The Corner

Specter On Robertson

Just did a quick Nexis search on what Arlen Specter has said about Pat Robertson over the years, in the New York Times. Here are two highlights, both from 1995, when Specter was running for the GOP presidential nomination and bashing religious conservatives at every opportunity.

From Specter’s speech announcing his candidacy (which K-Lo linked to earlier): “When Pat Robertson says there is no constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state, I say he is wrong.”

Specter quoted in a Frank Rich column: “There is a continuum from Pat Buchanan’s ‘holy war’ to Pat Robertson’s saying there’s no separation of church and state, to Ralph Reed saying pro-choice candidates can’t be on the Republican ticket, to Randall Terry saying ‘let a wave of hatred wash over you,’ to the guy at Robertson’s law school who says murdering an abortion doctor is justifiable homicide, to the guys who are pulling the triggers.”

This second comment is astonishing. There’s “a continuum” between opposing a pro-abortion candidate and “the guys who are pulling the triggers” on abortionists? There’s a good Latin term for this kind of nonsense: reductio ad absurdum.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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