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Friday, May 14, 2010

What the hell is the Democratic party doing in Pennsylvania

Democratic leaders and no holds barred Republican activists both want Arlen Specter to win the Democratic primary.

TPM reports you decide.

"If any of those Pennsylvania Republicans who switched their affiliation to support Hillary two years ago are still listed as Democrats, this would be a very smart time to be voting for Specter, because he will be easier to beat than Sestak," said blogger Stacy McCain, who is urging people to help keep Specter in the race.

Joe Biden is on the same team as Stacy McCain

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) is calling in the big guns.

Vice President Joe Biden has cut a radio ad for Specter -- who's locked in a tight primary battle with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA). In the minute-long ad, Biden says Specter "is one of the most principled guys I've ever known."

"This guy is a guy with more steel in his backbone than most people have in their whole body."

Of course Biden is a bit less coherent than S. McCain. Most people have no steel in their bodies. He could have said "Arlen Specter has more than a nanogram of steel in his spine." It would still be a blatant lie, but it wouldn't sound so stupid.

The DSCC is spending money helping Specter. They seem determined to get rid of that inconvenient majority since Sestak did much better in the latest general election poll than Specter, and Specter is a very known quantity.

I can understand why a party prefers idiological purity to winning elections. I can see rewarding loyalty. I have more trouble with a party favoring the candidate with a worse chance in the general election and views further from the party's main stream. I can't at all see the party reducing it's expected number of seats in order to reward one of the Lucy's who always pulled the football away. Snowe and Graham are trying to bet his record, but Specter was way ahead of them in giving support to the Democrats except when they needed it.

There are three explanations each of which plays a part.

First the Democratic establishment considers progressives to be an enemy. If DFHs prefer Sestak, he must be stopped. They claim that they punch hippies because they care about electability. We now know this is a lie.

Second incumbents protect incumbents. Specter is a member of the club. We can't have the unwashed masses deciding who is a Senator.

Third and most important really, they endorsed Specter, and want to show that their word is valuable, and that they don't dump people like trash as Cornyn did with Crist. Having said Specter should be the candidate, they don't want to seem weak as if the voters are more powerful than they are. I mean we can't have democracy in the Democratic party.

But it still crazy.

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