Sunday, September 11, 2005

Republican moderates feeling emboldened?

Senator Arlen Specter, the Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman and a moderate Republican, sets down his marker on the potential Supreme Court appointment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Bush's longtime friend and confidant:
``I believe it's a little too soon for Attorney General Gonzales to move up,'' Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said on NBC's ``Meet the Press'' program. ``He's an able fellow, but we just went through a tough confirmation hearing, and my sense is that the national interest would be best served if he stayed in that job right now.''
Pretty bold words from a Republican who was recently targeted by Bush conservative supporters, after Bush's re-election. Conservatives wanted Specter to be stripped of the Judiciary Committee's Chairmanship due to his moderate views. Ironically, Specter speaking out against Gonzales as a nominee actually pleases conservatives as they are unsure of Gonzales' views. But still, this is quite a seachange for Specter and a sign that Republican moderates may no longer be so cowed by the Bush team...