Here it comes. Been a Democrat for less than a week and already Arlen Specter is backtracking. Is it any clearer that this Faustian bargain made for those fabled 60 votes is no bargain at all for the majority party?
On Meet the Press, host David Gregory asks newly rebranded Senator Arlen Specter if it's true that he told President Obama that he would be loyal to his new party and support Obama's agenda.
No one could have predicted Specter's response:
Gregory: It was reported this week that when you met with the President, you said, “I will be a loyal Democrat; I support your agenda.” Let me test that on probably one of the most important areas of his agenda and that’s healthcare. Would you support healthcare reform that puts up a government-run public plan to compete with a private plan issued by a private insurance company.
Specter: No. And you misquote me, David. I did not say I would be a loyal Democrat. I did not say that. And last week, after I said I was changing parties, I voted against the budget because the budget has a way to pass healthcare with 51 votes,which undermines a basic Senate institution to require 60 votes to impose cloture on key issues.
Holy cow, where is the damn Senate leadership when you need it? Specter gets the attention he craves thumbing his nose at established political lines (listen to what he had to say when Jim Jeffords left the GOP), brags about supporting the stimulus bill but then brags about not supporting a bill that would have enabled Americans to get the healthcare plan the majority of us want without the typical gamesmanship and obstructionism that mark GOP tactics now and brags that he cannot be counted on to support the Obama/Democratic agenda despite the fact that most people think Obama is on the right track.
Woo hoo! What a great addition to the Democratic Party!