The Inquirer reports a who’s-who of the Senate's Republican obstructionists, deathers and assholes who will be in town on March 29 – but, surprisingly, they won’t be here to exploit some pre-tax day Tea Patriot protest in Love Park. They’ll be dragged by Sen. Arlen Specter, who plans on getting to the bottom of the whole Lower Merion web cam-spying-civil-rights-controversy thing.
Specter, chairman of the judiciary subcommittee on crime and drugs, has invited the nine Democratic members and five Republicans, including Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK). But here’s the kicker: All five Republicans and many of the Democrats have consistently voted to take away our civil liberties over the last decade (Russ Feingold, also a member, was the only U.S. Senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001).
Specter has a long history of voting for spying regulation and secrecy (Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, Bush-era warrantless eavesdropping (and expansions) and retroactive telecom immunity, within the Bush years), though hasn’t made his desperate re-election efforts in November’s senatorial election a secret. In the short run, he’s likely hoping a hometown-exploiting populist committee meeting may act as the final nail in the coffin against insurgent primary candidate, Rep. Joe Sestak.
Fox 29 recently received a Rasmussen poll showing though Specter leads Sestak in a primary bout, he’s fallen behind Republican Pat Toomey in a general election by nine points. Though to be fair, Rasmussen has a history of Republican favoritism and is one of the only major polling operations to limit its final results to “likely voters.”
And while Specter will be putting on a show for locals who support this particular cause, Pennsylvania’s newest Democrat will have to deal with the harsh hypocrisy going on here. Particularly his prolonged silence as President Obama signed onto renew the Patriot Act and his failure to speak up against similar, frequent Bush-Obama injustices.
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