speech.

Now, one can't help but conclude that Specter did the Potomac Two-Step to avoid losing his shot at a powerful Senate job. Badly done, chaps.