Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sen. Specter's "Closing Argument"--it's worth a listen:
When Arlen Specter changed parties in a bid to avoid being primaried from the right, I did not deep-down accept him as a Democratic senator, but as a Republican for a older value of "Republican" that we just don't see a whole lot of anymore. (Well, there's Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski seems to be making some interesting decisions, and Scott Brown! His voting record has been surprising me, too. But that's about it. Yeah. A phone booth's worth.)
What he's saying is both timely, and maybe a little too late. He served on the judiciary committee for a very long time, and the composition of the radical court we have now is something he participated in. The criticism he made regarding them, though, is very correct*. But his comments regarding procedure strike me as being very true and especially pertinent in what we've seen with this session--senators are paid to make difficult votes. They should not be able to squash them, hold them up, delay them, and play this game of "kick the can" with bills that deserve a straight up or down decision.
I voted against Specter in the Democratic primary and although I think Joe Sestak would have represented me better, Arlen Specter at least would have respresented me as a citizen and a taxpayer better than the representation I will be getting (letters will be written, an office will be phoned). Arlen Specter, I think, was a conservative in the fashion of "doing less harm". In that respect, he made the GOP a sorrier party when he left it.
*I just don't know how he can say that the then-nominees misrepresented themselves when they did, after all, have records of their decision-making to go on for him to help them "re-represent themselves", but I digress. The compostion of the courts is simply a crucial issue to me, especially given the damage a bad judge can do with a long career. And the political judgement behind some of these appointments.