Specter: Democrats Being Taken Over By Extremists

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 17:24


Earlier today, Alren Specter said that the Democratic Party is being taken over by extremists

But we find, I think regrettably, that the extremes of both parties are taking over.

A senator like Joe Lieberman can't win a primary in Connecticut. I had a 1 percent primary for 2004. And, to repeat, the word that I use is "bleak."

Yep, it's "bleak" that Joe Lieberman and Arlen Specter have to face difficult primary challenges from the extremes. Arlen Specter is excellent at repudiating extremes, which is why only four weeks ago he introduced flat tax legislation in the Senate:

Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today introduced legislation that would scrap the 17,000 pages of current IRS code in favor of a 20 percent flat tax for all individuals and businesses. The revenue-neutral legislation would allow tax-payers to file returns on a postcard that could be completed in 15 minutes.

"My flat tax legislation would make filing a tax return a manageable chore, not a seemingly endless nightmare, for most taxpayers," Senator Specter said. "This legislation will fundamentally revise the present tax code, with its myriad rates, deductions, and instructions."

He also ran this campaign ad with Rick Santorum back in 2004:

More on Specter sticking it to the extremes:

''I'm here to say it as plainly as I can: Arlen Specter is the right man for the United States Senate,'' Mr. Bush said at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburg speaking to a crowd of cheering Republicans who raised $400,000 for Mr. Specter's campaign.(...)

Mr. Specter, the president said, is ''a firm ally when it matters most.''

Mr. Specter in turn piled accolades on Mr. Bush.

It is worth noting that this, pro-Bush version of Arlen Specter actually supported the Employee Free Choice Act.

Chris Bowers :: Specter: Democrats Being Taken Over By Extremists

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well all right (0.00 / 0)
So what do Democrats think they're getting then? What do Obama and Reid think will improve for them now that Specter is a Democrat and no other Democrat has much of a chance of unseating him?

It must be something.


Obama was mentored by Lieberman (0.00 / 0)
. He opposed Ned Lamont.

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[ Parent ]
Obama's possibly locked down a vote (0.00 / 0)
On health care and the environment.

Specter's political "brand" rests on being perceived as an independent thinker.  He can't switch yet again on EFCA.  He needs a highly visible issue that lets him assert that he won't become a party-line Democrat.  So, if one wanted to maximize leftward movement by Specter, the correct strategy is to allow him his fig leaf on EFCA for the price of moving farther left on other issues like health care and the environment.  You can even revisit EFCA later with cosmetic re-writes that allow him to say the bill has changed enough for him to shift.

Personally, I advocate the left putting this sort of pressure by agreeing to back off if Specter moves left on some other issues, then stabbing him in the back and supporting a progressive primary challenge anyways.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
and efca will just magically fail by a couple of votes (4.00 / 1)
and there will be some guy we will give a pass on healthcare which will magically  go down by 2 or 3 votes.

We've seen this shit before millions of millions of times.  I don't know why we continue to fall for this garbage.  I don't like politics or the Democratic Party.  I like concrete results.

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[ Parent ]
Pick one (0.00 / 0)
It's real simple.  If, you want concrete results, pick one result that you really want and make it the defining litmus test that is more important than everything else in the way that social conservatives have elevated abortion.

If, for example, you made health care the big issue to rally around, then one thing the left could do to drive this point home is to promise to primary the most socially liberal Democrat who isn't sufficiently to the left on health care.  If we don't come up with a new bloody shirt to wave, the progressive movement is going to run into problems when Iraq no longer presents a unifying issue with a sense of immediacy.  So, just pick one issue (or really three or four) to prioritize and be willing to make some compromises on other issues to get stuff done instead of engaging in a Nancy Grace-like culture of permanent outrage which treats everything as a harbinger of doom.  

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
and you will tell me I can't pick health care (0.00 / 0)
when that day comes.  We need to forget elections and focus on costing the establishment money.  Civil disobedience.  Shut things down.

