Mostly in response to Specter’s comments on the Franken/Coleman deadlock in
Obviously Specter was dead wrong on the entitlement thing.
Clearly Specter was signaling to his new caucus colleagues that there was nothing they could do to him. He had assurances from Majority Leader Reid, and he had promises from President Obama.
But my, my, my, isn’t it amazing how quickly those assurances dissociate into quarks and electrons resulting in an explosion, a nuclear one, that made his entitlement vaporize.
The senate, it seems is taking a wait and see attitude on Specter. Holding hostage, as it were, any committee chairmanship that Specter could claim with a high seniority, a thing that he craves almost as much as he craves re-election.
With the Senate message being, obviously, that he should actually be that loyal Democrat that he claims he won’t be, or no dice.
Specter, as you can imagine, was all apologetic. In explaining his very odd remark to the New York Times about his preference of Norm Coleman (a fellow Jew) over Al Franken (also, as it turns out, a fellow Jew) because the Senate needs to have a Jew in the body, he claims that he was confused.
“In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates. I'm ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I've made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke.”
So everything’s OK, right? He was just a little confused about what party he was allied to because of all the swirl.
That would be confusing, huh?
Yes, except that switching parties is clearly a singular event in the man’s political career. Something that he shouldn’t have to consult his notes about when he responds to questions on his opinion about things. Votes and stuff.
You know, I don’t know if that is all there should be to this. As I see it, there are actually two possibilities we need consider:
- Is Arlen Specter going to get along in his new party or is he going to vote with his former brethren more often than not?
- Is Arlen Specter suffering from incipient Alzheimer’s Syndrome?
If he simply forgot that he was a Democrat in the swirl that was a direct question from a New York Times reporter, maybe we ought to consider the latter. The man is nearly 80 years old, after all, and I have known younger men and women who have come down with this debilitating disease. I know this disease. Years ago I had a neighbor, a perfectly pleasant man, who introduced himself to me on a weekly basis, and then would politely ask me whether I knew where he lived, and could I show him.
So really, it’s either one or the other. Either we have (as Al Franken would put it) a lying liar that we cannot trust, or we have a tragic case of incipient Alzheimer’s or some sort of dementia where he is confused over where he calls “home” now.
In the latter case, maybe retirement on that attractive federal pension available to him as a multi-term senator is an option he should consider. In the former case, as I mentioned before, maybe he should be primaried until the cows come home.