The Corner

Specter: Numbers

Yes, Arlen Specter has an R next to his name. Rs Mean staff and chairmanships. Yes. But you know what? Not everyday can we argue, when it comes to Congress, on principle-it’s often not practical-because it is often way too late. Right now it is not too late. And Republican hands are not completely tied right now. Specter may have made some kind of promise in exchange for Bush campaigning for him. But you know what? He broke that deal the morning after the election when he talked out of turn before becoming chairman.

And the more Specter talks, the worse, it seems to me, he often makes it. And while he uses Clarence Thomas as an example, he has since (since the confirmation hearings) voiced his regret for his Thomas support (see his memoirs, and John Miller’s piece)-and was real lukewarm re a possible Thomas for chief justice on Hannity’s radio show the other day.

Do I think Chafee and Specter and Snowe will never cooperate again if Specter is chairman? I’m not going to advocate doing the wrong thing because of what Chafee might think. Snowe’s no lame duck, so I doubt it. Chafee-let him go. (Though he said yesterday he won’t, for what it is worth.) And, if Specter leaves the party, I’m not shedding tears.


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