Change of Heart

Many, many earnest progressive spokespeople explained to me how Arlen Specter can’t be trusted for switching parties.

Yet many earnest, progressive spokespeople, people who consider themselves the voices of the progressive movement, are… people who switched parties.

Markos Moulitsas
Ed Schultz
John Aravosis
Cenk Uygur
Arianna Huffington

And, while he’s a Senator, not a spokesperson, I seem to remember progressives going wild about Sen. Jim Webb. (h/t DCBlogger)

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can remember right now. Funny, huh?

20 thoughts on “Change of Heart

  1. Arianna Huffington
    Senator Jim Webb
    I am sure there are others, those are just the ones that sprang to mind.

    The Eisenhower wing of the Republican party has taken over the Democratic party and the Klu Klux Klan has taken over the Republican party.

    The party of HHH anbd LBJ is no more.

  2. For what it’s worth, Markos and Sen. Webb are the only two on that list (as it stands now) that I can stand. And in fairness to Webb, I don’t think he considers himself a voice of the progressive movement.

    But I get your point: You’re smarter than other progressive bloggers.

  3. I don’t trust those fauxgressives either. They care about personal access and clout, not issues.

  4. it’s not the party switching that concerned me (i was ecstatic when Jeffords jumped ship, for example), but the way in which Specter did it, and the way the PA democrats handled it.

    Whether by accident or arrogance, Specter made it very clear that he wasn’t leaving for philosophical reasons: it was in the narrative, but what stood out (for me at least) was the opportunism. It wasn’t even that risky a jump, the way Jeffords was: when JJ left, the GOp was ascendent. it was a real risk to leave the party. Contrast that to what specter did.

    Mostly though, I was extremely angry about TJ Rooney and Ed Rendell deciding, by fiat, that there would be no primary in Pennsylvania. “Arlen is the candidate, like it or lump it” was the message. That’s not democracy, that’s like something out of the USSR. And so i was immediately hostile to that. Not hostile enough to vote for sestak but hostile enough to withold my vote from specter (i voted for a write in democrat).

  5. And by progressive, I think you mean “progressive.” Funny how none of these guys can explain what “progress” actually means. Except for them personally, that is.

  6. I don’t entirely follow this. Pundits, or wanna be pundits are a little different than sitting Senators with long records. I spent my entire adult life voting against Specter and trying to convince other people to do the same. Asking me to back the dude is sort of like asking me to root for the Cowboys. I can’t do it.

    Not that I voted for Sestak either. I think Sestak will be a horrible disappointment to anybody who’s enthusiastic about him. I’ll vote for him in November, but I don’t have any illusions about the dude. I’d be happy to be wrong, of course.

  7. How come you weren’t that upset when the DCCC pushed Bryan Lentz out of the 7th district primary to make way for Sestak — who wasn’t even a Democrat at the time?

    Sestak was thrilled to have that kind of interference when it benefited him.

  8. It’s just a thought that occurred to me. Humans attack people for the same things they do ourselves, while explaining that it’s “different” when they do it. That’s all.

  9. What do you mean “How come you weren’t that upset when the DCCC pushed Bryan Lentz out of the 7th district primary?” I was! I bet I can even find a post written at that time expressing how upset I was. I was upset when they cleared the field for Casey too! I was really upset! If anything, I was far less upset about them clearing the field, or trying to, for Specter. They wanted him to flip and that was the deal they made. I have no problem with that.

  10. I guess I should point out that susie changed the post after my above comment, so it makes a little less sense now.

    I hope Sen. Specter enjoys his retirement as much as I will enjoy his retirement.

    Anyway, here’s the bright side: Since once Specter is bought he stays bought, now that he’ll be collecting his checks from the SSA, we’ll have a powerful advocate for our meager welfare state.

  11. Can we just cut the “Markos was a Republican” shit out? It is essentially an urban myth.
    “Prior to enlisting in the Army, Moulitsas was a member of the Republican Party. During the 1988 presidential election, he served as a Republican precinct captain and assisted with the re-election campaign of Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde.[5] However, during his time in the military Moulitsas began a transition in his political philosophy that would lead him to change his party affiliation from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.”
    Let’s parse this:
    Markos born Sept 11, 1971. Meaning he turned 17 less than a month before the 1988 election. Meaning that ‘precinct captain’ or not, he wasn’t even old enough to vote.
    1989-1992 Markos was in the Army from the age of 18-21 during which time he realigned with the Democrats.

    So we are slagging on Kos because as a 16 year old he identified with Republicans? Christ by that standard I am a Randian Objectivist and Rabid Masturbationist, millions of teenage boys identify with the Right before wising up. Is there any evidence Kos EVER voted Republican?

    This is basically just a Puma smear. Or maybe sneer.

  12. Well, I wasn’t particularly upset by the Sestak/Lentz issue, because I wasn’t paying that much attention at the time. That was a bit before it was clear (to all and sundry, including me) that Weldon was in a lot of trouble, so the choice seemed to be “who gets to lose to Weldon?”.

    (IIRC, Weldon *really* landed in the shit less than 2 months before the election, with the FBI raiding his daughter’s offices, etc..prior to that, I didn’t give the dems much chance of unseating him; not with the 2:1 R:D registration ratio back then. Now we’ll see how well Lentz can handle a general election campaign, but I would not be surprised if the seat goes back to the R’s)

    I must say that Specter was a better Democrat than I expected: much better than Lieberman, for example. But the blatant opportunism was galling. So, for me at least, it wasn’t a slam-dunk one way or the other.

  13. if i didn’t write about it at the time, it’s 100% likely that it’s because i wasn’t paying attention. That’s probably because Sestak wasn’t running for a seat in my district and it wasn’t a top priority for me. I do recall being glad that someone was taking on Weldon, but Crazy Curt always been your bete noir, not mine. I was certainly upset about the establishment clearing the field for Casey though, and wrote quite a bit about it at the time, and since then. I didn’t support casey in the primary, and I voted for him while holding my nose.

    And anyway, didn’t you apply for a job with Sestak at the time? if you thought what he was doing was so wrong, why did you want to work for him? Your archives before 2010 seem to be missing, but i’d be interested to read what you wrote at the time. But don’t accuse me of hypocrisy because I didn’t throw a shit-fit in 2006 about a guy who wasn’t even campaigning to represent me.

    And for crying out loud, it’s not like I’m some kind of rabid Sestak supporter to begin with: in every single post i have written on the man, I have said I’m either not going to vote for him or I couldn’t make up my mind. and I didn’t vote for him: i chose “Write In”.

    I’m sorry your guy lost (my candidate didn’t win either), but it’s not fair to suggest some sort of double standard on my part just because a house backbencher who wasn’t even going to represent me didn’t get my attention in 2006.

  14. Brendan, I never cared about the deal they made to put in Sestak. That’s just politics. I pointed it out only because you said it was the main reason you were angry at Specter.

    It only became an issue for me when so many progressives started using it as their rationale for opposing Specter. I thought it was hypocritical.

    I was using what you said as a jumping off point for griping about the Sestak Fan Base, that’s all. I said it clumsily but nothing personal meant by it. It was just an opportunity for me to bitch about something that annoys me. I’m sorry it sounded like I was attacking you, I didn’t mean it that way. I mean, I agree with you more than I agree with most people.

  15. Why I didn’t vote for Arlen Specter. The man is 80 years old. He had/has brain cancer. He has been in politics since (officially) 1967. It was time for him to go.

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