Good riddance, Arlen
As he ends his political career, Senator Arlen Specter’s parting shot to the Republican party takes real cajones:
Mr. Specter, who lost his state’s Democratic primary after switching from the Republican side of the aisle in 2009, did not mince words as he assailed unnamed colleagues (read Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina) for violating Senate tradition and politically undermining members of their own party.
“Senators have gone into other states to campaign against incumbents of the other party,” Mr. Specter said. “Senators have even opposed their own party colleagues in primary challenges.
“That conduct was beyond contemplation in the Senate I joined 30 years ago,” said Mr. Specter in a speech that the onetime prosecutor billed not as a farewell, but as a closing argument. “Collegiality can obviously not be maintained when negotiating with someone simultaneously out to defeat you, especially within your own party.”
“The spectacular re-election of Senator Lisa Murkowski on a write-in vote in the Alaskan general election and the defeat of other Tea Party candidates in 2010 in general elections may show the way to counter right-wing extremists,” he said.
Shorter Arlen Specter: We had it so good for thirty years, with nobody paying any mind to what we did in the Senate, and just accepting everything we told them, the dumb rubes.
This kind of rhetoric gets me steamed, typical of the decrepit, old and bitter career politician that so infuriates most Americans when they look at Congress.
Here you have a man, who after spending decades as a Republican, refused to acknowledge the shifting political winds, and rather than fight for whatever he considered his principles, jumped ship and became a Democrat. The irony is that he failed to see the extremists on the left which have hijacked the Democratic party, where moderates are becoming extinct. But I’m sure Specter won’t be lamenting those extremists.
In the end, Specter only reinforced the image of himself that I always saw–a petty and bitter man.