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Senate Democrats Deny Specter Committee Seniority

By Paul Kane
The Senate dealt a blow tonight to Sen. Arlen Specter's hold on seniority in several key committees, a week after the Pennsylvanian's party switch placed Democrats on the precipice of a 60-seat majority.

In a unanimous voice vote, the Senate approved a resolution that added Specter to the Democratic side of the dais on the five committees on which he serves, an expected move that gives Democrats larger margins on key panels such as Judiciary and Appropriations.

But Democrats placed Specter in one of the two most junior slots on each of the five committees for the remainder of this Congress, which goes through December 2010. Democrats have suggested that they will consider revisiting Specter's seniority claim at the committee level only after the midterm elections next year.

"This is all going to be negotiated next Congress," Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), said tonight.

Specter's office declined to comment.

Without any assurance of seniority, Specter loses a major weapon in his campaign to win reelection in 2010: the ability to claim that his nearly 30 years of Senate service places him in key positions to benefit his constituents.

Tonight's committee resolution, quickly read on the Senate floor by Reid himself, contradicts Specter's assertion last Tuesday when he publicly announced his move from the Republican side of the aisle. He told reporters that he retained his seniority both in the overall chamber and in the committees on which he serves. Specter said that becoming chairman of the Appropriations Committee was a personal goal of his, one that would be within reach if he were granted his seniority on the panel and placed as the third-most senior Democrat there.

Specter, if granted seniority, would also be next in line to chair the Judiciary Committee behind the current chairman, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.).

Without that seniority, though, Specter, 79, would not even hold an appropriations subcommittee chairmanship in 2011, a critical foothold Specter has used in the past to disperse billions of dollars to Pennsylvania.

When Supreme Court nomination hearings are held later this summer, Specter will be the last senator to ask questions of the eventual nominee -- a dramatically lower profile than in 2005 and 2006, when he chaired the committee and ran the confirmations of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Democrats could decide after the 2010 midterms to reward Specter for his move by granting him seniority on committees, but recent precedent has not been kind to such situations. In 2002, for instance, Frank Lautenberg came out of retirement to bail out New Jersey Democrats, agreeing to run in place of the ethically disgraced incumbent, Robert G. Torricelli (D). Lautenberg won a seat that was once thought to be out of reach. But despite his 18 years of prior Senate service, Democrats relegated him to the most junior positions on committees.

Specter, after 43 years as an active Republican, will have to prove his Democratic loyalty over the next 20 months to his colleagues in order to win their support for his seniority. That effort has gotten off to a rocky start following an interview he gave with the New York Times Magazine, to be published this Sunday.

Specter joked about how Norm Coleman could possibly win his legal contest and reclaim his Minnesota Senate seat, assuring there would still be at least one Jewish Republican in the chamber. Specter backtracked from those comments in an interview with Congressional Quarterly today,

"In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," he told CQ. "I'm ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I've made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."

By Post Editor  |  May 5, 2009; 9:08 PM ET
 
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Comments

Nelson Muntz "HA HA" laugh goes here.

Posted by: ImpeachObama | May 5, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

this is as it should be. they got it right.

Posted by: donaldtucker | May 5, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Treachery has its price.

Posted by: brewstercounty | May 5, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Arlen Specter was double-crossed by the Democrats and Obama and Biden have not weighed in apparently to give him the red carpet treatment of seniority he expected. No good deed (adding to the majority of the Democrats) goes unpunished.
Better a minority leader than a majority nobody. Too bad.

Posted by: mharwick | May 5, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

This is what is supposed to happen.
Somebody does a bad job and loses the confidence of his peers - he gets downgraded.
If only the last President had met the same fate.

Posted by: wardropper | May 5, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are getting a standing ovation from my little corner of the world. Bravo!

Posted by: douglaslbarber | May 5, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Someone once said he would rather be hung as a sheep than as a lamb. If Specter loses his seat after this switch he will have lost far less than he had before. Hope he has some good books to read on the back-bench while the others get in the game.
What price glory?

Posted by: mharwick | May 5, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

This is the right decision. Glad he defected, but he has yet to demonstrate that he can be trusted.

Posted by: SarahBB | May 5, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

douglaslbarber wrote: "Democrats are getting a standing ovation from my little corner of the world. Bravo!"

