PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

Hey, who said Arlen Specter wasn't consistent and principled? Here it's been two days since he declared that he had no intention of being a loyal Democrat and sure enough, according to Mark Halperin, the following will appear in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday:

The new Democrat says the Minnesota Republican should return to the Senate.

"There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner."

Wow, really? So, the question must be asked: DSCC, Ed Rendell, Joe Biden and Barack Obama, is he still your guy? Really?

I guess I gotta give Specter credit, with each passing day, he keeps making a stronger and stronger case for a primary challenge against him.

Update [2009-5-5 17:8:20 by Todd Beeton]:Deep thought: can we send Specter back?

Update [2009-5-5 17:25:22 by Todd Beeton]:In the comments the quote is being met with some skepticism, understandable considering the source. I would like to see a New York Times source give the full context of the quote but here's Byron York in the meantime:

In next Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter sits for the "Questions For" feature. In the not-yet-released article, Specter becomes the only member of the Senate Democratic caucus to pull for Republican Norm Coleman to win the disputed Senate race in Minnesota, although the way the question is phrased, it's not solely a matter of party loyalty or disloyalty:

Question: With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

Specter: I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

What do you think?

Update [2009-5-5 17:25:22 by Todd Beeton]:Per TPM, Harry Reid's office responds to what appears to be an unambiguous statement of support for Norm Coleman by our latest "Democrat":

"Well, on that one we are just going to have to disagree," Manley writes, "because as far as Senator Reid and the people of Minnesota are concerned, Al Franken is going to be the next Senator from Minnesota."

I'd say Reid is being rather restrained. Regretting your support for Specter yet, Harry?

Update [2009-5-5 18:33:15 by Todd Beeton]:NYT link is up. Here's more context:

With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?
I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

Which seems about as likely at this point as Jerry Seinfeld’s joining the Senate.
Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat.

I don't really see how he could just be kidding as some have suggested, and clearly neither does the NYT since their headline is "Specter Backs Coleman For Senate."

Tags: Arlen Specter, Joe Sestak, norm coleman, PA-Sen (all tags)



I still haven't seen a date on this interview

It could be from before he switched.  Halperin is a pretty massive tool that would totally mislead us like that if it served his purpose (DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY?  OH NOES!!1!eleventy!1).

Regardless, Specter can hope that the Republican senator that he served with for the last six years wins; I don't have a problem with that.  It's just slightly moronic to suggest that it would be "justice."

Anyway, I think we're being played into some outrage.  Don't take the bait.

by Dracomicron 2009-05-05 01:01PM | 0 recs

Wait- so when I complained that the Dems were gaining nothing from this,a nd that it would make us look weak. you are saying that we now look weak because we now have to contend with a daily backstaps from the newest democrat? Wow, who would have thunk it.

By the way, this reinforces my point that you and other A list bloggers need to shift from focusing on Democrats to focusing on progressive. You are still focused on the partisan scale rather than the idealogical scale within the party. Question raised by Nate Silver: is the democratic challenger against Specter even progressive or not another name being tossed into the mix?

by bruh3 2009-05-05 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Spector, Coleman

Never Gonna Give You Up

by QTG 2009-05-05 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

where in my writing about this have I declared Specter's switch a victory for us? my opinion from moment one was at worst this gives us nothing, at best it offers us a Senator who votes with us 25% more often than he would have before. but either way, to ensure Specter is a better Senator between now and Nov. 2010, he must be challenged in the primary.

I think we agree more than you think we do. we can have 70 Democrats in the Senate, it doesn't matter if we don't have 60 decent ones.

by Todd Beeton 2009-05-05 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

I am glad to read this. Then the goal of a site like this should be going foward to push for better democrats. Everytime a Dem is mentioned the goal should be ask is this a progressive choice? Even here, with the potential challenger to Specter- is this person going to be more progressive than Specter? It seems to me that bloggers need to move to ward a more nuianced approach. You need to ask whether someone is actually going to improve the circumstances for better dems or are we just supporting dems to support dems. every race should be looked at from this angle.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

Ugh, if every Dem has to pass a progressive litmus test, then what would be the point of having in Reid's words, a "variegated" caucus?

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-05-05 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

You are just basically throwing out bs with out much back up. If by litmus test, you mean that I want us to pass progressive legislation, then guilty. But so is everyone else who has an agenda. The difference is Ia m not trying to pretend to be all things to everyone.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

It's not BS.

Lieberman is a perfect example.

With us on everything save the war.

