The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, working with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, has put out a poll to gauge netroots interest – in Massachusetts and all across the country – in supporting an effort to draft Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge recently-Republican Arlen Specter in the PA-Sen Democratic primary next year. The poll will be open for the next four days, and provided are both pro and con arguments regarding a draft effort. To read the arguments and vote in the poll, click the below link:
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Let’s see how he votes over the next weeks and months, especially with regard to cloture. I’d also tread carfully around PA politics. It’s possible that a candidate seen as far left would have just as much trouble as one who is far right. Remember, the other Senator, Bob Casey, is conservative for a Democrat. It may well be that PA voters like their Senators right down the middle, though I can’t explain two terms of Rick Santorum:(
…who could explain two terms of Santorum madness.
p>Back to your main point, I agree. Still need to see more than a week of Senator Spector in the Democratic Party. Basically his two “mis-steps” have been voting against the budget and vocalizing support for Norm Coleman. I can’t really hold the Coleman statement against him, since his support or lack of support won’t change the outcome, which is pretty clear at this point. I could care less who Specter supports, it’s going to be Al Franken who goes to Washington.
p>Let’s see how Specter votes on health care, education, and EFCA, and then I’ll see what I think about election season.
In addition to voting against the budget and making pro-Norm Coleman comments, in the past week, he’s also:
– voted against “cramdown” bankruptcy/foreclosure reform
– reiterated his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (though it’s rumored he’ll pull a triple-flip back)
– reiterated his opposition to Dawn Johnsen as Obama’s nominee to the Office of Legal Counsel
– suggested that he’s going to cause problems on health care reform
– and threw a bit of a fit over losing seniority.
p>If Specter’s coming weeks are like his last week, things will get… interesting.
– like you say, it ain’t over yet.
– that’s a problem.
– we’ll see.
– big deal. Senators have big egos. One of my favorite stories about Specter is when he decided to take the very unusual step of arguing a case in the Supreme Court while still being a sitting Senator. In his long-winded, senatorial way, he was just getting warmed up when his 30 minutes of argument time expired. Chief Justice Rehnquist, who was a stickler for the clock, gave Specter an extra minute or so, but then told him he was done. Specter was stunned — couldn’t believe that someone would actually tell him to shut up.
I believe Daniel Webster argued Dartmouth v. Woodard before the SC while serving in the Senate.
…but only one of those applies to his actual voting record as a Democrat thus far.
p>Health care reform has always been one of his main priorities, and EFCA’s going to be super-sticky for him, and his vote on that could become an election decider, so he has time to change his mind or reach a compromise on that one.
p>As for the loss of his seniority, he didn’t really throw much of a fit, rather he sugested he felt Harry Reid would work things out in the end. Seemed sort of dismissive, actually, as though this weren’t really a big deal right now.
p>Case and point, though, I need to see more before I form an opinion on the possibility of a primary challenge.