Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 9 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Specter is an opportunist--he holds inconsistent political stances, but then so has Obama.

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message winston smith
We have Obama's stance on prosecuting big bro 43's war crimes as Exhibit A of how Obama has emulated Specter's tendency to change stances to take advantage of political opportunities. Specter debased himself for the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee which he ultimately lost. Obama has made us all losers, all accessories after the fact with his stonewalling of prosecution of W for war crimes.

Specter can say "I Did Not Say I Am A Loyal Democrat" after he--just day days before is quoted saying "Specter told the president, "I'm a loyal Democrat. I support your agenda." Why can he make contradictory remarks such as this? It is simply because he has always been an opportunist, like so many other unethical GOP politicians.

Since defecting to the Democrats Specter has been bucking the Democrats over many matters. To many that he has restated his opposition to Dawn Johnsen, Obama's nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel is the worst because she would bring the war criminals to justice. Regarding the torture memo Johnsen wrote "Where is the outrage, the public outcry?! The shockingly flawed content of this memo, the deficient processes that led to its issuance, the horrific acts it encouraged, the fact that it was kept secret for years and that the Bush administration continues to withhold other memos like it--all demand our outrage."

When he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee from 2005 to January 2007 Specter swore he'd investigate the destruction of the CIA torture tapes, big bro 43's abuse of executive signings, and W's illegal surveillance of US citizens. He also he introduced legislation incorporating a trials system for suspected Al Qaeda detainees. There is one trait that these events shared-that nothing ever happened. Specter talked a good game but nothing was accomplished. Who can know what Specter's motivations were, but a case can be made for saying that having the chairman of the Judiciary Committee provide ineffective investigations and bills benefited big bro 43 and the GOP.

The article "After the Imperial Presidency" at

click here

shows that Specter lusted after the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and made deals with GOP devils to attain that role as the article states "Like Warner, Specter was no doubt torn between his obligations to the Senate and his duties to the Republican Party. And Specter's hold on the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, a job he had coveted since being elected, was more precarious than Warner's. Because of Specter's support for Roe v. Wade, the Republican leadership had agreed to give him the job only if he agreed not to block the president's judicial nominees. He was basically on probation from the moment he took over the chairmanship. Specter's most noteworthy concession to the executive branch came when he voted for the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Despite McCain's and Warner's enthusiasm for the bill, Specter strenuously opposed it because it empowered the White House to strip detainees of their ability to challenge their imprisonments in federal court. He argued that the Constitution permitted the president to suspend this particular right -- the right to habeas corpus -- only in times of rebellion or invasion. Specter drafted an amendment to the act to preserve the habeas rights of detainees and delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor in defense of habeas corpus, tracing its roots back to Magna Carta of 1215. After his amendment was narrowly defeated, he vowed to vote against the legislation. Yet when the Military Commissions Act came up for a vote less than 24 hours later, Specter supported it."

As the article continues, Jonathan Mahler, the article's writer asked Specter the National Security Agency illegally wiretapping to which Specter replied "I was madder than hell. It was a flat violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and it violated the well-established custom of briefing the chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee on matters like this." When I asked Specter whether he thought he had done everything he could to prevent the executive branch from expanding its authority, he became a little indignant: ''I fought it every step of the way -- I'm still fighting it.'' There is truth to this, though the story is more complicated. During the Bush years, Specter did write numerous pieces of legislation intended to bolster Congress's role in the war on terror. In February 2002, he introduced a bill that would have established a system of trials for suspected Al Qaeda detainees. It never made it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee, leaving the administration to devise the trial system itself. In 2006, Specter proposed the Presidential Signing Statements Act, which would have empowered Congress to file suit to have a signing statement declared illegal by a federal court. This, too, never went anywhere. As Specter sees it, the very same rules that are intended to ensure thoughtful deliberation inside the Senate put it at a disadvantage with respect to the White House. ''The executive branch requires the decision of one person, as opposed to the legislative branch, which requires 10 votes just to get my bill out of committee,'' he says."

That is the words of a man who wanted publicity for courageous stances, but who knew his words would lead to nothing.