Whatever Dem legislation comes through, Lieberman is for.

The Senate is all about making deals and putting chits in the hat until it's time to pull out what you want.

Specter is going to have come to the left and start putting his chits in, I agree with you, it's just that being a Democrat shouldn't necessarily be an "all-or-nothing" proposition.

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-05-05 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

in context, it's b.s, and sadly  you don't seem to realize that you are just spouting off last years talking point about being post partisan, and post idealogical. while you are trying to get past idealogy, the conservatives re trying to figure out how to get power to weld it to favor their idealogy. that's the whole point here- that were Specter truly a guy without principles, he would just give up his views wholesale. Yet, what he did instead was to use your obsession over party against you. He's a "Democrat" now, but still the same guy as before voting, saying and doing the same things as before.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

follow up: the irony of your post of course is again the context. you can't point to a victory, and the right regularly blocks most of the things we are trying to accomplish or at least trying to block it, but the minute someone tries to pushf or progressive causes- they are the one with the litmus test.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

An ideological litmus test is different from an ethical or common sense one. This latest statement from Specter is ridiculous. He needs to pay for it with a strong primary challenge.

WHat good is he as a Democrat if he is still going to be exactly the same guy who was in the Republican party?

by Pravin 2009-05-05 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: reality

He's good if your goal is to retain power for conservative influence where it should not exist based on an open democratic process.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 03:39PM | 0 recs
Supposed Commitment to Progressivism

There will always be a balance between the ideologies, i.e. conservatism and progressivism, it's just that the thumb is pushing down on the progressive side right now, and for good reason.

My point is, bruh3, that you can't carry out the progressivism on every political point to the nth degree and expect actual results.

Now, don't get me wrong: this is an absolutely reprehensible statement from Specter. He went to the Democratic lunch today; you'd think he at least show solidarity. Specter has a long way to go.

And that's my point, bruh, if we argued purely from a partisan progressive perspective, we'd in effect be short-circuiting the political process because the major players are the political parties, not necessarily their associated ideologies.

Insofar as Specter, though, we all had buyer's remorse as soon as last week!

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-05-05 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Supposed Commitment to Progressivism

on what point have we won a decisive progressive win? in what way have we went far left? your post, in the context of our political process in dc versus where the american people are, is delusional. All these moves by dc are designed to block the country from moving too far left from where the american peo really are. That's as clear as day since they are more than willing to push for anti-democratic (lower case d) practices such as what we have seen with specter and gillibrand.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Supposed Commitment to Progressivism

What am I saying is let's give them a good, full year to govern and accomplish some legislation....

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-05-05 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Supposed Commitment to Progressivism

While you are giving them "time" they are gaming the system.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Who are they?

conservatives trying to retain power

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Names would be nice

Nope- done with his conversatin with you. If you don't know who the conservatives Senators are and how they are trying to keep their block in control of the Senate, then that means we can't have a real conversation.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 03:32PM | 0 recs
Can anyone have a real conversation

with you? A conversation or a debate would mean you'd have to respect the possibility that you can be wrong, which isn't possible.

You think that a Senator who supports marriage equality, cramdown, a public option to healthcare, a progressive budget, and credit cardholders bill of rights is a conservative. Who's being ridiculous now?

by DTOzone 2009-05-05 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Supposed Commitment to Progressivism

rephrase: all these moves are meant to prevent the dc from moving too far left. that leftward position is where most americans substantively really are rather than the right of center position of dc.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:02PM | 0 recs

Words like "conspiracy" are what lazy people use when they can not handle a particular argument. yes, the powerful, including conservative Democrats want to retain power. There's nothing conspiratorial about it. It's natural behavior for the powerful to want to retain power. The problem occurs when people who are not the powerful make appologies for them. There is no reason you can give to appropriately defend what happened here other than I am being conspiratorial.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: you have no proof

Why don't you repeat words like conpsiracy a few more times. Keep pretending  "a grand conspiracy" is needed for all o fthis to occur rather than just using the system as it is set up. This is no longer a serious conversation because you keep trying to turn this into the whole "you must be a radical to point out tha tpower wants to retain power" schtick. It does not require a conspiracy. Just gaming the system and apologists such as yourself who refuse to admit that you are being gamed.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 03:35PM | 0 recs
Someone needs to say this

Just because you believe something to be true does not mean it's true...seeing as you appear to have the biggest fucking ego I've seen on the blogsphere, I wouldn't be surprise if that doesn't register.

