Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Greenwald throws some cold water on Specter switch


(1) The idea that Specter is a "liberal" Republican or even a "moderate" reflects how far to the Right both the GOP and our overall political spectrum has shifted.

Consider Specter’s most significant votes over the last eight years, ones cast in favor of such definitive right-wing measures as: the war on Iraq, the Military Commissions Act, Patriot Act renewal, confirmation of virtually every controversial Bush appointee, retroactive telecom immunity, warrantless eavesdropping expansions, and Bush tax cuts (several times). Time and again during the Bush era, Specter stood with Republicans on the most controversial and consequential issues.

(2) Democrats will understandably celebrate today’s announcement, but beyond the questions of raw political power, it is mystifying why they would want to build their majority by embracing politicians who reject most of their ostensible views.

Reports today suggest that Democratic officials promised Specter that the party establishment would support him, rather than a real Democrat, in a primary. If true, few events more vividly illustrate the complete lack of core beliefs of Democratic leaders, as well as the rapidly diminishing differences between the parties.
This is true. I think Specter should be primaried by a progressive Democrat. That will force Specter to tack leftward. And I think the Democratic establishment shouldn't rush in to protect Specter if this happens. A progressive Democrat could probably still defeat a Repblican candidate like Toomey, and would be a much better person to have in the seat.


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