Santorum Pivotal in Securing Bush Judicial Nominations

Back when there were GOP presidential candidates with a more consistently conservative record from which to choose, the main thing I held against Rick Santorum was his support of RINO Arlen Specter during Specter’s re-election campaign a few years ago.

Specter has long been a Democrat-with-an-R-after-his-name, and has caused untold trouble for Republican senates and presidents.  Why Santorum would back a liberal like Specter over someone like Pat Toomey, I could never fathom.

Then, a little over a month ago, I learned from someone that Santorum didn’t just give away his support.  Remember all the judicial nominations President George W. Bush made during his two terms?  Arlen Specter was, as usual, making trouble for good nominations and threatening to derail some good judges.

In exchange for his support, Santorum secured a pledge from Specter not to stand in the way of Bush’s judicial nominations. This was no small victory for conservatives.  Judicial nominees can sit on the federal court system for decades…either upholding the Constitution and the freedom of the American people, or trampling on the Constitution and decimating our liberties.

In retrospect, something I held against Santorum (because it appeared to be a cheap sellout) was actually a courageous act.  Why?  Because he probably knew people like me who supported him would not understand, and he would lose the support of many of the people he needed.  Indeed, I think his support of Specter cost him his own re-election.

Yet Santorum did the right thing, even at great cost to himself. Yes, he lost his own seat in the Senate, and helped Specter’s seat to stay with a RINO instead of a real Republican.  But these losses (which have the potential to be reversed in six years) pale in comparison to the gain of several Constitution-respecting judges…who may sit on the bench for five times that six years, and do untold damage (or good) to our country.

Woodrow Wilcox

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When I learned in a private meeting with a Santorum-backer last month what Santorum had done in backing Specter, I had already become a Santorum supporter, but my respect for Santorum went up several notches.

Men who will put the greater good ahead of their own personal good are extremely rare in politics. Let’s not pass up the opportunity to nominate one for president from the GOP, and to put one in the White House in November.



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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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