Well, this is no surprise: Specter to vote for Mukasey as US attorney general. There were two ways this could play out: Specter would be a key vote and cave to White House pressure, or — what actually happened — the Democrats would cave and Specter would take the expedient route.
I suppose the only tiny silver lining in this whole sordid mess is that the GOP is so much in the tank for torture, that they haven't figured out that they are missing an opportunity: now that the Democratic party is so compromised on the torture question, it's actually open to Republicans to reformulate themselves as the anti-torture party. McCain could do it. Huckabee could do it. Even Romney could probably pull it off. (Rudy might find it tough.)
Why does the fact that a couple of Democrats who aren’t running for anything will vote for Mukasey make Democrats vulnerable to people like McCain, who will also vote for him, even though he has personal experience of the danger of such a course? So far, I haven’t heard a single Republican announce that he would definitely vote against Mukasey compared to maybe a dozen Democrats, including the top Democratic presidential candidates currently in the Senate. Clinton, Obama, and Biden will definitely oppose Mukasey while McCain will definitely support him (along with all but a single undecided Republican) and this is somehow evidence that it’s the Democrats who are compromised on this issue? Talk about the benefit of low expectations! Apparently anything short of calling for a double Gitmo counts as pro human rights for the GOP these days.