Thursday, May 7, 2009

Arlen ain't so Darlin'

Senator Specter (D/R/IDK - PA) is having a hard time fitting into his new party. Below are some of the issues he is having with his party switch.

From WaPo:

• Specter pronounced that he would be keeping his seniority when he announced his party switch last week -- maintaining that his ability to deliver for the state would not be diminished in any way shape or form by his move across the aisle. Except, that wasn't exactly right. The Senate's approval of Specter's junior status on a series of committees led to a "he said, he said" between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and the newest member of his caucus. Asked about the back and forth by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Reid stood his ground saying simply: "He is a person who's been in the Senate since 1980. I think he should be able to handle himself."

• In a sitdown with the New York Times' Deborah Solomon, Specter said he was hoping that the Minnesota courts would do "justice" and declare former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman the winner in the contested 2008 election. Whoops! Specter tried to walk the comment back told Reid that he briefly "forgot what team I was on."

• Specter has done little to back off his initial assertion that his decision to switch parties was based almost entirely on political calculations and had little to do with ideology. While most party switchers are almost certainly guided by personal political concerns (what politician isn't?), most don't come right out and say it because it is a turnoff for voters who want to believe that their politicians believe in, well, something.

The Democrats need to let him keep his seniority. I mean, the man is working with us now, and we should not strip him of his seniority. Even when he was a Republican, he voted with us on some issues. While he is not my ideal Democratic senator, he is on our team now and if we expect him to say in line, we need to give him some carrots.

The other two are his issues to deal with. He needs to get into line and stop making headlines. He is going to have a tough time keeping his seat if this keeps up.


Zaid at UGA said...

I think the general attitude on Specter is that neither the GOP nor the Democrats particularly like him, and that's not because of political fence-straddling or anything like that, but because they realize that in his mind his greatest constituent is himself.