Thursday, November 18, 2004


Moderates 1, Taliban 0

Specter to Chair Judiciary

For all of us who were worried we'd be faced with an arch conservative as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at such a critical time, we can breath a little easier. The WaPo is reporting that Senator Specter has been unanimously approved to take over the Judiciary Committee in 2005. Yes, he's making all sorts of statements right now about supporting Bush nominees, etc., etc., but his elevation to chairmanship is an important sign that the GOP isn't going to give away the store to the 'religious' right.

Think about the great political theater here. Some conservatives deeply and sincerely want to ban abortion, but others don't. There rationale may be religious, ideological or even political (can't win a campaign on abortion if there is no abortion...). But seriously, what does Specter owe anyone? He's 74 and likely to retire in six years. He's a moderate republican who has consistently stuck to his principles over the years and isn't likely to cave on any of them, especially now. So having Mr. Specter as chair is probably the best outcome, given the make up of the Senate, that we libertarian minded folk could have hoped for. Plus, we get the added bonus of watching fringe groups like "Concerned" Women of America and the Family Research Council go f'ing nuts over this.

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