Last night Arlen Specter lost the Democratic primary for his own Senate seat to Rep. Joe Sestak. If I may be permitted a moment to chortle, snicker, and guffaw, I would like to take it.
Why do I take such pleasure in the man's defeat? Aside from the fact that he was an awful political hack, he represented one of the things I hate most about our elected betters... especially Senators: namely the notion that once elected to that seat, it becomes their possession, a thing that is owed to them by the voters. The Senator ceases to become an elected representative and ascends to the place of Lord, whose unworthy subjects should avert thine eyes, shut thine mouths, and continually re-elect them... never holding them accountable for anything they do. Joe Lieberman is the living embodiment of this mental disorder, but Specter was a close second.
The basic theme of his 1998 campaign was "I've sat in this seat for so long, you owe it to me to send me to Washington again for one last ride." In 2004 the theme was "Remember when I said that the last time was my last ride? Forget that. Now I have cancer and you owe me this seat as a present for having cancer and serving for so long." This year it was "Yeah, I'm nakedly switching parties with no regard for principle, but this seat is mine. Give it to me."
I guess, finally, the state had enough. The jowls are dead. Long live the jowls. Shame that he at least has the dignity to bow out now. I'd like to see him pull and intensely egotistical "Fuck it, this seat is mine when you pry it from my cold dead hands" Indy run. Cravenly attempt to hold onto this seat through every means necessary: taking hostages, strapping C4 across his chest, weeping "But... it's MY SEAT!" It's a shame, really, that he's choosing dignity now. It's so out of character. But if last night shows anything, it's that maybe Americans are sick of entitled politicians.
Unfortunately, there is no awesomely weepy picture of Specter, so I'll just re-run the photo from one of Sean and mine's favorite electoral blood lettings:
Imagine Arlen as Santorum or the little girl. Either works. Magic bullet my ass, Arlen.