Friday, November 12, 2004

Will religious conservatives start to eat their own?

Conservative groups yesterday urged Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to help lead the fight to deny the Senate judiciary committee chairmanship to his colleague, Sen. Arlen Specter....

If Santorum hopes to avoid his own Senate primary battle in two years --and perhaps make a run for president in 2008 -- he needs to heed conservative concerns about whether Specter, a moderate, can be trusted to shepherd President Bush's judicial nominees through the Senate, the groups said.

"When I was out on the road in Pennsylvania, people were so angry with Sen. Santorum for backing Sen. Specter" in the primary, said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, head of the Christian Defense Coalition. "Wouldn't it be fascinating if Congressman Toomey ran a primary against Santorum?"...

--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It's hard to believe that the morality crowd will abandon Santorum. But if they're going to make him sweat like this, and force him to worry about raising money for a primary (he surely thought he could sail to an easy reelection in '06, with the White House in sight after that), then what levels of extremism will other elected officials have to go to in order to demonstrate that they're pure enough?

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