by DTOzone 2009-05-05 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone needs to say this

well you are called me a conspiracy theorist becaue I said that the powerful try to retain power, and now, you are using intellectual traps like if I don't agree with you that must mean I have a big ego. 0 for 2.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I still don't see

you do not see how a deal in which we got nothing and resusitate a guy who was about to lose in his own primary is a sign of weakness when that very same guy proceeds to be a pain in the neck from day one? i would love to negotiate with you.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: No, sorry, don't see it

Ironic given this is a diary basically describing the thing you claim not to see.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: This diary

well there you have it- if the diarist does not say it, then it must not exist.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 03:36PM | 0 recs
If the diarist doesn't say

then it must not exist in the diary, yes, which is what you claimed before...that the diary said X and now you're saying "well it didn't say it, but it's still true"

by DTOzone 2009-05-05 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: I still don't see

shorter (less convuluted): he traded in his GOP card to become a liberdem. So we give up a sure fire chance at a pick up for a guy who will regularly be a thorn in the side of any change in the state of PA. Meanwhile, we do this while also publically endorsing the crass move without any concessions.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

sorry for the million typos, but you get the point: partisan is no longer enough.

by bruh3 2009-05-05 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

From a TPM reader:

In context Specter's comment is clearly tongue in cheek:

"With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

Specter: I sure do. There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner."

Mark Halperin is a tool (as usual) for pushing this.

Here is the whole quote: n/blogs/beltway-confidential/Specter-to- Minnesota-courts-Elect-Norm-Coleman-4439 1112.html

We might have gotten rick rolled... or not... difficult to say at this point...  NRSCC is pushing this, though, so I think we're being manipulated...

by LordMike 2009-05-05 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

Oh wait--the comment is totally tongue-in-cheek.

Yeah, Mark Halperin was screwing with us....

I'm not reading The Page again.

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-05-05 01:55PM | 0 recs
Of course he does...

He feels that he is entitled to his seat regardless of how his would-be primary voters feel about that, and that he is entitled to all the privileges of seniority in a different party.

Why wouldn't he feel that the incumbent Coleman is entitled to return to the Senate, regardless of what the voters of Minnesota thought?

by fsm 2009-05-05 01:23PM | 0 recs
Did the thought

of becoming an independent not occur to Arlen Specter?

by Charles Lemos 2009-05-05 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Did the thought


You'd have to think the floor for a Generic (R) in PA is 40% (a la Rick Santorum in 2006), and the floor for a Generic (D) is 45% because of the partisan shift.

With Specter in the GE as an (I), you'd have to figure he'd get at least 35% of the vote, with 35% of the vote for the (D), and 30% of the vote for the (R). That's too close for comfort. He'd probably lose in a squeaker.

I don't think Specter has the energy in him to hustle like Lieberman did in 2006 and win as an (I).

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-05-05 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Did the thought

strategically he made the smart move. he gets the support of a party apparatus that is now in the majority without changing a single thing about what he believes, says or does. we gave him a resuscitation, and he gives progressive a pain in the neck that descracts from conservadems. WHo would not take that deal?

by bruh3 2009-05-05 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

Umm... if you read the article, every answer he gave to every question was completely tongue-in-cheek...

It's pretty clear that he was joking, since none of the answers to any of the questions were serious at all...

by LordMike 2009-05-05 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

Sounds like a joke to me.  You know, we're a funny people.

by Steve M 2009-05-05 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

well, then I look forward to Specter clarifying. if he is joking, I'd like him to say: "I was clearly joking in my interview with the NYT. The people of Minnesota have spoken and it's clear that Al Franken will be their next Senator. My friend Norm Coleman would be wise and gracious to bow out as soon as possible." I don't mind falling for the joke if that's the result. and btw, if he was kidding, someone should tell the NYT.

by Todd Beeton 2009-05-05 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: And we're the blogsphere

Oh, I don't think that's the reason no one pays attention to you!

by Steve M 2009-05-05 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

Read the full interview: ne/10wwln-q4-t.html?ref=magazine

I wouldn't take anything seriously from that!

by markjay 2009-05-05 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: How long

do I have to wait for an open thread?

why MediaMatters matters: Lo&feature=player_embedded

Also, Has there been a diary yet on Krugman's and Stiglits' dinner with Obama?

And, has anyone written about Great Britain's banning of Michael Weiner (nee savage)?

How can I twit diaries if they don't exist???

by QTG 2009-05-05 04:52PM | 0 recs


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