Senator Arlen Specter has never been a conservative, nor a liberal, nor a moderate, nor an independent. He is a trimmer -- a sailor who trims his sails to meet any incoming political breeze.
-------Rabbi Arthur Waskow
This is part of a comment made almost immediately, on an article by Chris Hayes at The Nation. I could not have said it better myself. I have been counting the days since the last election for Specter (and perhaps others like him) to change colors, post new flags and switch parties.
He was, however, on the top of my list of “usual suspects” that one might expect to work out a way to make political hay from the recent demise of moderate conservatism around the country.
Although the dear Senator professes to represent the people of PA, he continues in his current role as representing only himself, his lobbyist supporters, his paychecks and his extensive numerous benefits as a congressman. He has already vowed to vote against the EFCA and will no doubt vote in favor of his generous industrial/hospital healthcare supporters to fight against any effective national health care plan.
This will not, of course, impede or alter the contribution-free health care plan he receives as partial compensation for his office. Faced with certain failure if he had attempted to get re-elected as a Republican, in a state where the red voters have been increasingly over-run by the pink and blue ones, he took the most expedient route and simply changed party affiliations.
This is Washington street theatre, a few prominent Democrats will hail this as “monumental change” and the intellectual fondlers of the new majority will linguistically soil themselves in public for a day or two. Then the stage will be cleared and the props put away, and it will be business as usual.
We will still have swine flu scares, Wall Street pecuniary obscenities and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And human slavery and child pornography and massive job losses and multitudinous home foreclosures.And as for Specter and his sudden acts of political clarity and charity? I don’t care. And in all honesty, you probably don’t either.