I do think it's rather silly for the Democratic Party to pledge money and support for (D) Arlen Specter to run in 2010, especially when it involves the Employee Free Choice Act and his career was hanging by a thread. I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's coverage of the Republicans spinning in circles trying to come up some kind of coherent response to Specter's defection.
If you watched FOX News at all they acted like spoiled little children who didn't get their candy as they lined up Bush thug after Bush thug to refute him starting with Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer and so on. They literally were dumbstruck by the fact that he left the GOP behind.
A bigger problem I have is that Specter will be given a huge megaphone by the Villagers to voice his "independence" and denounce any policy he so chooses whenever he wants without a second thought about it. He said over and over again that John Kennedy believed the party can ask too much of you
. He'll have more power as a new Democratic politician than he ever did as a Republican.
As Digby says:
I confess that I'm more than a little bit irked that the Democratic Party has already pledged to support Specter against a primary challenger. It's fundamentally undemocratic, not to mention dumb. Specter now has carte blanche to remain an incoherent obstructionist for the next two years when they could have at least let us pull him to the left with a primary challenge.
My pal Adam Green has a good idea
On the very day Arlen Specter became a Democrat, he lamented that not enough right-wing Bush judges got confirmed, he opposed workers' right to organize, and he compared himself to Joe Lieberman. The DSCC and Pennsylvania Democratic Party will be supporting Specter in the primary.
If there is a potential progressive challenger to Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, they are probably scratching their head right now asking, "Would I have any chance at all if I ran, or is the fix in?"
What can progressives to do create an environment where this person feels they can run?
Legally, we can't put money in a pot for a fictional candidate. But we can pledge now that if a real progressive steps up, we'll get their back. So, here's a little experiment. I just created a Facebook fan page (like a Facebook group) called "I support a real progressive against Arlen Specter."
I think in time he will come over to support labor because PA will not take his abandonment of EFCA sitting down after he originally co-sponsored the bill in 2007,
so this should get interesting. In the meantime, check out the Facebook page.