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

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sestak Rising

Joe Sestak showed up on CNN yesterday, did a live chat on Firedoglake, and generally continued his PR push to prepare the ground for a Senate run. He comes closer with each televised appearance to saying that he's going to run. Sestak is not exactly a progressive champion, but I would gather that he's a Democrat, which puts him a step above Arlen Specter, who shows absolutely no indication of changing his ways or his votes. Sestak, at least, has pretty much the mainstream Democratic position on the issues where Specter is equivocating.

EFCA- Yes- co-sponsor of it.
Public Health Option- Yes, but best by public healthcare standards for every plan.
Budget- Yes and I voted for it. However, I believed reconciliation should have been done on a second budget resolution if necessary. The reason is that, while I would never sacrifice good policy at the altar of bipartisanship, I believe that per President Obama’s statement (that everyone should be around the table, at least at the beginning) the congregation should begin praying together and not have a schism before they even begin. At least some effort should have been made and, as necessary, pass the second budget resolution, which we could readily do with reconciliation.
Cramdowns- Yes. Voted for it.
Cap and trade- Yes. Cosponsor of it.

I disagree with his negotiating style on the budget (you keep the option on the table rather than having to bring it back), and the public option answer has a sneaky out. But overall, he has a far better profile than Specter. And this is why Andy Stern's meeting with him today.

All in all, it could be that the idea of a Sestak primary challenge means more than the actual challenge. Specter left the Republican Party because he feared a primary; he seemingly has no such fear of a Democratic primary. The extent to which he gains that fear will signal how much he can be pressured to vote with the majority of his fellow Democrats.

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