to Specter: Be a Democrat or Be Gone in a Primary

Seniority? No Primary? Not so much.


By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Arlen Specter left the GOP under threat of a primary threat from the right and with the understanding (he said) that he would retain seniority. First we learned that he'll have to wait on seniority (and as one of the TV talking heads observed, what makes him think that 85 percent of his Democratic colleagues will, in effect, vote to reduce their own seniority by honoring his?).

Now, the liberal activist group that brought you the Democratic primary defeat of the unsinkable Joe Lieberman, has released the results of a new poll and ad threatening Specter with...a primary from the left.

MoveOn claims approximately 170,000 Pennsylvania members, and, the group says, 85 percent of them will consider opposing Specter in a primary if he doesn't "support President Obama's progressive agenda." Rep. Joe Sestak is widely seen as a Specter challenger. TPMDC reported earlier this week that other netroots groups are gauging interest in a Sestak run.

And it only makes sense from the progressive point of view: Why give Specter a free ride? His choices are win a Democratic primary or retire. Plus, he is famously flexible when it comes to principles and self-preservation (see, most recently, his opposition to card-check when he was still a Republican—how'd that work out?).

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