Pot, Kettle … Specter

“Joe Sestak. Just another politician.”

A highly contested primary battle here in the Keystone State will be coming to fruition on Tuesday and, believe it or not, that’s been how Arlen Specter has been ending his attack ads against his rival, who just happens to be my congressman–for exactly sixteen more days, at least–and an absolute bleeding heart liberal.  Specter admonishing Sestak for being “just another politician” is like me admonishing Lance Armstrong for not taking better care of himself.

While I most certainly do not agree with Joe Sestak on anything, it seems, I do quite honestly believe him to be a genuine and honorable man.  I really do.  And while I don’t think it completely irrelevant to ask for military records–to the extent that they’re unclassified–Specter certainly does seem as though he is grasping at straws.

Point being, when I look at Joe Sestak, I see a man who has certain beliefs and sticks to them, even if I think they’re wrong.  And I’ll take that all day long when compared with a spineless turncoat like Specter.  When it comes to politics, morality and life, Arlen Specter is the type of filth that you use to clean the other filth off of the bottom of your shoe.  That’s why it seems strange that, here in PA, he apparently thinks it’s a good idea to run advertisements (a) attacking Sestak’s service in the Navy and (b) actually using the slogan “Joe Sestak — Just Another Politician” at the end of every attack ad.

If Sestak, with three decades in the military and enough testicular fortitude to stand up to the Obama administration and refuse a cushy federal appointment–rumors are that he was offered the job of Secretary of the Navy–offered in exchange for quitting the race against Specter is just another politician, what the hell does that make Arlen Specter?

Consider the issue of “card check.”  Does this sound like someone who should deride another as being “just another politician?”

I wrote about his about face on card check on June 8 of last year.  I believe now, as I did then, that “[n]o single issue demonstrates Arlen Specter’s complete lack of values and ideas than that of the Employee Free Choice Act.”  Card check.

No single issue demonstrates Arlen Specter’s complete lack of values and ideals than that of the Employee Free Choice Act. Two days ago, during a rally in downtown Pittsburgh, Specter confessed to feeling “the pressure” and “the heat” and assured union workers that they would “be satisfied” with his vote on so-called “card check” legislation, a two-tiered disaster for American business and industry. The first tier is the elimination of the secret ballot traditionally used in votes to unionize, thus allowing for unions to insist, through intimidation, the unionization of American workers. The second tier is more about control; once a particular union is certified, employers would be forced to agree to union demands for hours, wages, benefits and more or face arbitration.

In the spring of 2005, Specter stood abreast Sen. Ted Kennedy to introduce the Employee Free Choice Act, which he misspoke and described as the “Freedom of Choice Act,” legislation he nonetheless said “ought to be pursued and ought to be followed.”

In 2007, while still a Republican, Specter was the only Republican to buck the party line and vote in favor of cloture on card check, bringing the matter to debate. Specter, at that time, called the secret ballot the “cornerstone of our democracy.”

On March 10, 2009, Specter told The Wall Street Journal that he was “still thinking about it” and that he was “being lobbied on it very, very heavily.” (Any worries that Specter was making decision based upon core beliefs and convictions should have gone right out the window at that point.)

Two weeks after that, on March 24, Specter confirmed that he was indeed going to vote against the Employee Free Choice Act. In doing so, he once again deemed the secret ballot “the cornerstone for how contests are decided in a Democratic society.” According to The Hill, Specter also said that he had not considered his political future when deciding to vote against cloture, saying: “I have not traded my vote in the past, and I will not do so now.”

On Saturday, shortly after he switched parties solely to avoid the Republican primary in Pennsylvania, Specter appears to have once again changed his tune on card check. And completely for political reasons.

Of course, I’m fairly certain that Joe Sestak would come down on the wrong side of the card check issue as well, but at least Sestak would arrive at and maintain his position because of actual convictions. Card check, after all, is hardly an issue that you can waver on.  You either want to provide unions with unchecked power, or you don’t. You either support small business, or you don’t. This isn’t legislation placing regulations on salt in processed foods or, as I once wrote, the type of bill deciding whether to acknowledge the brown-toed tree frog as the official critter for some county in Florida. This is death to small business, and victory for unions and the Democratic Party. So, while Sestak might be wrong on the issue, I’m not certain I trust Specter one way or the other.  To Arlen Specter, after all, it’s never about right or wrong, but rather about gain or loss in the purely political sense of the word.

Ultimately, if I can get my absentee ballot situation straightened out, because I will still maintain an address in Pennsylvania, I would absolutely love for my last act as a resident of the Keystone State to be voting for Pat Toomey this November.  However, even if I cannot, I’ll be more than happy to vocally support Joe Sestak, an honorable man who I just so happen to disagree with, in his primary fight against as man so absolutely devoid of core values that invertebrates look at him and say, “boy, is that guy lacking a spine, or what?”

I’m not going to pretend, for the sake of argument or otherwise, that Joe Sestak is the type of politician America needs in Washington, D.C.  I’m just not.  America is in desperate need of people who understand the merits of a limited federal government, who both comprehend and respect the writings penned and decisions made by our founders, and who believe that individual freedom isn’t some sort of outdated function of times before they were a-changin’. Not taking away from the fact that I like him personally, I don’t believe that Sestak is that man.

Still, it’s a matter of honor.  And, in this case, one man has it, and one does not.  As far as a primary is concerned, I’ll be happy to see the honorable man prevail.  And then get vanquished in November.



  1. Gail B. says:

    You made it clear as a bell, Jeff.

    As far as Joe Sestak’s “being just another politician,” I’d rather be “just another politician” like Sestak than to be like Specter, who is akin to slippery dog doo under your foot!

    Good job! Nice writing.

  2. proof says:

    “Joe Sestak — Just Another Politician”
    I think you may be reading that wrong. The ads end “Joe Sestak” and then Spector signs his work…”Just Another Politician”

  3. Kent Probst says:

    Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

  4. Boston Blackie says:

    Better to be called just another politicain than actually being an invertebrate. Another reason I am a registered independant, so I can pull a ballot from either party in the primary as a vote AGAINST someone.

  5. Gail B. says:

    Ever heard of Dr. Alan Bates?


    I’m not trying to detract from AR. Jeff is over his head in responsibilities right now. I just thought that the others besides myself who have to have a right-wing political “fix” would enjoy and appreciate the columns found on Gulf1. I know nothing about him, other than he is to the point and shoots from the hip!

  6. Dear Hon. Specter says:

    na na naaaa na,
    na na naaaaaa na,
    hey heyyyyy,
    good bye

  7. So thirsty says:

    Tue, May 18, now there was one way to water the tree of liberty.

  8. Gail B. says:

    May 19, 2010: Goodbye and good riddance, Specter!

  9. kj says:

    I would be interested in your comments on this article.


  10. Gail B. says:

    This accusation by Sestak that the White House offered him a high-level government job in exchange for dropping out of the race back in February against Specter is a big worry of the White House. The WH has had three months to prepare a statement in its defense, yet The One said yesterday that a statement would be forthcoming from his administration SHORTLY. Hmmm. Are they just now hearing about it? AG Holder is not interested in an investigation and has not assigned a special prosecutor to investigate the allegation.


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