“That is not true,” says a Judiciary Committee staffer. “Kemerer may have a different stated responsibility, but we’ve been told he will be working with Specter on judicial nomination issues regardless of what his stated role is supposed to be.”
More disturbing than the hiring itself was Specter’s willful behavior in hiring the left-wing litigator. “I wish I could say this was a one time, freak event,” says another Judiciary Committee aide. “But I don’t think I can. We got the distinct impression that Specter is going to continue to hire people like this. If conservatives care, they need to mobilize now. Because it’s largely out of our hands.”
Midday Friday there were unconfirmed rumors that Specter had spoken with ranking Judiciary Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy about shifting Kemerer into a Democratic staffer slot, but that Leahy was not receptive to the notion.
Beyond an expected backlash against Specter, there was growing concern among aides to Sen. Rick Santorum, who chose not to support then-Rep. Pat Toomey, a conservative, pro-life challenger to Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate primary last year. Instead, Santorum backed Specter, campaigning and fundraising for him, and then openly backing him for Judiciary chairman when that position was in doubt. Santorum is preparing for a tough re-election campaign, and was counting on strong support among Catholics in-state for votes and across the country for fundraising. But Santorum’s decision to put politics before core beliefs may now backfire.
On Friday Santorum staffers were meeting with allies to discuss how best to deal with what could become a crisis for the conservative junior Senator from Pennsylvania. Compounding Santorum’s Specter problem was word that Robert Casey, Jr., a pro-life Democrat and the son of one of Pennsylvania’s most popular politicians, was poised to announce his decision to seek the Democratic Senate nomination.
“To say that Santorum’s people are upset does not quite portray what is happening up here,” says a Senate leadership staffer. “Without Specter’s thumbing his nose at conservatives, Santorum could focus on issues and his candidacy. Now he has to worry about fallout from every step Specter takes.”
All of this adds to what appears is going to be a congressional session full of Judiciary issues. Some Judiciary Committee staffers are already looking at the calendar for spring and summer and telling friends and family that they can not make too many plans as they expect there will be a Supreme Court confirmation fight to be dealt with this summer, perhaps into August.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?