My corner also. Specter has to serve his time as a Democrat as does everyone else.


Posted by: rlj611 | May 5, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Specter will be a private citizen after the 2010 election and his seat will be taken by a conservative. People think that the way for the republican party to grow is to moderate. The democrats picked up seatse by running more conservative candidates.

Republicans will win when they go back to running true conservatives. That will happen in 2010. Nancy and Hary will take a back seat. Hary may even lose his seat all together ... just like tome Dash hole did after the Clintoh hard left turn during his first 2 years.

Specter deserves to loose his seat... and his retirment.

Posted by: markandbeth | May 5, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

It would be funny to watch Specter have to run and change his depends, when Tom Ridge is elected.

Ridge is the realistically the most qualified candidate, because he had eyes on the intel too.

I am not excited about seeing a Republican take the seat, but it would just be sweet for one term , just to watch Specter squirm that a Republican won....and it bask in the light that it really was just no support for him.

Posted by: dottydo | May 5, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Arlen is going to switch back to the GOP now?

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | May 5, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

For once Democrats showing some common sense. They know a lying scumbag when they have one amongst them and they are telling Specter, "Look, you are on probation. You vote the way we want or you'll never get any more power."

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | May 5, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats are getting a standing ovation from my little corner of the world. Bravo!"

"My corner also. Specter has to serve his time as a Democrat as does everyone else."

My corner too. I'm from PA and I have mixed feelings about him. I'd rather have a real Dem fill his seat. I will wait and see how he votes.

Posted by: GBush08 | May 5, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe he thought anything different would happen.

Posted by: RedBird27 | May 5, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Good for the Senate. At first I was elated at Spectre's decision, but the more I see, hear and read the more obvious it is that he's just trying to hang on for dear political life. Time to retire and write his memoirs. And if he's not going to support key pieces of Obama's agenda such as card check and his health plan, the Dems are a lot better off having a real Democrat in his seat next year. I hope Obama reconsiders his unconditional support for a senator who's not willing to repay the favor. The country and Pennsylvania deserve better.

Posted by: treetopflyer | May 5, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Remember those famous words: Trust but Verify.*

Only thing a Republican ever said that made any sense to me.

*ronald reagan

Posted by: jato1 | May 5, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me even one value - one principle - for which Arlen Specter has stood throughout his career?

Posted by: douglaslbarber | May 5, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"Can anyone tell me even one value - one principle - for which Arlen Specter has stood throughout his career?"

Re-election.

Posted by: firenze_italia | May 5, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans will win when they go back to running true conservatives. That will happen in 2010. "

Bush wasn't a true conservative? HAH!

You keep right on telling yourself that. I suggest Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012. That's a surefire winner!

Posted by: firenze_italia | May 5, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Great! The Democrats screw this charlatan fool.

Posted by: bueyesxyou | May 5, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for sanity!

Posted by: namewithheld | May 5, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

This means that Specter's switch has caused real harm to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The citizens of Pennsylvania deserve better.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | May 5, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Now Harry Reid and Obama promised him those positions. Now what does Harry Reid do. Please Harry, don't send him back.
I guess Specter will have to go the Leiberman route. Heck, Joe L. did better than that.

Posted by: gsms69 | May 5, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

"Without that seniority, though, Specter, 79, would not even hold an appropriations subcommittee chairmanship in 2011, a critical foothold Specter has used in the past to disperse billions of dollars to Pennsylvania."
===================
logically speaking, isnt this a good reason for PA to reject Spector's bid when he runs?

(("...careful what you ask for?))

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | May 5, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SarahBB - but he has yet to demonstrate that he can be trusted.

Actually, by defecting, he's vividly demonstrated that he *can't* be trusted.

Posted by: WildWeasel | May 5, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I would hope that the citizens of Pennsylvania will find a Democrat (or Republican) willing to endorse the Employee Free Choice Act.

That would make for an interesting Democratic primary in my old home state.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | May 5, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

gsms69:
"dont send him back!" ?? .... :-)

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | May 5, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

This may be the only thing Democrats have done in the last quarter of a century that I've agreed with. Too rich, too rich!!!

