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The Bond Villain from Pennsylvania

So Snarlin' Arlen is revealed finally to be the Blofeld we always knew this SPECTER was.

Actually, I used to have a nickname for him I'm not sure I can use on a family website. Let's just say I rendered his last name in a term that almost rhymes with "tincture." (Hint: Add the letters "h" and "n" in the right places, change the "e" to an "i", and . . . you'll get it.)

P.S. I think Lawler is too restrained as usual. Specter is an insult to genuine hacks.

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Discussions - 14 Comments

That's the way our family refers to him. How funny. Do you suppose it is a common nickname for him among conservatives? We began calling him that during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

I know, we should be regrettig his departure from the Republican Party, but I just can't The Democrats so deserve him. If he is as good a Democrat as he has been a Republican, we ought to get something out of the deal.

I mean besides being rid of his own vile self.

Recall that like Bob Dole, Specter is from Russell, KS, which is a pleasant little town, btw.

I'm not sure "hack" is the right word. I usually associate that word with knee-jerk partisans. Self-serving, vein, egotistical, mealy-mouthed almost certainly. Hack might not quite fit.

The word is "Sphincter." He who, just weeks ago, said every Republican senator is "a national asset" because it's so important to keep the Democrats short of 60 votes in the Senate.

I believe that he was in trouble at one point in winning the primary agaigst a more conservative GOPer and the whole Bush team came in and campaigned for him. Curious. Let our coinage be debased and our finalcial oligarchs become richer. Yay.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. The GOP is riddled with RINOS and careerists, and that's why they have been cast into the wilderness (unlike liberals, conservatives do not worship power for its own sake, and therefore eventually punish snakes like Sphincter).

Anyone surprised by this just hasn't been paying attention for the last 20 years.

Too bad the Spector thing overshadowed the big news story of the day that HUSSEIN Obama ordered Air Force One to buzz New York.

Redwald, your contempt for Specter is no greater than mine but the Republican party prospered and moved right with him in its ranks (under Reagan for instance, and then in the mid 90s) for many years. Specter was not the cause of its succeses and his leaving doesn't leave the Republicans any better off.
there are two mistaken narratives here. The Republicans did not lose because of the presence of a minority the ideologically impure like Specter. And of course Specter did not leave because the Republicans have become more conservative lately. Both narratives are ways for each party (conservatives and Specter) to avoid facing their real problems.

And our legitimate contempt for Specter should not blind us to the causes of the Republican party's problems. He is a rat leaving a sinking ship (unhappily he has found a new ship to infest rather than getting a deserved drowning - metaphorically), but the ship is still sinking and getting mad at the rat doesn't help. Neither does blaming the rat for the rising water.

There is a certain voter the Republicans need to win over. This person doesn't think of Reagan as a great President (they probably don't think or know much about Reagan at all). They don't pay enough in income taxes to get much direct benefit from an income tax cut. They have more pressing concerns than what the size of the national debt will be in 2020. What tangible life improvement does the GOP offer to this person?

When the Republicans have a good answer to that question, they will have gone a long way toward making their comeback. And then there will be plenty of "moderates" coming aboard. That is the thing about psuedomoderates of the Arlen Specter/Susan Collins type. They are always there when you don't need them.

Good points, Pete. My hunch is that after a few more quarters under the economic "stewardship" of Obama and an unchecked Democratic Congress, average Americans' most pressing concerns will include coping with simultaneous double-digit inflation and unemployment rates.

Figuring out what to do about the stagflation that's just around the corner will be key for the GOP if it is ever to return to power. Republican leaders should think ahead and figure out what to say (and if the voters give them a chance, do) about these problems. Goodness knows there will be plenty of time for this kind of planning and message preparation, since with the Senate headed for 60 Dems the GOP is on the sidelines for now anyway.

Hmm. Why am I so out of synch with the rest of you guys? It seems to me that, oddly enough, Spector has done the statesmanly thing. If he had stayed in the Republican party, he would have likely lost the primary to a more conservative candidate whom he is convinced would have lost the general election. By switching to the Democrats, he can try to hold the fort a little longer for those (admittedly few) conservative principles he does share with Republicans. He's gotten some commitments from the Democratic president and the Democratic governor that he'll have their support in the Democratic primary--these have to count for something. Those of you who say that the liberal Dems in PA will rally to defeat him may be correct; but isn't his party switch more helpful than to the Republicans in the current climate than if he simply gave up--that is, announced his retirement, or let himself be defeated by a party purist with no immediate future???

In regards to the hardening conservative core of the Republican Party. . .

It seems to me that if the majority of the people on this blog and myself are correct in our assessment of human nature (including the belief that "human nature" exists), then President Obama's policies are ultimately bound to fail much in the same way the Soviet Union was ultimately bound to fail. I'm not going off on an "Obama is a commie" tirade, but rather claiming that he has a particular understanding of the way this world works which basically believes that, given the proper resources, all people will generally achieve the same level of success, and that such success is virtually limitless so long as we spread the wealth around. "Nationalized health care? Sure! It works in Europe, doesn't it?" Those advocates don't take into account the fact that those countries were able to redirect funds which would normally go to national defense into social welfare programs because conventional forces didn't seem to matter in a West precariously protected by the American nuclear umbrella.

That is but one example of why an incorrect understanding of human nature will cause nearly all of President Obama's policies to ultimately fail. As that begins to happen, I suspect the American people will become severely disenchanted with him as a leader. When that time comes (and the Day of Reckoning won't be much longer for Congress), Republicans should be there with a life preserver to save the voters drowning in a sea of utopian fantasy. That Republican Party will be a GOP whose members have survived a Long March of sorts and are both thoroughly conservative and able to get elected in a currently pro-Obama country. If that is, in fact, the way events unfold, I am not too worried about our country's long-term future.

Ellen, by all accounts the Democratic caucus in the Senate is many times more heavy-handed than their Republican collegues. The only time Senator Specter will be needed by Democrats is to be the 60th vote to break a filibuster. They could care less how he votes on everything else: they'd let him vote to abolish womens' sufferage so long as he tows his new party line when it comes time to jam stuff through the Senate. Your thought process is rather strange in regards to him switching parties; why wouldn't it be better to have another solid Republican than a wishy-washy Democrat? Also, when you say "statesmanly", I believe the word you are looking for is "political". Big difference.

I didn't make my point completely clear, perhaps. By switching to the Democratic party, Specter may prevent a Democrat more liberal than he from taking that Senate seat. Meanwhile, he clears the way for the true-blue [should I say, true-red?] Republicans to run a candidate who is ideologically more committed to conservative principles. He's saying, in effect, "I'm stepping out of your way. If you think a real conservative can win in this Senate race, go ahead and run him."


As for your comments on human nature . . . . I don't claim the thorough education in the philosophical understanding of human beings you profess. Still, I don't think human nature boils down simply to a preference for governmental systems that allow the most diligent (and/or clever)individuals to earn the most wealth. Human nature also extends to things like concern for your offspring and the world they will inherit. In this regard, conservative Republicans still have a lot of re-thinking to do. To cite one example, they may need to take account of members of their core constituency, evangelical Christians, who in increasing numbers are growing concerned about environmental degradation, and would like to see some governmental support for efforts at better stewardship of environmental resources. I don't know how Specter stands on that issue, but I do think it is an issue that affected the outcome in the 08 election.

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