Skip to comments.Specter's Snowball Effect
Posted on 02/21/2010 9:10:28 AM PST by Kaslin
WASHINGTON It is probably fair to say that U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, D-Pa., started it all. He perceived, long before anyone else, that this will not be the year of the incumbent.
Armed with campaign battle scars, a cantankerous personality and fairly long-in-the-tooth seniority (even by Senate standards), Specter has come to symbolize the end of the incumbent.
A CNN poll last week showed that only one-third of U.S. voters (a record-low number) think their members of Congress deserve to go back next year.
When Specter switched parties last spring, he was brutally honest why: He didn't want to go down in a closed Republican primary. When colleague Evan Bayh, D-Ind., announced last week that he will not run again, he was equally brutal: Hes sick of Washington and Congress.
After a summer of discontent marked by Tea Parties, angry town-hall meetings and plummeting polls, a domino-line of incumbent retirements has hit both chambers and parties.
Democrats have absorbed the heaviest blows. Bayhs decision followed similar retirement announcements of Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. The decision by Beau Biden, Delawares attorney general and an Iraq War veteran, not to run for his vice-presidential fathers old U.S. Senate seat is considered by many to be equivalent to an incumbent loss.
Those are guys who got out while the getting was good. Some notables, such as Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who trails in the polls, and Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., have not retired but perhaps should.
The saucer that cools public passions, as the Senate is often described, has grown bitterly cold for many of its incumbents.
Of course, party activists are furious with Bayh or Connecticuts Independent Democrat, Joe Lieberman, and they are increasingly dismayed with Obama for not fighting the good fight, in their eyes.
Lieberman is a matter of convenience, said Purdue University political scientist Bert Rockman. Most Democrats dont like him at all, and his whole strategy is to win Republican and independent votes in 2012.
Many of the Dem activists, Rockman explained, see their Senate leadership and their president as a bunch of wusses but they dont carry the same weight within their party as their Republican counterparts do on the opposing side.
Arlen Specter didnt get along with his Senate colleagues when he was a Republican, and he probably wont do any better as a Democrat. He isnt the future of the Democratic Party but his May primary opponent, the relentless U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, is.
Sestak is positioning himself effectively to the left of Specter (although once Specter realized he was in for a more vigorous primary race than originally expected, he moved steadily leftward just as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has moved rightward in his primary battle against former congressman J.D. Hayworth).
American politics has become dysfunctional: The parties have moved much farther to the right or to the left than the average voter wants or expects. Ironically, elections that throw the bums out indiscriminately tend to throw out moderates because they are most vulnerable, inasmuch as they tend to come from marginal districts.
So the irony is that an anti-incumbent election is apt to radicalize the parties even more, Rockman explains. That will take us farther from solving problems (rather) than closer.
Specter demonstrated the ultimate in opportunism with his party switch. Opportunism is always a gamble, and it now looks as if he's rolled craps. Or, to use a poker analogy, his anticipated ace in the hole, President Obama (who pledged his support to the senator's re-election), has turned out to be a Joker card instead.
Voters in general will always be suspicious of a party-switcher. That suspicion, while not inescapable, can fade if the switcher persuasively makes a case that he or she did so out of conviction, not just to hang onto public office.
People just don't warm to people who look as if they are taking advantage.
Right now, they also are cooling to incumbents who, right or wrong, have become symbols of this year of widespread voter discontent.
You thought you would be treated like a high price call girl, but you've ended up lower than a five dollar crack whore.
It could be worse. You could be Arlen Specter.
Oh, wait. You are Arlen Specter. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Sweep ALL out or let them ALL resign and go back to their families. They only understand power. Its time to flex OUR muscle. The soap box doesnt work. They control all of the amplification devices. Its time for the ballot box. Its peaceful. Its powerful.
Specter should have been gone a long time ago........
Term limits would guarantee *citizen* representation.
No nepotism or family dynasties.
No retirement benefits.
Elected officials make an appropriate salary to pay for their own housing, food, travel and medical care.
Former military are exempt from some restrictions.
Give them a dose of reality and a reminder of our Founders’ principles.
I’d say no exemptions from the laws they make, but that sorta falls under no perks.
Exactly..take out the perks...take out the elites.
And no Party switching!
Scumsucking slimeball pretty much sums up Sphincter and his whole career.
The Republican Party is not in danger of being dominated by the far Right. Most Republican Party politicians are to the left of their constituency, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the truly right wing kooks will never hold much political power.
Within the Democrat Party, a much different dynamic holds true. The professional politicians are more radically left every year and, more importantly, the leadership of the Democrat Party are not traditional Democrats at all: they are hard core Leftists who should be labeled Progressives, Socialists, or Marxists. This trend shows no signs of slowing or reversing itself. Any traditional Democrat who manages to get elected must support the hard core left wing of their party and either becomes one of them or eventually loses election. America is not ready to have the Obamas, Reids, and Pelosis run the country, yet the Democrats will continue to give political power to them and those of their ilk.
Keep in mind the elected officials in Congress have to pay for their homes/apartments in the Washington, DC, and to maintain their homes in their districts! That’s two homes they have to keep up!
Suggest they authorize a construction of the apartment complex for the House and Senate Members. Each the same size regardless of position. They could live in it without cost. That would save a little money for the taxpayer as we then don’t have to pay a salary to support two homes. The rest still applies—no perks!
This also makes it easier for the citizens when we put in and enforce Term Limits. This would force a more frequent turnovers to allow citizen legislators!
Absolutely agree to no party switching during your term. If someone wants to switch parties, they need to run on the new party’s ticket.
Security problem—too easy a target for Cessnas.
“Sestak is positioning himself effectively to the left of Specter (although once Specter realized he was in for a more vigorous primary race than originally expected, he moved steadily leftward just as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has moved rightward in his primary battle against former congressman J.D. Hayworth). “
Which shows that they are not honoring the party that they represent, they are honoring their own necks.
Au contraire, Mr. Rockman.
The only way to achieve political amity in the country is to squash today's Democrat party like a bug.
Only after an uncorrupted, new non-socialist party arises from the Democrat ashes can we hope to see real unity in the nation. <> Ours is a two-party system. We need two healthy parties. But we don't need a party which is intent on the destruction of the most successful country in history.
Castro convertible beds in their offices then;)
Or....they sleep in the Union Station Metro between commutes to & fro their constituents.
>> Specter should have been gone a long time ago <<
And not just on partisan political grounds:
Among his Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle, not to mention their staff personnel, Specter is thoroughly disliked for his vindictive and unpleasant personal character.
(Moreover, now that Ted Stevens is gone, Arlen’s only competition in the “most disliked” category is the lovely and charming Miss Babs Mikulski!)
Like so many others of his ilk,
Arlen Specter deserves to be stoned in the public square.
I'd spring for a dormitory.
****squash today’s Democrat party like a bug***
The FLEA Party!!!
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