Posted by: fenoy | May 5, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Specter was trying to pull a fast one on the Dems...he hopes Coleman will win...ha! Now the Dems are pushing back. In this context, "Trust but verify" is a very good use of the phrase, since the new Dem. senator has to now prove his bona fides.

Posted by: Kas300 | May 5, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes, gsms69 has identified the real Story in this story, and that is Harry Reid's failure to deliver his own caucus. It is devastating if their own majority leader makes a deal he thinks he can or must sell, but then is not supported. Dems either need to get some discipline, or get a stronger Majority Leader.

Posted by: jamespepper | May 5, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

it might have been wonderful if democrats demonstrated a stronger backbone by rejecting him in the first place... he would have been without a party.

how can ANYone or ANY party not see the spineless attempt to suddenly become a democrat? that in itself is a great insult, imo.

is it possible they accepted him just to humilitate him?

((again, "careful what U ask for."???

JUST WHAT WAS HE THINKING????
did he miss out on breakfast or something?
i mean wouldnt it have been better for him to retire gracefully than leaving such a long career in disgrace? again, just my opinion.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | May 5, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I was a republican for 3 decades and bolted the party after lengthy consideration. And the republican party today represents the religious right and the greedy. And have abandoned it's fundamental principles. And during this time of war and financial crisis, two types of republicans have emerged to be predominant ...republican'ts and republic *u* nts. The former are serving in Congress. And the latter really get excited by people like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. Yuck!!!

Posted by: jls240 | May 5, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I was a republican for 3 decades and bolted the party after lengthy consideration. And the republican party today represents the religious right and the greedy. And have abandoned it's fundamental principles. And during this time of war and financial crisis, two types of republicans have emerged to be predominant ...republican'ts and republic *u* nts. The former are serving in Congress. And the latter really get excited by people like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. Yuck!!!

Posted by: jls240 | May 5, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

The democrats shouldn't have given this two-faced fork-tongued rat anything! He's a disgrace to the senate! Time for him to retire and hide his face behind closed doors.

Posted by: surfer-joe | May 5, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm, does Specter think he is somehow owed Dem votes? He seems to be doing his best to poke Dems in the eye. He better wake up quick and start doing some big time make-up talk and voting or he is going to be out on his ass in 2010.

WTF is he thinking?

He had a high approval rating with Dems as a moderate Republican who was a crossover vote. A "Democratic" Senator is held to an entirely different standard - especially one who everyone knows they can't trust.

Posted by: Kristi1 | May 5, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the Democrat senators aren't falling for that bipartisan Okey-Doke that Obama can't seem to grasp. One day he will learn that you can NEVER TRUST A REPUBLICAN or a turncoat. Has he learned anything from Lieberman yet?

Posted by: PepperDr | May 5, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans will win when they go back to running true conservatives. That will happen in 2010. "

Bush wasn't a true conservative? HAH!

You keep right on telling yourself that. I suggest Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012. That's a surefire winner!
-----
I second that motion. And at the moment things are looking pretty good. Any Republican that resembles anything moderate is either being tossed out of the party or leaving altogether. Which means the right wing nutcases are going to pick the candidates.

But what I really dream of is the red States seceding. I don't pray often or for much, but I pray that Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah join together and secede. They can ban abortions, gay marriages and unions in their own Constitution. And they can hand out assault weapons to every man, woman and child for all I care. In fact, now that I think about it why wait? Let's all encourage those five States to issue loaded assault weapons to every man, woman and child they have.

Posted by: James10 | May 5, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

On the GOP side, it'll be worth seeing if Ridge can make it out of a primary. He probably has a better chance than Specter did, but Toomey could be a tough challenge -- he seems custom made for the PA GOP base.

On the Dem side, let's hope that Sestak gets in the race.

Posted by: JPRS | May 5, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

time to test old arlen's trustworthiness in a primary ( a big dem one that is) let us not forget that arlen has done a switcheroo before.. her was a dem when he was in local politics in PA..then he became a reaganite.. so u cant trust him and if the dems can win one more seat + franken pls send our friend arlen packing.. who needs this 2 faced obnoxious windbag!

