Arlen Specter’s farewell: A stinging rebuke to the system

Sen. Arlen Specter: Slamming a system that eats its own (AP)

Departing Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday said conservative Republicans who backed tea party challengers against establishment candidates in the recent elections engaged in political cannibalism.

In his final floor speech, Specter complained there’s scant room for centrists like himself in a polarized Senate where civility is in short supply.

“In some quarters, compromise has become a dirty word,” said Pennsylvania’s longest-serving senator, who lost his re-election bid after three decades in the Senate.

Specter complained that some GOP senators had helped tea party challengers beat incumbent Republicans like Utah Sen. Bob Bennett and Rep. Mike Castle in his Delaware Senate primary.

“Eating or defeating your own is a form of sophisticated cannibalism,” he said.

Specter said the re-election of Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on a write-in vote against the tea party challenger who toppled her in the primary may show the way to “counter right-wing extremists.”

Specter, 80, has been a fixture in American politics, emerging as a prominent centrist who used his willingness to cross party lines on key votes as a way to boost his clout in Congress. Specter has overcome a brain tumor, cardiac arrest following bypass surgery, and two bouts with Hodgkin’s disease.

He lost the Democratic primary last May to Rep. Joe Sestak after taking the risky step of switching from the GOP in his bid for a sixth term. Specter would have faced a tough Republican primary challenge from Pat Toomey, who eventually beat Sestak in the Nov. 2 race.

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11 Responses to "Arlen Specter’s farewell: A stinging rebuke to the system"

  1. bmclellan  December 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Too little umbrage too late Arlen, now go enjoy your golden parachute of regret. You’ve earned it.

    • griff  December 22, 2010 at 10:05 am

      My sentiments exactly. Why do they always rail against the system when and only when they finally get booted from it? How utterly genuine.

  2. Carl Nemo  December 22, 2010 at 11:15 am

    “Specter, 80, has been a [ fixture ] in American politics” …extract from article my brackets

    All I can say is good riddance to bad political rubbish…! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine  December 22, 2010 at 11:41 am

      Amen.

  3. woody188  December 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    One of the last of the Warren Commission is finally tossed to the curb. Arlen is the one the came up with the “magic bullet” theory that goes against all known laws of physics. But isn’t that why Obama offered Arlen’s opponent Joe Sestak a White House job to drop out of the race against Arlen?

    Covering up the Kennedy assassination has it’s privileges, like 30 years in the Senate. And it would have been more if Obama’s White House had it’s way.

  4. griff  December 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Hey! Isn’t this the bozo that switched parties a few years ago to avoid the Great Republican Purge of 2006? Ha. Didn’t miss this one, though.

  5. eve  December 23, 2010 at 12:08 am

    “All I can say is good riddance to bad political rubbish…! : |”

    Once again Carl Nemo says it best.

  6. Warren  December 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    It isn’t often that I directly take issue with the whole lot of you. But in this you’re being way over-critical. Go read his brief biography at Wikipedia and then tell me again how bad he was. It’s all relative. I wish he’d been my senator for the past 30 years instead of the total idiots that have represented me.

    • Carl Nemo  December 23, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      In Specter’s case, centrist means a “running dog” for powerful interests regardless of the agenda. It all started with the “magic bullet” theory relative to JFK’s assassination, resulting in him being a “made man” for life, as a mafioso styled crimpol. Also him jumping ship concerning party affiliation says even more about this clown. He must’ve been drinking the same water as Joe Lieberman over the years.

      I stand firm on my assessment Warren. From your writings, I believe you live in Arizona. I understand your sentiments. As Cheech or Chong would say…”things are bad all over man”… : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  7. b mcclellan  December 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    As a Harvard grad and ” student / maker of the law ” his vote to attack a sovereign nation, willfully allowing bush and cheney to pursue their bloody folly erases any good this man has ever done in his life.
    The blood of countless innocents not to mention our own, is on his hands as if he were the architect of all that has become this fiasco,
    once we called foreign policy..Centrist ?

    After thirty years his mouth starts flappin now ?
    He has no hand, other than that grasping to rewrite his questionable conduct as a servant of the people.
    He was a shoe shining, shinola shifting, 30 year resident of our house looking to go out with a mighty aaabawhoosh .
    Where is that confounded Plumber ?

  8. b mcclellan  December 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Addressing last comment : it should read, his political life..
    My apologies.
    Where is that confounded final option edit ?

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