Give them all Primaries

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:59

Five weeks ago, Arlen Specter wrote a letter to a Pennsylvania resident saying that DOMA was teh awesome:

Dear Mr. Hedo:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding a proposal to amend the Constitution for the purpose of defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. I appreciate hearing your comments on this important matter.

In 1996, the Congress passed and the President signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I supported the passage of this legislation. This law has two important facets. First, the law defines marriage for the purpose of the Federal government as a union between one man and one woman. Second, it provides that no state or local jurisdiction may be forced to recognize a legal union created in another state or jurisdiction, if the definition of that union is contradictory to their own.

The legalization of same sex marriage in states such as Connecticut, Iowa, and Massachusetts has led many citizens to believe it is necessary to amend the United States Constitution in order to protect traditional marriage. Although I support traditional marriage as defined in DOMA, and although I appreciate the goal of the proposed amendment, I do not believe it is necessary to amend the Constitution at this time.

I believe this is an issue most appropriately addressed at the state level, and most states are working hard to protect marriage. Indeed, nearly every state has enacted statutory or constitutional protection for traditional marriage. Furthermore, DOMA ensures those states will not be forced to recognize unions created in the handful of states with legalized same-sex marriage. Therefore, I believe it is premature to amend our founding document at this time.

Thank you for contacting my office regarding proposals to amend the Constitution to protect traditional marriage. Rest assured I will keep your thoughts on this issue in mind if the Senate considers this issue or any related issue. Should you have any further questions, please contact my office or visit my website at

Arlen Specter

The blogger who posted this letter, Hedo, has confirmed to me over email that this letter was received on September 22nd.

The next day, Specter's challenger in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, Joe Sestak, went up with a petition to repeal DOMA.

Now, Arlen Specter is writing articles in the Huffington Post demanding that DOMA be repealed.

Arlen Specter is engaging in some of the more absurdly bald-faced flips that I have ever seen a candidate engage.  He does not care about policy or ideological consistency--only about getting elected.

This all might be tolerable if Specter was simply saying that he was representing the majority wishes of his constituents.  However, he keeps claiming that these about-faces are based on principle. Again, if Specter were to admit that his highest principle is getting elected, I would agree with him.

Imagine if every conservative Democrat had a primary challenge like Arlen Specter.  Would there even be any question about passing the entire Obama administration agenda?

Reward good behavior--support Joe Sestak. The second Arlen Specter no longer faces a serious primary challenge, the second he no longer cares what progressives think.

Joe Sestak's campaign website
Joe Sestak on Facebook
Joe Sestak on Twitter
Joe Sestak on Act Blue

Chris Bowers :: Give them all Primaries

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awesome auto reply "oops!" :) (0.00 / 0)

Hmm, no wonder Obama loves Specter (4.00 / 1) engaging in some of the more absurdly bald-faced flips that I have ever seen a candidate engage.  He does not care about policy or ideological consistency--only about getting elected.

FISA, anyone?

Not sure who I despise more at this point, the vitriolic Obama haters on the far right who accuse him of being things that no sane person could possibly believe he is or wants to be and try to defeat him at every turn, or the mindless and quite vicious (in that psychotic "Don't you DARE criticize my boyfriend!" way) Obama worshippers for whom he can literally do no wrong and who never lack for truly absurd pretzel logic ways to defend his every move.

Oh, wait, we're talking about Arlen Specter, not Obama. My bad.

Still, they're not that different. Obama's just smarter and smoother (and, unfortunately, less openly aggressive, one quality that I sorta kinda like about Specter in those rare instances when he's actually  supported a good policy).

And, although I want Sestak to win for far more substantive reasons, the fact that Obama's supporting Specter makes me want Sestak to win even more.

Sorry for the rant. It's just that I hate hypocrisy, especially when it's this glaring and offensive.

I was referring to DOMA, of course.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

i don't know if Specter is religious (0.00 / 0)
but if he is he should be well-prepared whatever his fate.

In Heaven:

Specter to God: "I always believed in you and the importance of how we treat the least among us."

In Hell:

Specter to Devil: "I've always agreed with your get tough stances and lack of mercy."

Devil to Specter: "That magic bullet thing was a classic."

Isn't that true of all Senators? (0.00 / 0)
"The second Arlen Specter no longer faces a serious primary challenge, the second he no longer cares what progressives think."

I mean, that's pretty much true of anyone who just got elected to a 6 year term. Obviously, I think Sestak will be better than Specter, but he wouldn't have to listen to progressives either once he got elected, at least not until 2015 or so.

no (0.00 / 0)
because it's possible to care what progressives think even after a primary. Some do. This is the first time Specter has ever worked for progressive votes and there's no reason to believe he'll listen to them ever again. I don't think Specter, who would be 86 in 2016, plans to run then. If he gets reelected in 2010 he's literally accountable to no one for the rest of his life.

[ Parent ]
SEN -- AR (4.00 / 1)
Someone, in the manner of a Sestak, should show Blanche Lincoln what a real populist looks like.

I just came back from leaving a little encouragement for Sestak at ActBlue.  I would love to be able to do the same for someone in Arkansas.  There are a lot of folk down there who are hurting, badly, and the Opt-Out provision may well make their plight worse.  If ever there were fertile ground for a populist uprising from the left, it is now and in Arkansas.

Again...why should progressives support a DLC candidate? (0.00 / 0)
Lieberman, Bayh, Lincoln, both Nelsons, Landrieu, Lincoln, Feinstein and the rest of them -- do we really want to add to their ranks?



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