Posted by: whatbull | May 5, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

While I have always liked Mr. Spector his comments recently really disturbed me. I appreciated his honesty in stating his reasons for leaving the Republican party but guess what Democrats and especially PA Democrats are not that stupid. If switching parties means you will go against the President and his policies, that does not make you a Democrat. If you aren't going to embrace Democratic policies and continue to stick to your Republican ideologies good for you but don't expect favors. Ha, Mr. Spector, the joke is on you.

Posted by: catmomtx | May 5, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Hallelujah!!

I hope he feels he was betrayed.

Poetic.

Posted by: DagnyT | May 5, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful! We all know what's gong to happen: Arlen shows his opportunistic streak and VI-OLA! he's a Repugnantkin again.

Take that, spectral vision of the right wing! How do you feel about your comments regarding Norm Coleman tonight?

Posted by: Goldmund52hotmailcom | May 5, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Can you spell P-R-O-B-A-T-I-O-N ?

Posted by: majorteddy | May 5, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Who made the worse move, Arlen Specter or Phil Spector?

They both remind me of those syphilis-laden, 18th century English Lords who slowly went insane.

Posted by: busdrivermike | May 5, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Specter made a wise decision. By jumping 20 months in advance of the elections, he can either prove himself a super-democrat and gain the trust of the party, or he can come to terms with his own despair, realize he agrees with no one, and go home. In either case, he gives a wake up call to his own, ossified bunch of cloak and dagger traitors, and reminds them that even stalwarts with money and elections to lose are willing to in order to jar these cavemen into the 21st century.

Posted by: owlk | May 6, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Someone once said he would rather be hung as a sheep than as a lamb.

Darnit, someone's wrong on the internet again.

No one hangs sheep or lambs. They used to hang people who stole them, though, and the penalty was the same regardless of whether the stolen animal was a little lamb or a great big sheep. The phrase "might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb" means that if you're going to get involved in something (stealing a lamb), you might as well go all in (and steal a sheep).

Posted by: noncarb | May 6, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Arlen Specter is going to be a Zell Miller/ Joe Lieberman DINO.

He's going to walk all over the Democratic Party as if he's entitled to do so.

He's a spoiled diva who is going to be nothing but trouble for the Democrats.

Even MODERATE Republicans are just one wingnut to the right of Hitler.

Posted by: republican_disaster | May 6, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The Dem's battered wife syndrome has run its course?

Posted by: BJeany | May 6, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

And don't forget that Justice Clarence Thomas has a seat in the Supreme Court courtesy of the Judiciary Committee inquisitor of Anita Hill, Senator Arlen Specter.

Posted by: larryross | May 6, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

What Specter really is: a Republican in Democrats' clothing.

Posted by: skyreader7 | May 6, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Serves him right. He's a dishonest opportunist and a turncoat, and I have zero respect for the guy. He's been playing both sides, and I'm glad the Democrats called his bluff. Like someone else said, treachery has a price. Arlen Specter is about to pay it.

Posted by: mwfree | May 6, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

"Can anyone tell me even one value - one principle - for which Arlen Specter has stood throughout his career? Posted by: douglaslbarber | May 5, 2009 10:17 PM "

Immigration voting record is D/D- ie for immigration

http://grades.betterimmigration.com/testgrades.php3?District=PA&VIPID=682

Hourly wages 1964 to present by industry:

ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/suppl/empsit.ceseeb2.txt

Construction was above average in 1964 to below average today.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p60-235.pdf

Graph page 19, total earnings of men are the same as in 1973. Women's earnings are what men's were in 1963.

That's Specter's record.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | May 6, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't blame the Democrats for not giving him any seniority. What I don't understand is that I haven't seen anything about how his constituents feel about his move? Wasn't he voted in by Republicans? Did he give them any thought? I know I wouldn't vote for him for re-election. Who knows what he'd do if he gets reelected, maybe switch again...?

Posted by: dccont6683 | May 6, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

"Specter will be a private citizen after the 2010 election and his seat will be taken by a conservative. People think that the way for the republican party to grow is to moderate. The democrats picked up seatse by running more conservative candidates."

More conservative than the Republicans who were tossed out of their seats?

I didn't realize Obama was more conservative than McCain.

Good advice. I hope the Republicans take it.

Posted by: jvill | May 6, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

It serves Harry Reid right for once again putting the interests of Republicans ahead of the interests of the American public and the members of his own party.

