I no longer live in Pennsylvania, but I remember the ancient times that politicians always hope voters will forget when Arlen Specter dumped the Democrats and became a Republican when the wind shifted.
And now the wind has shifted again and he wants to come back.
Kind of like Al Davis bringing the Raiders back to Oakland after pissing on Northern California as too small-time, and then finding out that L.A. had learned what everyone in Oakland had learned -- that the man was an unprincipled piece of slightly warmed-over shit with no loyalty to anyone or anything but his own megalomania. (And yes -- I was a Raiders fan for a long time, and will probably be again when Al Davis is dead AND we have confirmed sightings of him in Hell.)
Of course other senators -- seeing Specter's turncoat behavior -- saw him as politically shrewd to see the change coming.
(Right -- and during the violent 60's, with tanks in American streets and National Guard wimps shooting college students for believing the First Amendment was as real in practice as it was in theory --- I used to say "Maybe Benedict Arnold saw it coming.")
And of course, when the turncoat shows up, he has to prove he's really sincere in his treason.
Which brings me to remembering his treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence "Uncle" Thomas Supreme Court Judicial Committee hearings* --
"Being the geek" means someone willing to bite the head off of chickens for the entertainment of his audience.
Historically, one of the more famous geeks was a man who, in San Francisco's Barbary Coast times, made his living sitting inside the front door of a tavern with a sign around his neck: "I will eat anything for a nickel."
Another famous geek was Arlen Specter attacking Anita Hill for daring to testify about Judge Thomas' horny porny sexual advances. Specter did everything but actually jump off his high horse, run down to the table she was sitting at and raping her physically instead of the way he did it -- emotionally and intellectually with McCarthy-esque saliva drooling from his mouth as he denounced her for being no more than a hired whore who would say anything for her masters. (... That old saw about "when you point a finger at me, there are three fingers pointing back at you." Except whores don't sell anything that isn't their own, unlike politicians who sell our world and our futures for their own benefit.)
Already we see him trotting out the tired old libels being used since Richard Nixon first sold his soul for a congressional seat -- attacking a man who had risen to being an admiral for imaginary flaws in his military service -- something Nixon had performed even though his WWII service was mostly limited to poker games on the battleship, but something Specter -- like Dick Cheney -- managed to avoid.
And so what if two of my favorite Senators -- Patty Murray and Barbara Mikulski -- have decided to look away from his virulent disrespect for women. They're politicians who USUALLY exhibit some integrity, but I suppose counting votes trumps all ethical considerations .
Even now, his well-deserved attacks on Michelle Bachmann for her toxic insanity doesn't address her insane statements or paranoid sense of reality. No -- he says she "should act more like a lady."
As if he ever has acted like a gentleman.
If only he would let us remember him more fondly by just fading away.
But that would require having some integrity of his own.
And that would be asking waaay too much of this wasted stack of substandard protoplasm.