Kathryn — A bunch of readers have made the same observation. Again, I don’t have a big dog in this Specter fight and I like and respect Hugh Hewitt but it does seem that he’s making his arguments from a Republican perspective more than a conservative one (Recall during the debates his certainty that Bush won the day). It would be better for Republicans not to feed on a pro-choice moderate, says Hewitt. Better for who? Ask conservatives.
This in itself opens an interesting point about the discussion of all this outside our own internecine battlefield. For example, Josh Marshall’s reading of all this, last time I checked, seemed to be that the White House had clamped down on Specter. But from the folks I’ve talked to around the Bush administration, none of those guys want Specter to go and basically wanted to give him a free pass. Or at least they didn’t want to make a big fuss. If they ordered Specter to recant it was so he could keep his Chairmanship.
Further on the left, there seems to be a real inability to differentiate different segments of the right, inside and out, of the Republican Party. Every Christian conservative who says something impolitic is speaking the language of George Bush’s true self and everything that happens in the Republican Party is done deliberately and with foresight by Karl Rove. It just doesn’t work that way. Lots of conservatives — including many I disagree with — have adversarial relationships with the Republican Party. People seem to forget how much Poppa Bush resented the conservative base of the GOP.