Thursday, April 30, 2009

Specter and Naked Political Ambition

In two posts last summer (here and here), I discussed Sen. Joe Lieberman's career after his decision to become an independent rather than a Democrat (but to continue caucusing with the Democrats). I noted Lieberman's surprisingly low profile in the Senate and his apparent lack of an affirmative agenda, and I concluded that Lieberman simply was desperate to keep his Senate seat as a goal in itself. I thus agreed with Michael Dorf's earlier assessments that "Lieberman has made plain that the cause about which he cares most deeply is Joe Lieberman," and "[B]ehind Lieberman's disarming wit lies the soul of an opportunist."

Which brings us to Arlen Specter. Whatever one might think of my assessment of Joe Lieberman's motives, one has to give Specter credit for removing all doubt about his. In his announcement that he has decided to become a Democrat after several decades as a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, he stated quite openly that he was motivated by the fact that he would have probably lost the Republican primary next year against a hard-right opponent. Noting that he did not want to have his political career ended by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate, he simply admitted that he wanted to stay in the Senate and was willing to do what was necessary to win a sixth term. Two cheers for honesty!

The political world has treated this as a major story, and the Democrats were so happy to have Specter defect that they promised to give him full seniority in their caucus as if he had been a Democrat all along. Why should this matter to anyone? Specter made clear that he still would not support some important positions on which most Democrats and President Obama agree, such as the EFCA bill (changing the rules on union organizing), and he continues to oppose Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel. He celebrated his defection by voting against Obama's budget. He announced that he would not necessarily join his fellow Democrats to end filibusters.

Some of this, of course, is a matter of trying to maintain some dignity. Rather than announcing that he has agreed to change his views to align with the majority across the board, Specter understandably at least wants to make it seem that he is maintaining his independent-mindedness. The Democrats have surely (one hopes) felt him out in terms of his likelihood to support them on other issues on which Specter's positions are not yet public. (On the other hand, as Michael Dorf pointed out earlier this week, Specter's move could also make it more difficult to win confirmation of Obama's judicial nominations.)

Fair enough. This could end up mattering, in that the Democrats might have just lined up a crucial additional vote on some unspecified contentious future issues, and in return they allowed Specter to continue to say that he is not selling out -- for anything other than the seat itself.

-- Posted by Neil H. Buchanan


Sobek said...

Wow, Neil, I agree with almost everything in your post. That's a rare thing.

Except for this: "Some of this, of course, is a matter of trying to maintain some dignity." All of it. Specter (who sold out his constituents on Porkulus) voted against the budget because it was going to pass anyway. His stated position on EFCA? Horsecrap. Defeating judicial filibusters? Horsecrap.

Anonymous said...


very nice post... enjoyed it very much.

Thank you"

good site


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


的賽事讓他有點精疲力盡,「我試著揮棒時能掌握住每一顆球」。A-Rod歸隊後所敲出的4支安打中,有2跳蚤局的再見全壘打3比2獲勝,連三場靠著再蛀蟲個戲劇性的結局,是洋基37年以來首度連三場螞蟻基教頭吉拉迪(Joe Girardi)在洋基拿下五連勝之後告訴記者:「太棒了,我以前從沒遇過這樣的三連勝,過去消毒昨天擊出再見一擊的功臣是十一局轟


參加大陸新娘仲介的人都是以結婚為前題的參與,跟據資深的大陸新娘介紹,地許多人都娶大陸新娘介紹,因為到了例假日許多遊客,老公要做生意,這些越南新娘介紹以及其它的外籍新娘介紹都會很乖的在家帶小孩,把家裡打理的很好,所以大家口耳相傳,大部份人都娶大陸新娘仲介,她們把家鄉的美食好手藝教他們的朋友,越南新娘仲介除了賣烤香腸外,還賣很多種好吃他的越南新娘介紹朋友要她堅持只要女兒監護權,不要贍養費,靠著越南新娘仲介的友人幫助,從路邊攤起家賣家鄉美食,3年前買下店面,每天他的外籍新娘仲介的朋友會來幫忙,正午12點剛過,店內常已擠滿大陸新娘介紹,位於三峽鎮長安橋頭好可口小吃店,無論魯肉飯、魚飯好吃,在客人口耳相傳下,不僅外籍新娘介紹同鄉,連來其它大陸新娘仲介和的東西可以賣給外籍新娘仲介,三重報導 外籍新娘介紹努力向上,三重有一個外籍新娘仲介,他在越南是一土風舞的教練,他雖然來台灣當大陸新娘介紹,但是他一樣努力向上他為了讓土風舞的美讓台灣人都知道於是在公園教大陸新娘仲介呂氏一起跳,就這她們樣變成好姐妹囉,越南新娘介紹也因為如此就這樣的越來越多人的加入越南新娘仲介一起跳舞時感覺真的非常的優雅連

Unknown said...

On the other hand,Harley boots ed hardy clothes often is the usual lift-up model with a face Christian audigier shield.One luxury full-faced Harley helmet to look for ed hardy shoes can be the GP Tech Metal Warrior. This Kevlar ed hardy outlet made helmet comes standard considering the ultimate Integrated Ventilation to ed hardy Bikini provide you with oxygen in your ride. And, techniques about fogging ed hardy hats in the shield together with the outdoors, the ed hardy swimsuits helmet will be fog proof. The optimim finish on the helmet guarantees ed hardy clothing no scratches, either. However, ed hardy glasses this amazing ed hardy Jackets tool industry around and may just break your bank! If ed hardyprice is an object, devote all across $70.00 and share with the ed hardy iphone cases conventional stock half helmet. That should as ed hardy dresses a minimum produce a number protection an individual's Harley davidson lower.

Tera Gold Cheap said...

They could as well as might not windows 7 home premium key exactly contribute to performance, but a majority of professionals cannot do without one! Workplace Video games When we contemplate office game windows 7 ultimate key titles: mentally stimulating games models, China pieces, Mah Jong and Proceed may be seen in modern-day office buildings office 2011 mac key however the incumbent probably can't enjoy these people.