A friend and reader pointed out some differing opinions about the Stop Arlen Specter effort now underway. Good discussions all, and I'm glad to be made cognizant of them, but having read Hewitt's commentary (scroll down to Monday, November 8, 6:00 PM) and the others Hewitt refers to, I have to say (and I think I speak for Emily too) that blogger John Mark Reynolds' rebuttal (scroll to Saturday, November 06, 2004, 9:54 AM) sums it up quite well:
"I almost never disagree with Hugh Hewitt. With Frank Pastore, he is the best thing on talk radio. He is very smart and knows much more about politics than I. Still, I think his argument here is flawed. Specter, like McCain, will be in a position to become the main stream media's Uncle Arlen, their favorite Republican. His quirky ramblings will be hailed as 'insights.' When he does decide to oppose a nominee, it will make sure the nominee is viewed as 'out of the mainstream.' He is in a position to do too much damage.
"We are not trying to silence another voice. I have no problem with him being on the committee. Not all Republicans (sadly) are pro-life and his are views that must be heard. He was elected by the people of Pennsylvania. However, there is no 'right' to be a chair. Seniority usually dictates who a chair will be, but some folk are disqualified by improper temper. Mr. Specter could not keep his mouth shut before the selection process. He caused this storm by 'telling the truth' at the wrong time; like Trent Lott his words are going to cost him his power. Does anyone think he would improve after he gets the chair? Specter is not well liked by his fellow Senators, thus he cannot be counted on to paper over group problems. He is a vain and silly man, given to a higher view of his intellect than his pronouncements warrant.
"Of course, this blogger would not dare try to silence vain and silly pontificators! However, no one wants to silence poor Specter, just take away a job for which he has no apparent qualifications."