Perhaps, in "fairness," we can finally foist Joe Lieberman on the Republicans?

Posted by: edallan | May 6, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

You get back what you give. Specter threw over his allegiances of 30 years for power. Did he really believe the ranking Democrats were going to roll over and play dead for a turncoat.

Specter could have retired a respected elder statesman, instead he is a junior Senator who won't be reelected. How power corrupts.

Posted by: robinsonawjr | May 6, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Spector was not double crossed by the Dems. Spector should have kept his mouth shut. He moves to the Dems and then proceeds to say how he won't vote for bills the Dems hold dear and then he wants to welcome loser Coleman? Give me a break.

What a disappointment Spector is!

Posted by: DownriverDem | May 6, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Specter, you can't go around saying you wont be a loyal democrat and that you are cheering for a republican to steal an election and expect to get anything more from Democrats. Buddy, just between you and me you will not be a senator again, so you need to use your time wisely. You will be challenged in a primary election, count on it.

Posted by: teresa_mccarthy | May 6, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey JPRS, who are you kidding. You're a liberal Democrat and afraid to admit it, seeking to lie to people on this thread. We don't trash Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney like you do. Liar!

Posted by: rchaa27aa | May 6, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse


Claiming that Coleman should be seated after he has lost at every turn in his never-ending legal challenge is so far off the mark that I question Arlen Spector's grasp of reality. What was he possibly thinking? He couldn't have made a more bone-headed statement if he tried.

The whole Coleman battle is a nakedly transparent maneuver by the Republicans to keep a critical 60th vote out of the Senate. Every day that passes without Franken in the Senate is a victory for the Republicans and Coleman has willing offered up any future he has in politics to be their willing tool. Maybe he'll get a fat paycheck working in some reich-wing "think" tank as a reward but his career as an elected official is SO OVER after this stunt. That Spector would insult our intelligence with a statement like he made marks him as a knee-jerk partisan that can't seem to let go of his old habits.

The Democrats got it spot on. Let him prove himself before he gets the plum assighnments.

Posted by: Johnbo | May 6, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

After a career on one side of the aisle, the Democrats should rightly treat him as a "newbie." The real question for Specter is "was it worth it?"

He will not regain any of the seniority he's lost (assuming he's re-elected next year) unless more senior Dems aren't re-elected or retire. Unlikely that will happen in a way that will benefit him.

So what's his motivation, other than to guarantee another six years in the Senate as a less powerful member? Is he really that unprincipled?

Posted by: jsc173 | May 6, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

No matter what you think of Specter or his change for his own political future, IF...IF he was promised that he could keep his seniority as he said he was, then this act by the democrats of taking it away now after the fact is disgusting, two faced and dirty dealing.

Posted by: justmyvoice | May 6, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

That the way it no matter what you are new in.
You can't just walk in and take over just like you have been there for years.
There is such a thing as the New Kid On The Block and you have to earn your stripes and that is the way it is and that is a fact.
This better known as Probation and it lasts for three months and after that it takes a while and you are still called a newbe.

Posted by: carolrhill101 | May 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Democrats are getting a standing ovation from my little corner of the world. Bravo!"

"My corner also. Specter has to serve his time as a Democrat as does everyone else."

My corner too. I'm from PA and I have mixed feelings about him. I'd rather have a real Dem fill his seat. I will wait and see how he votes.

Count me in from my corner, too!

Posted by: debbieqd | May 6, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Specter hasn't been a Republican for many years. He is indded gettiing what he deserves, however, for the mid-stream switch. He is likely out at mid-terms.

As for George W. Bush, he isn't and never was a Reagan conservative. Neither was his father. Neither is the pretender, John McCane.

Conservatives haven't had much to vote for since Reagan.

For those that think Texas and several other southern states should leave the union, have you thought about how much less money you bleeding hearts would have to waste if we did?

Posted by: chunt1 | May 6, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

When you sell your soul to the devil, just remember who you are dealing with. Two things come to mind after reading this: 1) A Homer Simpson voice coming from behind Specter's closed door - "D'Oh!!!" 2) Now that he has signed his confession for being an evil bourgeoisie, Specter recognizes that his THIRTY YEARS of government service was worthless because he was not fighting for the Communist cause during that time. He proudly goes to the back of the line, steps onto the bottom rung, and begins climing the ladder again - this time to serve the almighty MaoBama.

