by fairleft2, Fri Sep 18, 2009 at 12:07:08 PM EDT
*Why Specter is doing the right, MLK Jr. thing regarding Afghanistan is explained at the bottom of the essay.
Senator Arlen Specter, on the floor of Senate Thursday, challenged the President's basic premise for the Afghanistan war and occupation, that we are there because al Queda needs the country as a base of operations and we're stopping them from getting that base. (Gracias to ElwoodBlz's Arlen Specter Questions Afghan War Necessity for the heads up on all this.) At his Senate website and on the Senate floor, Specter first tears down any other justification for the occupation and war as pretty damned inadequate:
While I think it is laudable to want to protect the Afghan people and to provide good governance there, it is my view that is not of sufficient national interest for the United States to put our troops at risk or to expend substantial additional sums there. The principal question, as I see it, is whether Afghanistan is indispensable to be secured to prevent al-Qaida from launching another attack against the United States.
He sums up as follows:
In sum, it seems to me that before we ought to commit additional troops to Afghanistan, it ought to be a matter of paramount importance, indispensable as a matter of stopping another attack by al-Qaida. But if al-Qaida can organize in some other spot, the issues raised by my questions, it would bear heavily on what our policy in Afghanistan should be.
In the same announcement he outlines a series of excellent questions (numbers added) for the Obama administration, questions he wants good answers for before he supports increasing troops in the country:
by ElwoodBlz, Fri Sep 18, 2009 at 01:43:08 AM EDT
Cross-posted at Daily Kos and Docudharma.
Senator Specter addressed the floor yesterday about his letters to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding his concerns about sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan without greater clarification and assurances that an increase in force is "indispensable" to the defeat of al Qaida and homeland security
by Senate Guru, Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 05:27:33 PM EDT
One of recent Republican Arlen Specter's weak but frequent lines of attack against Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak is that Congressman Sestak has missed handfuls of votes in the House. Now, given the hundreds of procedural and substantive votes, most Representatives miss some votes here and there. Still, Congressman Sestak's 94% attendance record in 2008, for instance, is very strong. Nevertheless, Specter has, over and over again, harped on Congressman Sestak's attendance record.
August 4, on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
Specter, on Sestak: "He's missed 105 votes; worst record of any Pennsylvania member of the House of Representatives. He's AWOL, been absent without leave. If he were still in the Navy, he would be court martialed. Now he wants to be promoted. How can you be promoted with a voting record like that?
August 9, on CNN's State of the Union with John King:
''He talks about his military record. If he was still in the service, he would be a court martial, and he's been AWOL,'' Specter, appearing on CNN, said of Sestak, who has missed 15 percent of votes in 2009, ranking him 10th among the chamber's 434 members.
So apparently Specter thinks missing work, even to meet with constituents, is bad. OK, fine. Then how does Specter justify this?
Coaxing Arlen Specter into switching parties and running for re-election as a Democrat was a major coup for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is bending the Senate's schedule to accommodate a presidential fundraiser for Specter Tuesday afternoon in Pennsylvania.
Reid announced Friday that the Senate would hold no votes after 3 p.m. Tuesday. His office later said that the scheduling decision was meant to accommodate a long-planned fundraiser that President Obama is headlining in Philadelphia to benefit Specter's campaign.
The move could delay efforts to finish work on the fiscal 2010 transportation spending bill, which the Senate began considering Thursday.
Because of Specter's fundraiser, the entire U.S. Senate is shutting down Tuesday afternoon, delaying important transportation legislation. After spending over a month weakly misleading voters on Congressman Sestak's attendance record, Specter is getting the principal to close the entire school early one afternoon to accommodate his political campaign. Just more hypocrisy from Arlen Specter. Hey, Arlen, for an encore in hypocrisy and dishonesty, why don't you create a website that looks like it's raising money for cancer research but actually sends all contributions right into your campaign coffers? Oh, right, you already did that.
Does recent Republican Arlen Specter's all-too-frequent hypocrisy aggravate you? Consider a contribution to Congressman Sestak via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.
For daily news and analysis on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:17:17 AM EDT
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) just tweeted that Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) apology for heckling the president Wednesday isn't enough -- the congressman should be reprimanded.
"Rep. Wilson apologized immediately afterward but I don't think that's adequate," he wrote. "There ought to be a reprimand or censure of Rep. Joe Wilson to discourage that kind of conduct in the future."
The grassroots all around the country have already been making their disapproval of Wilson's actions known, contributing now well over $250,000 in the past 16 hours to the cause. Perhaps it's right time for Congress to join in.
Update [2009-9-10 13:27:56 by Jonathan Singer]: Well, the Speaker appears to be putting a kibosh on this idea, saying it's time to "move along."
Update [2009-9-10 16:1:55 by Jonathan Singer]: With Wilson apparently unwilling to apologize to the House of Representatives for his shocking lack of decorum, the effort for censure is apparently growing again.
by Senate Guru, Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 09:08:40 AM EDT
Following its PA-Sen Democratic primary numbers released yesterday showing Congressman Joe Sestak closing the gap on recent Republican Arlen Specter, Rasmussen Reports released general election match-up numbers:
|Pat Toomey (R) 48|
Arlen Specter (D) 36
Not Sure 12
|Pat Toomey (R) 43|
Joe Sestak (D) 35
Not Sure 18
Two obvious takeaways here. One, Toomey has taken the lead. Is it discontent over the protracted health care reform debate? Is it burgeoning discontent with Specter himself harming the Democratic brand in Pennsylvania? And how temporary will this lead be? Unclear.
Two, the "electability" argument in the Democratic primary has flipped. In previous polls, Specter matched up against Toomey better than Congressman Sestak did (no doubt relying largely on Specter's strong name ID). In this poll, however, Congressman Sestak matches up better. His deficit against Toomey is only 8 points (and, remember, Congressman Sestak has never run statewide, unlike Toomey, and is still working to build name recognition across the state, which should improve his numbers significantly), while Specter's deficit against Toomey is 12 points. This is probably due to a plummetting favorable-unfavorable rating for Specter, as Rasmussen points out; Specter's is down to 43-54.
While the numbers against Toomey are nothing to celebrate, this poll further cements the notion that Arlen Specter would not serve Democrats well as the Party's Senate nominee.
By the way, want integrity? Congressman Sestak went on Fox News to promote that he is "a strong proponent of the public health care plan option." He's not going to pander or sugar coat. He's going to fight for Democratic values everywhere. (And you can help Congressman Sestak's fight with a contribution via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.)
For daily news and updates on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.