Monday, April 26, 2004

Toomey v Specter

For the past few weeks National Review has been obsessed with the Toomey/Specter Republican Senate primary in Pennsylania, which occurs tomorrow. And for the past two weeks I've had no idea why. National Review columnists have been writing things like "Specter hurts Bush," "this election really matters," and "Tomorrow, Pennsylvania voters will have an opportunity to save the conservative movement from what could be its largest obstacle over the next six years." Geez, are you sure? Here I am thinking this is just a Republican primary in one state between two people most Americans haven't heard of.

I mean, yeah, Specter is probably the most moderate Republican in the Senate, but he tows the line enough, and, most importantly, he ups the Republican count to 51. As long as he calls himself a Republican, you at least get the benefit of the buffer. It's not like six more years of Specter is going to destroy natural law once and for all, causing dogs and cats to get along, allowing the Cubs and Red Sox to win the World Series, and making all of us marry farm animals. How can I be so sure? Because even Rick (did someone say bestiality?) Santorum supports Specter. Things can't be all that bad.

Pat Toomey, of course, is a self-professed "real Republican." But if Specter is more likely to win the state in November (and the common wisdom says he is), why take the risk? This seems to be the Bush camp's point of view, and mine too. Until today.

This anonymous National Review piece made me realize why I should be rooting for Toomey tomorrow. Specter will become chairman of the judiciary committee next term. That is, unless the Republicans lose the Senate, which is very unlikely. I don't want to see a Specter chairmanship. It's not the place for a moderate. Why? Because Pat Leahy isn't moderate. The last thing we need is Specter and Leahy in agreement on judges whose only crime is holding a personal conviction that abortions are bad. Judge Pryor wouldn't have a prayer. Leon Holmes doesn't. You really need the chairman rooting for you these days if you're at all controversial. I think Hatch does a pretty good job, and John Kyl will too if he gets it. Specter won't.

Of course, many people don't care about this judges stuff, so if you have a good reason to vote for Specter, be my guest.

But for our registered Republican readers from Pennsylvania who follow the judiciary committee (and there are many of you, I know - thanks for the gifts), do your duty. Vote Toomey. For me.

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