Redstate.org has set up a project site to help conservatives actually benefit from this election with regard to the president's appointments to the federal judiciary -- notspecter.com; a site lobbying against Arlen Specter ascending the throne of Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. The site is a newborn, so they still have to get some bugs out.
Unfortunately, because Charles Grassley will not give up his Finance Committee chairmanship to take over the Senate Judiciary Committee, the next man in line is the execrable Specter. Specter is virulently pro-abortion to the degree that he feels it is a fundamental right (The Monk hates the concept but would not criminalize abortions) and may litmus-test Bush's candidates. Specter has noted that he has supported all of Bush's nominees thus far, and that's true. But Specter also knows that the right wing despises him and that he was going to have a strong challenge in the '04 primary -- he no longer needs to help Bush and his history (see Miller article below) is unencouraging.
In November 2003, John Miller of National Review wrote this piece on the worst Republican Senator. In March and April, NRO led the charge for Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania Republican Senatorial primary. Thanks to President Bush's campaigning on his behalf, Specter narrowly defeated Toomey. Specter's repayment? First, tacitly endorsing Kerry (thus the numerous Kerry/Specter signs in Pennsylvania touting both candidates -- Specter should never have allowed his name to be associated with Kerry); second, denying the President's mandate in a news conference Wednesday that occurred around the same time the President made his victory acceptance speech. Thus, Specter's view on the President's mandate was to the left of the NY Times!
I sent emails to Bill Frist and some Republican senators on the Judiciary committee yesterday regarding Specter. I also called Sen. Cornyn's office earlier today to register opposition to Specter (Cornyn would lead the fight against Snarlin' Arlen). Here is the email text:
I am writing you on an issue of utmost importance to the Republican and conservative base that has rallied so strongly around President Bush, helped re-elect the President and drove the election results in favor of the Republican Party in the Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and South Dakota Senate races.
The issue is federal judges and the importance of having a Senate Judiciary Committee Chair who will be able to work with and support President Bush's candidates for judicial appointments. Arlen Specter does NOT meet this criterion.
In his press conference [Wednes]day, Sen. Specter noted that Chief Justice Rehnquist's health is very poor. The Senator also noted that his personal preference is for justices like Holmes, Cardozo, Brandeis and Marshall (whether John or Thurgood was unclear) to become nominees. That is fine in the abstract but troublesome in the particulars: the country needs judges who will not legislate from the bench, not those who would (Holmes, Cardozo, Brandeis, certainly Thurgood Marshall) no matter how noble their intentions.
Sen. Specter is noted for his wrongful denunciations of Robert Bork, his misguided pronouncements recently on Justices Thomas and Scalia, his overarching opposition to any jurist who will not adhere to a very pro-choice view on abortion, and his disdain for the views of the White House. This is not the Judiciary Committee chairman that the Senate and the President needs.
The victories of President Bush and Senators Thune, Isakson, Martinez, Burr, DeMint, Murkowski and Coburn on Tuesday give the party and this Congress a tremendous opportunity to govern, and govern well. The ability to do so will be thwarted if Sen. Specter is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I urge you to seek other candidates for that post.
Thank you for your time and service. Please note that the views expressed herein are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
Use some of that if you wish.
I'm topping this post to provide the link to the Kerry/Specter connection -- campaign signs touting Kerry and Specter in Pennsylvania, a cardinal sin for a Senate candidate to not halt campaign propaganda connecting him to the presidential candidate of the opposite party.