March 6, 2005
Webster's Dictionary defines specter: a visible disembodied spirit�a ghostly fear-inspiring vision of the imagination�something that haunts or persistently perturbs the mind�
"Persistently perturbs the mind�." YesirreBob�that's Arlen!
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is a duplicitous, disingenuous, lying slug�and 'someone' ought to drag his hubris instilled ailing butt out behind the woodshed and give him a Dutch uncle 'what for'�..
No good deed goes unpunished. Specter could have lost his most recent reelection bid were it not for the partisan support he didn't deserve.
Specter's arrogance and mendacity has been chronic:
1. He presumed to 'warn' the President prior
to assuming the Chairmanship he had lusted for not to nominate 'conservative
Specter's said, "If we have a 'nuclear option,' the Senate will be in turmoil and the Judiciary Committee will be hell�"
Will Rogers once said, "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." Gosh-oh-gee-golly�some things never change.
Specter took a lot of heat from conservatives last year when he suggested opponents of abortion rights could be S.O.L. (simply out of luck) winning Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court. He quickly backed off and promised Bush's nominees would get a quick Senate vote. So he LIED!
Specter and some other Republicans have expressed concerns that changing the rules could impede action on other legislation and come back to haunt them in a future Democratic-led Senate. That is a bogus red herring.
Meanwhile, Democrats are jazzed by Specter's riff�GOP partisans are grousing about "aid and comfort" to the enemy�and with good reason.
The whole rule change gripe is really a red herring. The alleged "nuclear option" is really a procedural 'fix' to previous Democrat deviousness.
Jack Kemp has written about this phony filibuster deal with an insider's insight. "Under Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, a 'tracking' system devised by then Majority Whip Robert Byrd was put into place. Tracking allows the majority leader - with unanimous consent or the agreement by the minority leader - to have more than one bill pending on the floor as unfinished business." Byrd and Mansfield finessed the creation of a "filibuster Lite".
Once upon a time, before the creation of 'tracking', "a filibuster would stop the Senate from moving on to any other legislative activity." Not anymore�.
There ARE consequences to the things we do. The statistical result of 'tracking' has created "an explosion in the threat and use of filibusters. During the 19th century there were only 23 filibusters. Between 1970 and 1994 there have been 191 filibusters."
The creation of what Byrd calls a "casual, gentlemanly, good-guy filibuster" really created filibuster Lite and a cheap and easy way to play obstructionist.
The vilified 'nuclear option' would really be a restoration of the filibuster as an uncomfortable, costly, and difficult procedural tool�the way it ought to be.
Specter ticked off both the White House and Republican leadership in the Senate by his presumptive request that all judicial nominees -- even those who previously were cleared by the Judiciary Committee process-- go through committee hearings.
The 'do over' of Priscilla Owen and others is a huge waste of time, energy and effort, AND a direct insult to both the administration and Party caucus that bailed Specter from ash heap at the jump.
There are (and should be) consequences. Sen Rick Santorum backed Specter for the Judiciary Chair and it will hurt him in his touch 2006 reelection battle. Some GOP types are strategizing on how to get rid of the prince of perfidy.
When Sen. Chuck Schumer says "I am so delighted that he's feisty and fighting and thoughtful and being the Arlen Specter we've all come to know and respect in the Senate," you know he is jazzed "Sen. Specter is back�"
The challenge and question that Bill Frist has to resolve is�for how long?
Will Specter be brought to heel or unceremoniously dumped?
� 2005 Geoff Metcalf - All
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Will Rogers once said, "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."