As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Specter The Scapegoat

This is quite telling.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), who broke with his party to support President Obama's stimulus package last week, said before the final vote Friday that more of his colleagues would have joined were they not afraid of the political consequences.

"When I came back to the cloak room after coming to the agreement a week ago today," said Specter, "one of my colleagues said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' My Republican colleague said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' I said, 'Are you going to vote with me?' And he said, 'No, I might have a primary.' And I said, 'Well, you know very well I'm going to have a primary.'"

Politicians generally have no courage, and Republicans are clearly frightened of their base. But they're also making a political calculation. If the economy rebounds they will get no credit regardless of who voted for the bill. If the economy suffers they can demagogue the stimulus package and run on it in 2010. There's no political reason for them to own this, and every political reason to let their holdouts muck up the bill and reduce its effectiveness. In a crisis sometimes people think about the good of the country and not politics, but we don't have leaders like that on the right side of the aisle.

But it's good to hear this cloak room chatter because it buttresses no less than Michael Steele's argument:

STEELE: Yeah, no, Glenn. I’m not gonna, look, I’m not going to soft pedal this with you. I’m not going to try to blow smoke either. The reality of it is, you are absolutely right. You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point. So, yeah, it’s going to be an uphill climb.

Thank you Sen. Specter for proving your RNC Chair right.

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