Posted by: animalfarmusa1 | May 6, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I was amazed when he so vehemently denied saying that he had assured Obama he'd be a loyal Democrat.

Sealed his fate right there, I thought.

Obama is a "nice guy" and all, but he's not a fool, and publicly denying what you've told him is not a good idea.

He got a welcome as a loyal Democrat. After denying that he'd be one, he again got the appropriate reaction.

The Dems showed some sense in denying him seniority, and Specter showed he's a lot dumber than he seems on TV. (It must have been the idiocy of the competition that made him seem smart.)

Posted by: RealCalGal | May 6, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I used to have a great deal of respect for Spector. In the last few days I can see that he is a weak pathetic liitle man. He should have told the Republicans to go screw themselves and voted w/o worrying about the results. That way he could have left the Senate with honor by retiring and ended up being considered a Washington wise man. Then again if he isn't relected Chris Matthews will still have him on Hardball after all he keeps inviting Tom Delay. Even though he left the Senate under different circumstances the former Virgina Republican Senator John Warner showed how one could bow out with grace and dignity. I would like to ask Senator Spector was one last term worth soiling yourself? Maybe he will announce in a few weeks that it is over and due to health reasons he has decided to fold his tent. I am really surprised by his actions. Democrats need to hold onto every seat that they can because the Republicans being lead by the likes of Palin are pathetic & dangerous. I wonder what VP Biden thinks of what the Senate did to old Arlen

Posted by: NJReader2 | May 6, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Serves this putz right.
So, what did this rotting, piece of dreck bring to the Democratic Caucus that made him think he was so deserving of anything?
He drags his stinking carcass out of the cesspool in which he willingly leapt years ago (he was formerly a Democrat,doesn’t even bother to shower off his stink, continues joins the other porcines wallowing in the cesspool in their ultra extremis vote and then expects to be greeted with open arms and the “”fatted calf” of committee chairmanships. The Prodigal Son returned repentant and humbled hoping only to be able to be a lowly servant, not arrogant and still continuing in his decedent ways. This pushy putz obviously “misread” too much “biblicaltik” and not enough realpolitik. Welcome to the real world, pupick.
Let us hope is that Reid did in fact make the assertion that Specter would retain his seniority and that real Democrats forced Reid into the embarrassing position of having to read the resolution denying the seniority.
Reid should put his as Senate majority leadership position up for a “confidence vote"! It is quite possible his pusillanimity would be view as critically as Specter’s putrescent presumptuousness. Reid’s miscalculation on Specter’s seniority by all rights should be viewed as coupe d’ gras for his role in what can only be viewed as an abominably, abysmal failure as Senate Majority Leader.
Reid’s Senate Majority leadership make Neville Chamberlain appeasement appear Samurai Warrior-like in comparison.

Posted by: TheSkepticalCynic | May 6, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate:
"how can ANYone or ANY party not see the spineless attempt to suddenly become a democrat? that in itself is a great insult, imo.

is it possible they accepted him just to humilitate him?

((again, "careful what U ask for."???

JUST WHAT WAS HE THINKING????
did he miss out on breakfast or something?
i mean wouldnt it have been better for him to retire gracefully than leaving such a long career in disgrace? again, just my opinion."

Since when is an opinion just a list of questions?

Posted by: bobzaguy | May 6, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse


Claiming that Coleman should be seated after he has lost at every turn in his never-ending legal challenge is so far off the mark that I question Arlen Spector's grasp of reality. What was he possibly thinking? He couldn't have made a more bone-headed statement if he tried.

The whole Coleman battle is a nakedly transparent maneuver by the Republicans to keep a critical 60th vote out of the Senate. Every day that passes without Franken in the Senate is a victory for the Republicans and Coleman has willingly offered up any future he has in politics to be their complaint tool. Maybe he'll get a fat paycheck working in some reich-wing "think" tank as a reward but his career as an elected official is SO OVER after this stunt. That Spector would insult our intelligence with a statement like he made marks him as a knee-jerk partisan that can't seem to let go of his old habits.

