The trouble with Arlen Specter, believe it or not, is not that he is Republican.
It’s that he’s all these things.
And the trouble with Arlen Specter’s wishy-washiness on all of the above issues is not that he is listening closely to the Will Of The People and thus following their wishy-washy lead. No, the problem is that Specter’s stance on important issues seems to flow from how much power other Republicans — in the Senate, or back home — will take away from him if he does what he wants.
That’s why he voted for the stimulus bill — but only after extracting cuts in a “half-a-loaf” solution that satisfied nobody but Specter.
That’s why, rather than stick to his pro-choice guns, he gained chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee by declaring he wouldn’t block President Bush’s pro-life judicial nominees.
And that’s why, facing a sudden likely primary challenge from Pat Toomey, Specter flip-flopped again: Instead of supporting the Employee Free Choice Act that smooths the path for union organizing, he is now an opponent.
What are Pennsylvania voters to think, really? If they send him back to the Senate next year, which Specter are they going to get?
I’m no fan of Pat Toomey and his Club for Growth ilk. But Pennsylvania voters might be best served with a Toomey primary victory in 2010. There’s be a cleaner ideological difference between Toomey and his Democratic opponent — thank God, not Chris Matthews — making the results of the election a little more easy to read.
All politicians are subject to party pressures and are liable to flip-flop under duress. With Specter, though, it’s become such a habit that there’s no way to be sure that he ever means what he says. Tomorrow, it’ll probably be something different.
Uncategorized, abortion, arlen specter, club for growth, employee free choice act, pat toomey, republicans, unions