Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nichols: "Arlen Specter's Deliciously Bitter Farewell to Fellow Senators: You're a Bunch of Cannibals!"

John Nichols (The Nation):
No one expected Arlen Specter, the grouchiest member of the Senate, to leave the chamber quietly -- or, for that matter, gracefully.

But who would have thought that the Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat would exit the Senate calling his colleagues a bunch of “cannibals”

Referring not just to the intense partisanship that has come to characterize the chamber in recent years but also to the internal ideological wrangling that forced him from the Republican Party in 2009 – only to be defeated in a Democratic primary in 2010 – the senior senator used his valedictory address Tuesday to declare: "Eating or defeating your own is a form of sophisticated cannibalism."

Dismissing specific colleagues, particularly South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the Tea Party Republican who has sought to impose ideological purity tests on the GOP, as destructive players, Specter growled in a 2,600-word valedictory speech that: "Collegiality can obviously not be maintained when negotiating with someone out to defeat you, especially in your own party. In some quarters, compromising has become a dirty word… Politics is no longer the art of the possible when senators are intransigent in their positions." MORE...

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