The Democrats got it right AND showed a rare example of the kind of hard-ball politics the Republicans practice every day. It's at least the beginning of the sign of a spine. Who Knew?

Posted by: Johnbo | May 6, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Poor old guy--it's tough to get stabbed in the back like that:)

Posted by: vlscpa | May 6, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Let dead dogs lie.
Reagan was harmful as president.
His trickle down Reaganomics otherwise known as voodoo economics was a sham.Super rich corps.and individuals loved it,but... WE'RE STILL WAITING FOR THE TRICKLE.
He repaid the air traffic controllers for supporting him by firing them for striking over,among other things,safety concerns.
The deficit soared.Had a recession.
Sold arms to terrorists.Remember Iran/Contras?
However,as a former actor he was trained to say lines in a convincing manner.He could read lines written by others in a John Wayne-esque style(And I liked John Wayne) and many people followed him because of it.You know,hooray for mom,apple pie,and the good old USA while,simultaneously sticking it to the vast majority of us with his policies.There is a price we all pay when we forgo due diligence and fail to do our homework.
That is what happens when you accept people at face value and fail to dig beneath the surface.

Posted by: j_r_1963 | May 6, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

My previous post is in reference to:Posted by: chunt1 | May 6, 2009 11:29 AM

Posted by: j_r_1963 | May 6, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Specter deserves what he got. Does our party want a turn coat? We don't need him, he will be defeated in the next election and replaced with another Truer Democrat. He is an ally only when it suits him. Strip him of all positions, he will only hold this against us anyway. The next defection will likely be McCain, he may be worth accepting.

Posted by: l_ervin | May 6, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"For those that think Texas and several other southern states should leave the union, have you thought about how much less money you bleeding hearts would have to waste if we did?"

Another case of willful ignorance from a conservative.

States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

https://www.iterasi.net/public/archive/FRhextvC1Uy4UKrIyd5nFQ

Posted by: ThePaleScot | May 6, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Someone please refresh my memory. Exactly where in the Constitution is it stated that the Senate is to be divided by two parties, or that said parties can be pitted against each other? I was under the impression (laughable) that once someone entered the Senate, he/she was representing the constituents and not necessarily a party.

Posted by: EJConroy | May 6, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

For those that think Texas and several other southern states should leave the union, have you thought about how much less money you bleeding hearts would have to waste if we did?"

Another case of willful ignorance from a conservative.

States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

https://www.iterasi.net/public/archive/FRhextvC1Uy4UKrIyd5nFQ


Can't speak for other states PaleScot, but Texas has paid more in taxes that it has received in federal spending going all the way back to 1981. In 2005, the latest year I could find data for, Texas received 94 cents for every dollar it paid in which ranked 35'th in the nation. In the years I mentioned, Texas has never ranked higher than 33'rd so before you start speaking of ignorance you might want to check your own facts a little closer.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/22685.html

Posted by: Sick-and-Tired | May 7, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't let the door hit you scumbags and traitors on the way out. You people were so for the "country first" and accused everyone of being unamerican who disagreed with you. You people aren't "real Americans". Bunch of seditious whiners, I hope you all leave my country.We're too good for you.

Posted by: hatetraitors | May 7, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Specter is all over the spectrum. His selfish moves are more about his political survival than about the Democratic Party interests and the interests of citizens of this nation. He is an old untrustworthy politician who may be showing the negative effects of his cancer treatments.

Posted by: ernieson | May 8, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Specter hasn't been a Republican for many years. He is indded gettiing what he deserves, however, for the mid-stream switch. He is likely out at mid-terms.

As for George W. Bush, he isn't and never was a Reagan conservative. Neither was his father. Neither is the pretender, John McCane.

Conservatives haven't had much to vote for since Reagan.

For those that think Texas and several other southern states should leave the union, have you thought about how much less money you bleeding hearts would have to waste if we did?

Posted by: chunt1
**************************************
Acually, we would have MORE money, because those States, receive more money than they pay in. I love how people like you, never bother to check facts, or even believe in them, instead preferring to believe, as the truth, EVERYTHING that your "hero" Limbaugh and company tell you. And then you actually have the nerve to call people who like Obama the sheeple, when it's people like you who act and behave like the real sheeple.

Posted by: thomascannon | May 9, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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