Confession time: Rick actually sent this to me on Monday, but because of my exams I didn’t quite get to it. Still, even though the sting of Specter’s stupidity may very well have been tempered a bit, I thought the piece was excellent and absolutely, positively needed to be run. So, in summation — my fault, but please enjoy. — Jeff
By Rick Saunders
On a sad day for the supply-siders in all of us, former Republican Congressman, Vice-Presidential candidate, Bush 41 cabinet member and NFL quarterback Jack Kemp succumbed this past Saturday to an unspecified form of cancer. Yet, missing not a single beat in his slippery emergence from the liberal closet where he has dwelled for the past 147 years or so, Arlen (“I-Will-Remain-a-Republican-Until-Morphing-Into-a-Democrat-Saves-My-Aging-Political-Hide”) Specter now places the blame for Kemp’s death on–yup, you guessed it–the Republicans. Not on cancer. Not on global warming. Not on Somali pirates. Not even on swine flu. When it comes to the death of Jack Kemp, to find the bloody hands, look no further than your friendly neighborhood Republican and his evil, jack-booted agenda.
On Sunday, less than 18 hours after Kemp passed on, Specter claimed that one of the reasons he left the Republicans and joined the Democrats was the GOP’s stance on medical research. He claimed on CBS’ “Face the Nation”–go figure–that “as a matter of principle, I’m becoming much more comfortable with the Democrats’ approach.” Well, DUH. For a party whose only principle is expediency, Specter’s affinity for Democrats should come as a surprise to approximately no one.
Then, Specter ghoulishly and shamelessly offered: “And one of the items that I’m working on, Bob [Scheiffer], is funding for medical research. If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the ‘war on cancer,’ we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today. And that research has saved or prolonged many lives, including mine.”
What a jerk.
The no-spring-chicken Specter thus confirms his conversion to the cult of “never waste a crisis” and its same-sex, common-law corollary: “Do your political leveraging on the backs of the dead before the bodies are cold.” Hey, once a lib, always a lib. Originally a registered Democrat, Specter in 1965 bolted the Democrats and became a “Republican” to challenge his former boss as he ran to become district attorney for Philadelphia. Just like tales of Joe Friday changed names to protect the innocent, even then Specter was changing parties to protect his ambition. A R.I.N.O. (“Republican in Name Only”) for many years, Specter has now come home. Again.
Let us review: First, by seeking to somehow blame Republicans for Jack Kemp’s death from cancer–and an unspecified cancer, at that–Specter merely underscores not only his political separation from the GOP but his intellectual detachment from reality. The guy seems, truly, to have lost it. For him to suggest that the as yet undisclosed “strain” of cancer which took out Jack Kemp would have been “cured” if only the Republicans had not been so insensitive to the needs of cancer victims gives new meaning to the term “hypocrisy.”
Actually, strike that: it merely confirms the hypocrisy that has characterized Specter himself as he inferentially denigrates the medical advances and procedures which have prolonged his own life under both Republican and Democrat administrations, but without the oppressive hand of full-blown socialized health care.
Second, Specter himself is a cancer survivor (although some might argue that some insidious disease has already completely consumed his brain), having fought Hodgkin’s lymphoma with the help of chemotherapy and medical research that has evolved since 1970. In addition, those evil Republicans also participated in and fashioned that horrific medical system that allowed Specter to successfully battle a brain tumor, once in 1993 and once in 1995, and also facilitated for him a full recovery from cardiac bypass surgery in 1998. And has anyone explored the political affiliations of Specter’s physicians, surgeons and oncologists? This is the guy who is slamming the Republicans for failing to save Jack Kemp?
As the nation slides toward a future of universal health care, medical procedures rationing and the inevitable bankruptcy which will accompany it, one can only hope that the program will be applied to everyone equally, taking into its grasp folks like Arlen Specter. Ah, but rest assured, with 60 votes now all but welded into place in the Senate, the preservation of senatorial privileges and health care exemptions at minimum will be preserved . . . if you are a Democrat.
And if those privileges were preserved for some other political party, perhaps that group should set an extra place-setting for Thanksgiving dinner — because, when it comes to Specter and self-preservation, it’s only a matter of time.
Rick Saunders is a freelance writer who splits his time between endeavors in southern California and the American southwest. He began writing for America’s Right in December 2008. Jeff Schreiber started America’s Right in January 2008.