As the author of the Warren Commission‘s magical single bullet theory, used to whitewash JFK‘s assassination to make it appear that only a single shooter was involved (subsequently rejected by the US House of Representatives), I had early developed a disdain for retiring Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. He always struck me as the consummate Beltway insider and opportunist. His last hurrah was his deathbed conversion to the Democratic Party when it was obvious that we was going to get his ass kicked in the 2010 Rethug senate primary.
Credit where credit is do, however. His final speech in the well of the Senate is worthy of notice, not only for his excoriating criticism of the Rethugs, but for his remonstration of what a travesty the US Senate has become. Here’s how Huffpo covers it in an article titled “Arlen Specter’s Farewell Speech Slams GOP ‘Cannibalism‘:
Departing Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday said conservative Republicans who backed tea party challengers against establishment candidates in the recent elections engaged in political cannibalism.
In his final floor speech, Specter complained there’s scant room for centrists like himself in a polarized Senate where civility is in short supply.
“In some quarters, compromise has become a dirty word,” said Pennsylvania’s longest-serving senator, who lost his re-election bid after three decades in the Senate.
Specter complained that some GOP senators had helped tea party challengers beat incumbent Republicans like Utah Sen. Bob Bennett and Rep. Mike Castle in his Delaware Senate primary.
“Eating or defeating your own is a form of sophisticated cannibalism,” he said.
Looks like Specter has become the embodiment of the old joke about:
Q. What happened to the cannibal with the bad table manners?
[Drum roll, please]
A. He was given the cold shoulder.
By Rethugs and Dems alike.
Go in peace, Arlen. But do go. And don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.