Arlen and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday morning:
NYT: With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

Recent Democratic Convert Arlen Specter: I sure do. There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.
Yesterday afternoon:
Specter said he misspoke in a New York Times magazine interview and is supporting Democrats.

"In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," he said. "I'm ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I've made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."

Asked who he's backing now in elections, Specter said, "I'm looking for more Democratic members. Nothing personal."
Yesterday evening:
In a unanimous voice vote, the Senate approved a resolution that added Specter to the Democratic side of the dais on the five committees on which he serves, an expected move that gives Democrats larger margins on key panels such as Judiciary and Appropriations.

But Democrats placed Specter in one of the two most junior slots on each of the five committees for the remainder of this Congress, which goes through December 2010. Democrats have suggested that they will consider revisiting Specter's seniority claim at the committee level only after the midterm elections next year.

…Without any assurance of seniority, Specter loses a major weapon in his campaign to win reelection in 2010: the ability to claim that his nearly 30 years of Senate service places him in key positions to benefit his constituents.
Sometimes, Congress reminds me of the Student Council. In middle school. Except, more disorganized and with an inferior emotional maturity level.

I certainly can't blame the Democrats. But, on the other hand, Specter will probably be petulant and might even end up a liability. If you're going to woo disaffected Republicans (or "Independents"), you've got to be ready to kiss ass like you've never kissed ass before. And if you don't want to kiss ass—and I understand why you wouldn't—then don't bother extending the invitation in the first place.

Because no one switches on principle anymore. Principle has left the building.

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