Thursday, May 18, 2006

Republican moderate = Republican water carrier.

Today Senator Russ Feingold had it out with Senator Arlen Specter over the proposed constitutional gay marriage amendment. Senator Specter has the power to shut this amendment down and he disagrees with the amendment, but he voted to bring it to the floor of the Senate. The vote was passed down party lines and the amendment will now be debated in early June by the full Senate.

The reason these two Senators had their falling out is that Feingold did not appreciate the committee debating the amendment in private. What we actually have here is Senator Specter providing himself political cover with the voters in his district who like him being moderate, so that he could vote to move the issue to the floor but not very publicly. One must then wonder why Specter would vote for an amendment he opposes?

His claim is that the amendment should be considered by the full Senate even though he will not support it. The fact is that the amendment has no chance of gaining the 2/3rds majority needed to pass. If he would simply cast his vote against the amendment as he claims to actually feel he ought to, the amendment would die in committee. This process is actually quite a common occurrence with Senate business. If a piece of legislation can not get support in committee, it does not get considered by the full Senate, whether or not individual members believe it ought to be considered. Specter has the power, the votes, the right and the lack of personal agreement on the amendment, and knows the amendment has no chance of passing the full Senate, (read is a waste of their time) yet he still wants it considered by the full Senate? Obviously the unsuspecting public is missing part of the story, if we just listen to what Specter is telling us, because this just doesn't add up!

The whole story is that the Republicans want this issue debated on the Senate floor as a sop to their koolaid drinking base. When Specter says this issue deserves to be debated by the whole Senate he actually means the Republicans want to talk about this in order to try to get some more votes from their radicals. He is trying to bring out the same wing nuts that he is so fond of claiming to be different from.

This actually continues a long string of Specterisms, whereby he publicly proclaims some constitutional stand against the party machine, while he helps keep that same machine well oiled and functioning. He's been blustering for the last six months about the NSA spy program. What has he actually done to stop that program or even to find out what the heck is really going on in the first place? Blustering is the extent of it. He made some waves by talking about how it would not be productive for the President to nominate a judge who would overturn Roe/Wade... Did he then insist that the nominees sent to him answer the questions given them on this issue, or allow obviously anti-choice nominees to non answer with platitudes and wait and sees, and eventually vote for them.

This then is Specterism defined: To publicly proclaim your distaste for a given position or candidate, while using your influence to further the interests of said position or candidate.

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