Anyone else remember how in JFK Oliver Stone implies that an "ambitious young" Arlen Specter was somehow involved in the Warren Commission's alleged whitewash of the Kennedy Assassination?
Also, Arlen Specter was the worst. I think liberals and conservatives can both agree, "fuck that guy."
I should clarify: in the cult of the congressional moderate, there are two species. One is your true moderate, which is increasingly becoming extinct: your Blue Dogs or Rockefeller Republicans. These people, annoying as their Hamlet routine can become, do seem genuinely sincere about what they believe: the establishment is great, "moderation" is itself a political virtue, and the bipartisan post war consensus can survive (even though its been dead since conservatives took over the Republican Party in the '80s). Not my favorite class of politicians, but at least they are rational and predictable.
Then you have guys like Specter and Joe Lieberman, who are essentially hollow, opportunistic politicians. There is no fundamental principle that would ever trump reelection. After you do get reelected, you spend the next four years fucking over your perceived enemies. It ends up making the marginal vote in the US Senate the squishiest person with the biggest axe to grind.
At least he had cool hair styles.
What you see as egrigious I just see as practical. Fact is people kept voting for them. Perhaps this whole notion of politicians running on principle is outdated, or maybe never really existed to begin with? American mythos, I cannot tell a lie, Mr Smith Goes to Washington.
I just realized this thread title says "Defecting" rather than "Defecating." I'm sure Arlen Specter did plenty of that in his day but wondered what was so remarkable about it that Hannah felt the need to highlight it in this obit headline of sorts.