Ross Douthat makes some sensible arguments in yesterday’s NYTimes about why the exit of Arlen Specter from the Republican stage is not especially lamentable. Yes, we’ll sometimes miss his vote. But his vote was hardly a reliable one and, I’m sure, the Dems will find him an equally unreliable ally. The trouble with Specter is not that he is less conservative than one would have liked or more liberal than one might have preferred . . . it is that he is less principled than anyone ought to be.