Monday, June 11, 2007

Specter at His Wormiest

Arlen Specter is a truly bizarre character. Here he is on the floor of the Senate, explaining that while Republicans don't in fact have confidence in Alberto Gonzales, he doesn't expect them to vote that way and does so himself only grudgingly. He goes on to accuse Democrats of "outright political chicanery" for holding the vote.

Whenever an improper or illegal activity on the part of the administration is revealed, Specter's first move is always to distinguish himself from virtually all other Republicans by recognizing it as such and registering a certain amount of concern. But he never, ever, wants anything to come of it.

Illegal wiretapping? That's bad, says Arlen, but we should really legalize it retroactively, and make warrants optional in the future.

As the U.S. Attorney scandal was developing, Specter knew that Gonzales had lied at his press conference, and said as much. But he (Specter) wasn't going to "judge" on that basis alone, and was outraged at Sen. Leahy's efforts to get sworn testimony from DoJ and White House staff.

The question is: is this better than there being no Republicans at all who make noises over Bush administration lawbreaking? Or is it detrimental to have a "centrist" Republican who appears to be as outraged as the rest of us, yet tells us doing anything about it would be highly damaging to Republicans and therefore partisan and wrong? I'm on the fence, personally.

Jack Cafferty has the definitive Specter takedown.

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