How does one become an overnight conservative hero? Ask Judd Gregg.

Citing "irresolvable conflicts" between himself and the Obama administration, Gregg rightly withdrew as the Commerce secretary nominee. The conflicts over the spending, er, stimulus package are plain as day. Gregg is a committed tax-cutter. By serving as secretary of Commerce, Gregg would be complicit in social spending policies — $2 billion for ACORN, $1 billion for a Prevention and Wellness Fund for education programs on sexually transmitted diseases, $30 million for habitat restoration for the salt marsh harvest mouse in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) district — that Gregg knows would not help bring about economic recovery. And that's just what we know is in the bill; the public hasn't seen it yet.

More troubling is President Obama's decision to end the Department of Commerce's oversight of the census and instead have the census director report directly to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. In making the Commerce secretary impotent on the census, as we prepare for the 2010 census and the congressional redistricting that comes with it, Obama sets a dangerous precedent done solely for political purposes. It's a precedent on which, as Byron York noted in today's Washington Examiner, congressional Democrats have shown no inclination to exercise any oversight.

Sen. Gregg showed himself to be a man of conviction today — one who puts principle over politics. It was no doubt a difficult decision, but it was a courageous one.