Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Arlen Specter questions decision to leave GOP

Arlen Specter questions decision to leave GOP

0 comments
Travel Deals

 

Every time I've ever seen a politician say something along the lines of, "I probably shouldn't say this, but....," that invariably means he probably shouldn't have said it. This isn't as dumb as Gordon Brown calling a (former) supporter "a bigoted woman," but I believe this comment is going to hurt Arlen Specter, who's been on track to win next month's Democratic primary but hasn't really sealed the deal:

Now as a Democrat, that role has vanished. For that reason alone, Specter has questioned his storied party switch.

''Well, I probably shouldn't say this,'' he said over lunch last month. ''But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I'd stayed a Republican.''

Specter mused that perhaps if he'd remained in the caucus he could have persuaded one or two of his
GOP colleagues to support health care reform. Not one Senate Republican voted in favor of it, but he swears he would have regardless of party affiliation.

This is a fantastical rewrite of history on many levels. I find it hard to believe that Specter -- who you may recall wasn't even supporting the public option until Rep. Joe Sestak's primary challenge put the fear of God into him -- would have broken ranks with his entire caucus or brought Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins along with him. Snowe and Collins and John McCain and Lindsay Graham haven't deserted party line votes on any major issue (unless you consider the $15 billion jobs bill major) since in the last 14 months, and it defies human nature to believe that Specter (who was convinced to praise Sarah Palin, after all,  after votiing for most of the dreck laws of the Bush Cheney era) would have split ranks in the current climate.

Someone politically savvy as Specter should know that health care would have never passed if he hadn't become the 60th votes for the bill that passed in December, before the arrival of Sen. Scott Brown. What's more, it's stunning that he didn't realize this comment will cost him primary votes on May 18, when he doesn't have that many votes to spare.

(h/t Dave Weigel)

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Will Bunch
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter