Monday, May 4, 2009

(Hopefully) There is Another Option

This Sunday's Meet the Press:
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 health care with 51 votes, which undermines a basic Senate institution to require 60 votes to impose closure on key issues. …I did not say I am a loyal Democrat
After watching last week's love fest and the very real attempts to clear the field by the President, Vice-President, and Governor of the Pennsylvania, I'm thrilled to see that at least one candidate isn't impressed. That man is Joe Sestak:
KING: Is he a good enough Democrat?

SESTAK: I'm not sure he's a Democrat yet. And that doesn't mean we don't want bipartisanship. My gosh, I won in a district that was 53 percent Republican, 36 percent Democrat. What I need to know is, what's the principles you're running for...

From his website:
So while Arlen’s decision may be good for himself, politically, to avoid running against someone he could not beat, his decision begs what he is running for, and whether he is the best candidate to shape the future of Pennsylvania.
Simply awesome.

From the comments of TomP's diary, here is a summary of Joe Sestak's positions:
  1. Does not agree that we have enhanced our security or intelligence thru torture. Believes it has placed service members at greater danger from countries that do torture.
  1. Supports the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Would like to take the lead along with Murphy (D-PA) and Murtha (D-PA)
  1. Supports Sec. Gates' recent proposal to transform the military to where it is not numbers but capability which measures the military.
  1. Supports a health plan similar to one in Mass. which he says is similar to Obama's. Supports Medicare, Medicaid and public plan standards.
  1. Supports stem cell research. Says "It's great having President Obama here."
  1. Completely aware of same things we are: budget reconciliation requires only 51 votes to pass, and healthcare reform package has been virtually guaranteed the same fate...not sure why there was a Specter deal.
  1. Supports labor/EFCA (co-sponsor)
  1. Supports public healh care opinion
  1. Supports Obama's budget resolution (voted for it)
  1. Supports cramdowns (voted for it)
  1. Supports Cap and Trade (co-sponsor of Waxman's bill and Markey's bill)
  1. Voted on bailout bill even though he received over 3500 e-mails and letters from constituents telling him not to. Said he read research which said the bill was absolutely critical and voted with his brain and not his ideology.
  1. Supports regulation in the Federal Reserve, and other institutions. Says we need proper reserves, transparency and reporting of trades. Comments ms. Brofsky of the CFTC who in 1998 tried to implement such.
  1. Supports a commission to find out what really amount of torture occured. Supports using the justice system to punish those responsible for designing the policies.
  1. Will turn down a bid for Senate IF and ONLY "If Arlen Specter truly embraces the principles and policies necessary for good governance and the economic, health, energy/environment, education, and defense securities needed by Pennsylvanians and by our nation...and we believe he will stick to them for the full 6 years"
  1. Supports re-institution of the Assault Weapons ban, child locks, ATF Surprise inspections, etc.
Sounds good, but what makes it even better? Comparing them to Arlen Specter's abysmal voting record! Besides, his willingness to consider running with Obama, Biden and Rendell attempting to clear the field shows that he serious balls, something the senate Democrats have been sorely lacking over the past 8 years.

Specter's party switch wasn't an epiphany, and it wasn't principled decision. It was a move to save his ass, that was absurdly aided and encouraged by those who are in charge of building a Democratic majority. Don't buy the shit sandwich that they're selling. The only person who benefits from keeping Arlen Specter around in the Senate is Arlen Specter. And when there are quality options like Joe Sestak waiting in the wings, it boggles my mind that this is even up for debate.

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