Monday, May 17, 2010

Does Old Arlen know who he's running against?


Toomey? Sestak? It must be one of those guys. Maybe he's confused, or maybe just like always, the only thing he's sure of is who he's for: Arlen.

by Ken

This isn't fun. This is sad.

I was musing last night on the odd strategy, for a Democratic primary, of playing to the gun-nut crowd, as Arlen Specter has been doing in the closing days of his race against Rep. Joe Sestak. Sure, there are presumably conservative Democrats who might be impressed by the senator's trumpeting of his opponent's support for controls on ownership of assault weapons, but you wouldn't think there would be enough such votes out there to make this a winning strategy -- among Pennsylvania Democrats, aren't there likely to be more voters energized to support Sestak's principled and sane position?

I found myself half-jokingly (which is to say half-seriously) wondering whether the senator hasn't jumped the primary and set about trying to defeat him in the general election, when Sestak -- assuming he wins the Democratic nomination tomorrow for the Senate seat currently held by Senator Specter -- will be running against ultra-right-wing anti-tax loon Pat Toomey, the man who drove Old Arlen out of the GOP and into the waiting arms of high-flying Dems who were happy to have his Senate vote, like the president and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who have remained all too faithful to whatever promise of support they gave old Arlen when he defected.

I'm sure you've seen those clips of Old Arlen, since his official R-to-D switch -- which has been sometimes represented and sometimes not represented in his voting record -- seeming unclear as to which party he belongs to. They seemed pretty funny. The above clip doesn't seem so funny. It appears that the poor old guy really can't keep straight in his head who exactly he's running against now. From his attack on his opponent's "voting record," by which he means the record of votes missed, he clearly does seem to have his actual opponent, Representative Sestak, in mind, though of course he would also know, you'd think, that the congressman has been engaged in an extremely demanding Senate campaign, and if there have been any important votes missed, again you'd think, then the senator would cite them.

Because you'd have to figure, if there's one thing Old Arlen doesn't want to have Pennsylvania Democratic voters thinking about as they go to the polls tomorrow, it's his voting record -- and I mean his actual voting record. I don't think he really thinks it's Pat Toomey he's running against. Probably he's just got Toomey's name lodged in his head from the time when he was his opponent.

I'm far from saying that I'll be able to do much better if I make it to 80. But then, if I do, I won't be running for the U.S. Senate.

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At 9:57 PM, Blogger News Nag said...

There are people who are sharp-minded at his age (early 80s?), and there are those who aren't, like Arlen. Too feeble-minded. I have to give him credit (or at least give his overly needy ego) for fighting one more campaign. I don't applaud it, just hope I'm as assertive when I'm his age (though hopefully smarter and more aware).

At 5:04 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

I agree, Larry. Arlen appears to be in better shape than a lot of 80-year-olds, and on the human level I wish him the best for the rest of his time among us.

Again, though, I think there are enough concerns to be of legitimate concern to Pennsylvania voters.


At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arlen was an enabler of the Bush administration for 8 years. Why would anyone feel sorry for him? Because in the guise of public service, he made the country a worse place.

He should be in prison, but embarrassing himself is a small bit of restitution to the rest of the country.


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