The article continues "But Specter also missed his share of opportunities to stand up for Congress in the battle over the president's wartime powers. When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the Judiciary Committee in early 2006 about the illegal wiretapping, Specter didn't require that he be sworn in, nor did he ask for any of the Justice Department's internal legal memorandums on the secret surveillance program. What's more, Specter's own legislative response to the warrantless-wiretapping scandal, which he proposed in 2006, was widely seen as a capitulation to the White House."

Back in December 20, 2007 the article "Investigations stymied!" at

click here

described "The article "Sen. Specter: Bush admin. throwing up roadblocks' on CIA tape, wiretap probes at

click here
states "A prominent Republican, who has disputed with the White House in the past, threw fuel onto the fire on Tuesday by accusing the Bush administration of throwing "roadblocks" in front of congressional attempts to investigate the destruction of CIA tapes, saying it demonstrates the need to preserve judicial oversight of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program. On Monday, the Senate leadership withdrew from debate a controversial renewal of warrantless wiretapping legislation and announced that it would not return to the matter until Congress reconvenes in the new year.
The bill under consideration would have given the telecommunications companies immunity from civil lawsuits stemming from past violations of the law, thereby leaving citizens who feel they have been spied upon no legal recourse and cutting off any oversight of the government's past activities." Specter's non-solution wants to substitute telecom companies with the US government, even though he knows that big bro 43 won't answer to the US people.
He said "Regrettably, the Congress has been very ineffective in oversight on what the executive branch does."

The article notes that "The ACLU has argued that suing the government isn't an adequate substitute, because it can use the state secrets privilege, executive privilege, and even a claim of sovereign immunity to get the cases thrown out."

This is the shame of the matter. Specter has spouted phrases in the past, but he hasn't followed through.

The article noted "We have all of these investigations stymied because GOP masters of hypocrisies make strident statements that they can show to their constituents, but fall apart when the puppet, big bro 43 challenges them!

Democrats such as Senator Leahy will fight for our rights.

Do you think Specter will? He said these identical remarks back from 2000 to 2006 when he had Leahy's position. He never followed through then. Why would he now, when he has no power and can make the most progressive remarks which he has no intentions of backing up."

From Obama's choice of evangelist Rick Warren to lead the prayer at his Inauguration to his to his handling of big bro 43's war crimes indicates that Obama understands Specter because they are both political opportunists.
What has Specter's defection done for the Democrats? Although the addition of Specter and Franken would give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority for the first time since 1979 when Jimmy Carter was President, it does not guarantee that Obama will be able to get all his legislation through Congress.

When he was part of their crew Specter voted with the GOP more when he had an election coming up. Specter is a master of subterfuge for political gain, but the checking of political gain in this investigation of W's war crimes by Obama proves Obama is also.
The article "Obama and Holder Must Prosecute War Crimes or Become Guilty of Them Himself" at

states "The Obama administration may, on the basis of whatever twisted political logic it is operating under, not want to appoint a prosecutor and indict the war criminals of the Bush administration..... Here, we're talking about enforcing the law. There are no options but acting. Not only does a commitment to the rule of law require prosecution here, right up to the president and vice president. The failure to prosecute war criminals is in itself a crime, meaning that there is a narrow window of time to act before Obama himself, and his attorney general Eric Holder, will be open to charges that they too are war criminals. If we don't get a prosecution going of Bush administration officials responsible for war crimes, the day will come when not only will George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld be unable to travel abroad. Barack Obama and Eric Holder will also be confined to US soil."

Sen. Dick Durbin is willing to voluntarily relinquish his chairmanship on a Judiciary subcommittee to Specter. Writing in the New York Review of Books Specter declared, "In the seven and a half years since September 11, the United States has witnessed one of the
greatest expansions of executive authority in its history, at the expense of the
constitutionally mandated separation of powers."
Rate It | View Ratings

Winston Smith Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Winston Smith is an ex-Social Worker. I worked in child welfare, and in medical settings and in homeless settings. In the later our facility was geared as a permanent address for people to apply for welfare. Once they received that we could send (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Bush planned the economic crisis for partisan GOP gain.

Why is Obama protecting 43?

Why did we all hate Palin?

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

What happens to US credibility if Spain finds them guilty and we don't?

Bush, with criminal intent, planned the economic crisis for partisan GOP gain.

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend