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Specter Pressure



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Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said he would hard to “ensure quick action” on the nominees who, if given the chance for a vote, would all gain lifetime seats to the federal bench.
But conservatives have heard this before, only to be sorely disappointed. This will be an early test for Mr. Frist, as well as Sen. Arlen Specter, the liberal Pennsylvania Republican who squeaked through a primary challenge from conservative Rep. Pat Toomey and now owes his political survival to the overt support and campaign help of President Bush.

If Mr. Frist can’t lean on Mr. Specter to break any logjam, the White House — which knows it has only about 18 months to set its domestic legacy before lame-duck disease strikes — will apply the pressure itself. Mr. Bush rightfully thinks he’s owed a favor. Mr. Specter must fight hard for these first-term holdovers or risk the wrath of angry conservatives from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Jonah’s already made his Frist prediction for the new year. Notice I refrained from predicting “Specter screws right.” Some things are too obvious? Or maybe I’ll be delusionally optimistic–I still believe he’ll do less damage than he would have had the Senate GOP not heard from so many of you.


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