A Specter is Haunting Washington

Arlen SpecterI’m a little concerned about this business of Arlen Specter switching over to the Democratic party.

It’s clear why he’s jumping ship — he’s openly admitted it: the Republicans have moved far enough to the right that he can’t expect their support in a primary campaign, so he’d never make it to the general election (which he’d have a decent shot of winning) if he sought the Republican nomination.

And Obama and the Democrats are agreeing to this (and most likely telling him they’ll support him over any other Democratic candidates) because it means that he’ll be a little more cooperative with them over the next year, leading up to the election. They figure a Specter in the hand is worth two potential real progressives in the bush. (How’s that for a shredded maxim?)

Personally, I have my doubts about whether it’s worth it. Sure, if Specter was going to try to get his old party’s nomination, he’d have to take a giant step to the right, and that would mean the Democrats would get just about no cooperation from him over the next year, “independent record” or not. I think he knows that that wouldn’t be enough to convince the party base to keep him. He could pull a Lieberman and declare himself an independent. He may have been one of the three most moderate Republicans in the Senate, but that was still pretty far to the right of your average Democrat. Is this deal going to change any of his votes in the next year?

It seems to me he’s getting a lot more out of this deal than the rest of us are.

And there’s more to it than that. Let’s not forget that this is about Pennsyltucky, a place I’m personally not so quick to trust. Think about some of the people who currently represent the state:

sleestak
Congressman Joe Sleestak, 7th District — that’s him with his son, Joe Jr.

Chaka
Congressman Chaka Fattah, 2nd District

If you don’t see what I’m getting at, maybe this will help:

That’s right — I think Pennsyltucky may be the Land of the Lost. And if that’s the case, it’s unwise to make deals with any politicians from there. When he goes home on a routine campaign expedition, what are the odds that he’ll be eaten by a dinosaur? Hell, the whole state could be swept off to some distant time and place at any moment. What’s the DCCC supposed to do if that happens?

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Those Changing Mavericks of Maverick Change

maverickMcCain and Palin, “the original mavericks,” as they’re described in the video below, (I know McCain is ancient, but Palin’s younger than I am. How is she one of the “original” mavericks?) have now announced that “change is coming.” That’s right — they’re not just mavericks. They’re mavericks of change. You betcha.

I was watching MSNBC today, and they had a couple of those dueling pundits (or as Palin calls them, “pundints”) segments. The big stumper question they hit the democrats with, after pointing out how McCain and Palin had ostensibly taken that tough as nails maverick stance and bucked the established powers that be in their party, was “What examples can you give us of Obama and Biden openly disagreeing with the rest of the Democratic party?”

What bullshit.

First of all, how many of the examples of McCain or Palin being “mavericks” — really standing up to their party — are true? Of those positions, how many do they still hold? Standing up to your party and then changing your mind and agreeing with the bosses doesn’t count as maverick in my book.

Mavericks, my ass.

And they don’t really talk about what they’re going to change. They just say “change is coming.”

Considering the fact that Republicans have been in power for almost eight years now, and that for all but about a year and a half that power was absolute, “change” is represented by the other party. Who says you have to be a maverick Democrat to represent change?

So when someone points out that McCain has voted with Bush 90% of the time, and the counter argument to that is that Obama voted with the rest of the Democratic party about 90% of the time, the proper response should be that that represents voting against Bush well over half of the time.

And that represents change, whether Obama chooses to strap on a six-shooter, hop on his horse and call himself a “maverick” or not.

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