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December 20, 2004
How The GOP Made The Specter Issue Irrelevant

The GOP juggled commitee assignments today, shifting two strong anti-abortion advocates to the Senate Judiciary Commitee to give George Bush ample political support for the expected conservative nominees to federal courts this session of Congress:

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen.-elect Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) will join the panel's eight returning Republicans next month, assuming the Republican Conference follows tradition and approves the leadership's committee assignments for all 55 GOP senators. The breakdown of Judiciary will be 10 Republicans and eight Democrats. ...

Brownback and Coburn replace Sens. Larry E. Craig (Idaho) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), who will shift to other committees. Craig and Chambliss are solid conservatives but are not as focused on abortion as their replacements are. Democrats, who lost four net Senate seats last month, will not replace the retiring Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) on the committee. Their eight remaining members will stay on the panel.

The Senate leadership takes the Judiciary Committee seriously, and these new assignments show how much focus the GOP will have on judicial nominations. At least one Supreme Court opening is expected in this session, for the replacement of ailing William Rehnquist, but there could be as many as three. Bush may renominate some of the stalled appellate nominations that got filibustered in the previous session as well, and the new panel will guarantee a prompt and supportive referral.

As an added plus, the new assignments exposed the leftists as reliably tone-deaf as ever. Pro-abortion activists could not refrain from using war analogies to describe the situation, a particularly silly use of language while American soldiers serve under fire:

Antiabortion groups hailed yesterday's appointments, while advocates of keeping abortion legal expressed dismay. "The color code for potential threats to the Constitution just went from orange to red," said Ralph G. Neas of People for the American Way. "It's hard to believe the Judiciary Committee could go any farther to the right, but it just did."

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said: "It appears the far right is massing troops on the border of Roe v. Wade."

Ah, yes; here we have the common strategy of comparing pro-life politicians with terrorists and invaders. I understand that they oppose the restriction of abortion, but Coburn and Brownback are not terrorists or an invasion force. The only way PFW and NARAL can motivate their hysterical constituencies is to use language in the most inflammatory way possible. What the NARAL/PFW Chicken Littles fail to realize is that their radical abortion policies -- abortion on demand at any time prior to birth -- has increasingly alienated more and more of the electorate. The more they attack Republicans in these terms, the better their steadily-decreasing core responds to fundraising efforts, but they lose electoral power -- which the Democrats finally seem to understand.

If the Democrats and the Left cannot do any better than make stupid terrorist and war analogies to explain their positions, they can look forward to more marginalization in the next two years. Coburn and Brownback will gladly assist in that transition as well.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 20, 2004 9:29 PM

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» Senate Judicial Committee shuffle. from Amateur Megalomania
Captain's Quarters While I find the practice of abortion distasteful, I base my objection on the grounds of Constitutional Law rather than making it a moral issue. I don't think we are ever going to sway enough people on morale... [Read More]

Tracked on December 20, 2004 10:14 PM

» ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Coburn To Join Specter On Se from GrassrootsPA
Update: Capatin's Quarters presents a very good argument that Senate Republicans have effectively made the Specter issue irrelevant. [Read More]

Tracked on December 21, 2004 4:04 AM

» Judiciary Committee from JivinJehoshaphat
I don't think the pro-choice crowd will put their full "strength" against a nominee to replace Rehnquist but if John Paul Stevens dies or steps down or if Sandra Day O'Connor quits, then they'll turn the rhetoric up even higher. [Read More]

Tracked on December 21, 2004 9:33 AM

» Take good care of my baby from AmberGnat
A few weeks ago, we were sitting around here at AmberGnat wondering why the Republican Party was squandering its electoral victory by doing almost nothing to block the tepid Phil Specter (Love your records, Phil... Say "Hi" to Ronnie for... [Read More]

Tracked on December 22, 2004 8:41 AM

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