Castrated Arlen Likely to Head Judic.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, outgoing Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) declared that every Republican on the panel has pledged to back Arlen Specter in the January vote to make the pro-abort Republican the next chairman of that committee. Arlen told reporters: "I have no reason to believe that I'll be unable to support any individual President Bush finds worthy." He has been forced to retract his 4-year-old pledge to vote against any nominee who would touch Roe v. Wade.
Specter read from a statement written for him, consisting largely of things he's promised in the past few days..
Even so, several GOP sources said one early version was deemed unacceptable by Senate leaders in a meeting on Wednesday, particularly on the contentious issue of changing Senate procedures to eliminate the possibility of a filibuster by opponents of a nomination.Arlen is now no longer permitted to oppose the nuclear option.
It's better like this, with Arlen handcuffed in a box, than with a scorned Specter hurling barbs at the Senate leadership and the President from the Senate floor, voting against all and sundry out of spite. (I cannot necessarily put such behavior past him if he were humiliated by his own party.)