Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Dems Stab Specter

Capitol Briefing reported The Senate dealt a blow tonight to Sen. Arlen Specter's hold on seniority in several key committees, a week after the Pennsylvanian's party switch placed Democrats on the precipice of a 60-seat majority.
And this is after he negotiated a deal with Reid. Does this mean that Reid really does not speak for the Dems he is the supposed leader of in the Senate, or that he promises one thing, and then stabs you in the back once he gets it. I suspect both.
In a unanimous voice vote,
That must mean Reid voted to stab Specter.
the Senate approved a resolution that added Specter to the Democratic side of the dais on the five committees on which he serves, an expected move that gives Democrats larger margins on key panels such as Judiciary and Appropriations.
But just grabs his vote, and devistates Specter. Will Specter try to jump back to the Republicans? Or will he just retire, knowing no one likes him?
But Democrats placed Specter in one of the two most junior slots on each of the five committees for the remainder of this Congress, which goes through December 2010. Democrats have suggested that they will consider revisiting Specter's seniority claim at the committee level only after the midterm elections next year.
And what is the probability of that? If a guarantee from the Majority Leader does not mean anything, what is the promise of reconsidering going to be worth. All they are saying is if you are the Democratic nominee, don't throw the election and let a Republican get in.
"This is all going to be negotiated next Congress," Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), said tonight.

Ed Morrissey blogged Democrats sent a more practical message with this vote. Specter needed to retain his seniority in order to make the argument that electing him would keep Pennsylvania in a position of power in Congress. The caucus has made it much easier for a Democratic primary challenger to beat Specter by taking that advantage away from him.
So the Dems are happy to take Specter away from the Republicans, but they want a real Dem to defeat him in the Democratic primary.
It’s practically a signal flare to Joe Sestak, approving of his run against Specter.

Contrast this to the treatment given Jim Jeffords when he jumped to the Democrats and temporarily gave Tom Daschle control of the Senate. Jeffords kept his seniority and landed a committee chair (Environment and Public Works), and kept his seniority for committee assignments. If Reid really did make a similar deal with Specter, then his caucus just sent him a message as well, a humiliation that will make Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins think twice before following Specter into rookie status.
I wish it would make them vote more reliably with the Republicans.

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