Thomas
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 08:44 pm
This evening, Arlen Specter lost his Senate seat in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary. His rival Tom Sestak defeated him in the Democratic primary. I have to say his defeat saddens me. He belongs to a flaggling tradition of reality-based, moderate conservatives who raised the level of public discourse, championed problem-solving over ideology, and strengthened America's fabric of self-government with fairness and reason. His loss today means that politicians like him no longer have a home in either of the big parties. I, for one, will miss him dearly. Thanks for all your good work, Mr Specter!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 21 • Views: 4,800 • Replies: 88

 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 08:47 pm
@Thomas,
I think the Democratic Senate leadership made a mistake not giving him some seniority and making him a junior senator was a slap in the face.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 08:53 pm
@Thomas,
I have had a generally good opinion of him. I hope the new guy is worth a crap.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 08:54 pm
Washington insiders......do you hear the ANGER yet!
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 08:54 pm
@talk72000,
I agree, but that's probably not the reason he lost. One reason he lost is that he is an incumbent, and that the voters' sentiments are currently very anti-incumbent. Senior-Senator status would only have made Specter more of an incumbent.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 08:58 pm
Arlen Spector, in the last acts of his overlong career in the Congress, demonstrated an unseemly and grasping desire to do anything to prolong his political career in the Senate, sacrificing party loyaly and in some cases long held political positions to stay on the stage long after his moment had passed. We are well rid of him.
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:02 pm
@georgeob1,
One day, George, I hope you will realize that it's the Republican party who turned its back on people like him, or like Peter Ueberroth, or people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or all those other members of its reality-based, pragmatic wing.

I only hope that some day, Republicans will recognize what a grave error they committed for abandoning their tradition -- the tradition of Eisenhower, Ford, and Alan Simpson -- for people like Sarah Palin. America needs an opposition to the Democratic party that's better than the current Republican party.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:09 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
Washington insiders......do you hear the ANGER yet!


Get out of here! Joe Sestak is not a tea party candidate. This win was not about anger.

Sestak supports Obama's health care bill and was in favor of Obama's stimulus package. Sestak is a solid progressive who ran on policy.

I, for one, am very happy with the Sestak victory.

hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:19 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
This win was not about anger.


Riiight...
Quote:

Sestak tried to harness voter anger over political gridlock and the recession, with Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate at 9 percent, its highest in more than a quarter-century

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/18/specter-rejected-by-pa-dems-in-bid-for-6th-term/#ixzz0oLFuAF5n
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:22 pm
@Thomas,
I agree that the Republican party party has a dearth of worthy leaders. However, I don't think that Spector remotely resembles what is needed. I know Alam Simpson (casually) from the same place I know Gary Becker. He's an engaging, entertaining, interesting and amiable guy, but he appears to have lacked the committment and staying power necessary to see a difficult process through to a conclusion. Unfortunately reasonable people don't often achieve great things.

Harry Truman didn't have anything good to say about Eisenhower, though I believe history has judged both him and Truman in a more kindly way. Ford was truly a decent and reasonable man, but the fact is he failed as a leader.

In my view the country is presently in the hands of some strongly motivated, but thoroughly wrongheaded and largely inept, idealogues (who are attempting to install the "European Model" here just as it collapses in Europe). We need someone to confront their flawed ideology and restore our sense of ourselves. That will require more than a reasonable pragmatist. Something more like Ronald Reagan or an American Margaret Thatcher.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:30 pm
@georgeob1,
I agree re Alan Simpson, I think he had far too much integrity to remain a politician.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:33 pm
@dyslexia,
I think it is more than just integrity. It takes a special combination of qualities to create profound change in any organization. Merely reasonable, pragmatic, well-balanced people usually don't have what it takes. Something beyond that is required, though it isn't necessarily contrary to reason and good sense. Caesar had it: Pompey didn't. Reagan had it: Ford didn't.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:34 pm
He did not just lose, he got his ass kicked....

Quote:
Sestak 54%
Specter 46%

92% reporting
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  9  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 10:19 pm
My congratulations to the Democratic voters of Pennsylvania for electing the Democratic candidate in the Democratic senatorial primary.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 11:10 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
Get out of here! Joe Sestak is not a tea party candidate. This win was not about anger


Quote:
Although poles apart ideologically, Sestak and Paul both struck anti-Washington themes in their victory statements Tuesday night.

"This is what democracy looks like," Sestak said to a crowd of cheering supporters. "A win for the people, over the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, D.C."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/18/AR2010051805561.html?hpid=topnews

I am right, you are wrong, time for you to concede the point.
firefly
 
  4  
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 12:11 am
@hawkeye10,
Don't be so quick to assume you are right.

Perhaps the Democratic voters simply saw Specter as essentially a Republican who switched parties, not out of conviction, but out of political expediency and a desire to hold onto his Senate seat. Sestak did remind them of Specter's support of Bush, and implied that Specter could not be trusted to remain a strong and loyal Democrat. That message may have hit home.

Sestak's win was not necessarily a repudiation of Washington's policies or a reflection of anger over those policies. But, since Obama, and much of the state Democratic party hierarchy, had endorsed Specter, it does show that Democratic voters in Pennsylvania are not marching blindly in step with decisions made by either the party machinery or the White House when it comes to selecting candidates.

And Sestak is an appealing candidate with strong attributes. At a time when many people do long for change, he offered a viable alternative to someone who had been entrenched in the Senate for 30 years. In November, he may well prove to be a much more formidable Democratic opponent than Specter would have been.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 12:16 am
@joefromchicago,
Can't blame them for that.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 12:17 am
@firefly,
Quote:
Don't be so quick to assume you are right.
The Message since Brown of Mass has been consistent. The establishment can no longer blow a couple of elections off as flukes, or as about local politics or as about poorly run campaigns (which was the excuse for why Brown won). Washington insiders have a huge problem,,,,,,,they have lost the nation.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 12:19 am
@georgeob1,
even though George is correct,Arlan did an excellent accounting on behalf of Pa.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  4  
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 01:13 am
@hawkeye10,
The difference in Pennsylvania is that this was a Democratic primary, and the party-backed candidate, Specter, had only been a Democrat for a year after serving in the Senate for 29 years as a Republican. For that reason, it's hard to draw firm conclusions about whether Specter was primarily rejected for being a Washington insider or for being a life-long Republican.

This election showed that Democratic voters rejected the candidate of the Democratic party establishment, and they are obviously thinking for themselves. I'm not sure that it proves much else, nor can more sweeping generalizations be drawn from this result.

I think the Democratic party may well be better off with Sestak as the candidate in November, and the Democratic voters in Pennsylvania may simply have felt the same way.
 

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