rich and powerful
Had Sen. Arlen Specter done nothing other than play the role of point man in putting Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court and trashing Anita Hill, that would have been reason enough to want him out. But throughout his career, he has been a fairly consistent supporter of the rich and powerful, to the detriment of the majority of us. He has plenty of political smarts. He played the game of being a "moderate" when his vote was not needed, but when his vote was needed on critical issues he was reliably on the side of the superrich.
His "principled" stands have always had his own personal political career as the central factor. When it became clear he would have to change parties to have any chance of reelection, he voted accordingly, even before he made the change.
Nor was Specter's defeat the result of anti-incumbent sentiment, as so many talking heads and media reporters are already telling us.
His defeat was well-deserved. Joe Sestak is a far superior choice.
earned a vote
Until I listened to the recent interviews on WHYY-FM by Marty Moss-Coane with both Joe Sestak and Sen. Arlen Specter, I was undecided as to whom to vote for in the primary. After the interviews, my mind was made up.
One of the candidates was respectful to Moss-Coane, calling her by name, waiting to hear the entire question, and allowing follow-up questions. He appeared up-front and open about his record, including recognizing that he had made mistakes and that he had realized that some of his positions in the past weren't valid today.
The other candidate interrupted Moss-Coane repeatedly, did not allow her to complete questions, or to ask follow-up questions. He came across as defensive about his record, as if he didn't have to release information because of who he was. My perception of him from that interview was that I did not want him to be my senator.
Based upon those interviews, and being able to listen to not only what the candidates said, but also how they said it, I cast my vote for Specter.
More than revenge
It is disingenuous, to say the least, to characterize Joe Sestak's victory Tuesday as simply part of a nationwide trend to get rid of incumbents.
Although as a Democrat, I appreciate many of the positions taken and votes cast by Sen. Arlen Specter, I had read and seen enough to decide that it was time for Specter to retire gracefully.
The media and Democratic Party are scrambling to characterize Sen. Arlen Specter's demise as a result of the anti-incumbent mood in America. That completely ignores the fact that Joe Sestak is just as much an incumbent as Specter. He voted for the same unpopular legislation in the House that Specter voted for in the Senate.
Specter alienated several voting blocs of Democrats. But the real story will be the analysis of only one of those segments: Democrats who voted against Specter are the moderates who specifically rejected President Obama's endorsement as a statement of their disapproval of the president's social-spending agenda. They are the Democrats who are most likely to vote for Republican Pat Toomey, and the same class of moderate Pennsylvania voters who elected Ronald Reagan in 1980.
There's a quiet bipartisan revolt of moderate voters under way who aren't aligned with the tea party, but are intensely opposed to this president's attempt to turn the United States into a highly taxed, European-style social democracy. We're approaching $3 trillion in new social-spending initiatives expanding welfare, Medicaid, and health-care entitlements along with massive increases in government employment.
is owed to no one
Abysmal performance, aggrandizement, an inability to work for the common good, and a general political awakening brought about by near economic collapse resulted in an incumbency spanking.
Elected office is not a lifelong occupation, and was never intended to be. Party politics aren't important, except as an easy method to elect a new person to each office every time. Not just this time, but each time hereafter. Both Republicans and Democrats seem to finally realize that "politics as usual" is rendering our nation stagnant.
A few words
for Sestak, Toomey
Congratulations, Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey, on your respective primary victories. Though I did not vote for either of you, I am now left with the two of you as the principal candidates in this fall's U.S. Senate election. So I have a request: Please keep the campaign focused on the issues.
Mr. Sestak, you ran a campaign that basically had the message "I am a Democrat and Arlen Specter isn't." You rarely discussed your own positions because, despite Specter's recent change in political party, you were not substantially different from him. So you played misleading ads that highlighted Specter's Republican connections and implicitly (by virtue of the images you showed) reminded people of Specter's age and recent battles with cancer. It was a disgusting and disappointing campaign.
Mr. Toomey, because you did not have a serious challenger, you did not have to use such tactics in your primary campaign. Furthermore, your political strength in the Pennsylvania Republican Party was significant enough to drive Specter from the party he had served for 30 years. Your pushing him out was the first nail in his political coffin; Sestak's victory was the second.
Even so, you now represent a party whose recent claim to fame has been "We are not Democrats." Republicans have become the party of "no" - no health-care reform, no banking reform, no taxes, no government.
Both of you prominently display your young children on your websites and in your political ads. So here's a proposal: Conduct yourself in this fall's campaign in the same way you would expect your children to behave on the playground. No name-calling. No dirty tricks. No misleading or dishonest statements.