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[ Parent ]
actually (0.00 / 0)
I'd tell you that you should pick health care.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
The nazi in solphie's choice told her to pick her (1.33 / 3)
son, after sexually harassing her, then murdered her son.

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[ Parent ]
He's already said he hasn't shifted on cap and trade (4.00 / 1)
and his current position is terrible. And he opposes EFCA beacuse of it's core, card check and binding arbitration. He won't go for little tweaks.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Yes, neocons republicans are considered moderates (0.00 / 0)
which is why I don't consider Arlen Specter to be much of a prize and I don't know why we are encouraging him to join.  

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heres hoping that (0.00 / 0)
there will be a little magic in specters senate race and magic bullet arlen will be sent packing for the good of pa and the us.

Chopped liver is us (4.00 / 7)
So now it's official: Arlen Specter is a good Democrat, and we're extremists. More jiu-jitsu, maybe, but I'd say that it smells more like Rahm Emanuel, Tim Geithner, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Joe Lieberman, and all the rest of the earnest folks so hell-bent on looking out for the good of the country. It isn't enough to marginalize us, they feel obliged to insult us as well.

How anyone thinks we're gonna get universal health care, peace in the Middle East, and EFCA out of this is beyond me.

Maybe that's why I'm not in charge of sending out e-mail blasts to the faithful, or chairing the DNC....


Progressives don't have the money to win elections (4.00 / 1)
we are only effective when we strike boycott and protest.  That is a historical fact.

Establishment politics doesn't work for people that don't have loads and loads of bribery money.

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[ Parent ]
I'd rate this comment an 8 if I could... (4.00 / 1)


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
well (4.00 / 2)
I would be sympathetic to the argument of increased partisanship but the Lieberman thing is a terrible way to make that case. Lieberman lost in the Dem primary because:

1. He supported an illegal and immoral war
2. More than that, he was a cheerleader for it
3. He supported all the violations of the constitution that went with it including wiretapping and torture.
4. He gave the Bush crowd and the media a way to portray all of the above as bipartisan and legitimate.

If Democratic voters rejecting that makes them extremists then I guess I'm for extremism.


How about this nugget? (4.00 / 2)
SPECTER: In discussing that issue with Senator Reid, the fair approach which we both agreed to was to be where I would be had I been a Democrat coming into the Senate with my election in 1980. So you can take a look at the charts and figure out exactly where I'd be.

Yikes!


yeah (4.00 / 2)
MSNBC tells me he wants to be Appropriations chair.  If that happens, there will be 2 effectively Republican chairs in the 111th Senate.


[ Parent ]
And its a feature (4.00 / 1)
not a bug.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
What, exactly (4.00 / 1)
Are Democrats getting out of this?

[ Parent ]
Shows Reid can't negotiate for shit (4.00 / 4)
The fair approach might have been to respect his seniority, but only to give it half-weight since it was for the other side. If he was considered to have seniority dating back to 1994, that might have been acceptable.

As it is, this is yet more evidence that we needlessly gave away the whole show. We should have let Specter lose, then maybe asked him to endorse the Democratic candidate.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog


[ Parent ]
From NBC TV (4.00 / 1)
the democrats promised to support him, raise money for him, and president Obama will campaign for him

this sucks...


Right, so instead he choose to be a "banana republic[an]"?? (0.00 / 0)
 "I think the president is correct in saying that we ought to be looking forward and that you shouldn't prosecute people who operated in good faith relying on competent legal counsel. If there is evidence of criminality, then the attorney general has the full authority and should prosecute it. But going after the prior administration sounds like something they do in Latin America in banana republics."

That was last week.  MSNBC claims this was "a Rendell/Biden production".  And Harry Reid has his shriveled parts in there too no doubt.

Rendell couldn't get Clinton -so is this his way of subverting Obama?

Sestak is now saying no one tells him what to do but the voters, anjd many think he can take it.

Everyone say:

YES WE CAN HAVE A PRIMARY CHALLENGE IN PENNSYLVANIA!  

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


If I were Toomey... (0.00 / 0)
I'd be running this clip in an ad against Specter in the general...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


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