Sen. Arlen Specter’s declaration that he is a Democrat — the first honest thing Specter has said in years — is mourned by Philip Klein as a “huge blow.” To use the word “blow” in such close proximity to the word “Specter” is a dreadful temptation to double-entendre I am compelled to resist.
Back in February, after Specter brokered an unprincipled compromise over the “stimulus,” I noted the fundamental dishonesty of his rhetoric:
Announcing the compromise Friday evening, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said: “I think no one could argue with the fact that the situation would be much worse without this bill.”
Really, Senator? “No one could argue”? Many certainly will argue with you, especially with your apparent assumption that “this bill” is the only possible response to the current economic crisis, and that we must either pass “this bill” or suffer the catastrophe about which the president has so direly warned.
Like his ideological soulmate, Sen. John McCain (who lost the election because of his support for the Bush bailout) Specter’s reputation for bipartisan moderation was always a function of his vain desire to be perceived as a “public servant.” After nearly three decades of unconscionable pandering to liberals, cravenly shifting with the prevailing winds, Specter will be less useful to the Democrats now than he ever was when he had an “R” beside his name.