Amazingly, People Want To Choose Their Own Representatives
A new poll from Susquehanna Research in Pennsylvania informs us that 63% of registered Democrats want to see Arlen Specter challenged in a primary. That doesn't even mean they want him beat. They want him to make a compelling argument why Democrats should choose him to represent them. That would be a little thing called democracy. And in general, people like it.
Establishmentarians like Ed Rendell would rather not let the rabble experience democracy. They'd rather protect their friends and colleagues - Rendell himself worked with Specter in the Philly DA's office years ago.
None of this necessarily means that Joe Sestak is a liberal champion. It means that primaries and accountability through them are really the main tools that voters have to hold lawmakers to their promises. If Arlen Specter faces a primary, he suddenly has a powerful reason to support a Democratic agenda. Actually, so does Joe Sestak. Primaries and re-elections hold politicians to account. That's why they're not elected for life, though sometimes it seems that way.