Arlen Specter

Conservative Crosshairs
December 15, 2010

Republicans are poised to take over the U.S. Senate in 2012. This isn't contingent on a GOP presidential win, or even a particularly good campaign year, but rather on the extremely tilted Senate playing field created by the 2006 Democratic landslide. Yet, oddly, that is no comfort for many sitting Republican senators, who may face savage primary challenges if they are even perceived to slight the conservative base.

Sock It Toomey
October 28, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- If there is one candidate who truly wishes that Christine O'Donnell had not won the Republican senatorial nomination in Delaware, it is the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey. Toomey, a former congressman, became a hero to the right for pushing Sen. Arlen Specter out of the GOP. For much of the summer, Toomey ran safely ahead of the man who went on to knock out Specter in the Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Joe Sestak. Then came O'Donnell's defeat of Rep. Mike Castle in one of the tea party's most celebrated victories.

Mike Castle Versus the Tea Party
September 15, 2010

WILMINGTON, Del.--On the eve of the primary that would end his electoral career, Rep. Mike Castle was in a reflective mood.

Sometimes, Go With "I Don't Know"
August 26, 2010

Seth Masket has an excellent post up responding to Kevin Drum’s question about whether there actually something going on that would mean that “the anti-Washington meme deserves to live.” Seth and John Sides have both been writing about this, at different angles, with John emphasizing that almost all incumbents will win but Seth noting that incumbents may still have to work harder to get there.

Is Obama Meaner To Liberals Than To Conservatives?
August 04, 2010

Over at Daily Kos, David Sirota says President Obama is meaner to the left than he is to Republicans:  Yesterday at OpenLeft, I wrote a post about how the Obama administration unduly shies away from confrontation with Republicans and conservatives. Whether this is a product of the president's personal fetishization of conciliation or a product of a right-of-center political ideology none of us can know because none of us are in his head.

Greenwald Switches Methods
June 22, 2010

Last week I pointed out that it's folly to insist that President Obama could conjure a tough cap and trade bill through the Senate merely by giving a powerful speech, acting more determined, or using legislative procedures that turn out not to exist. In response, Glenn Greenwald pulled out a pure ad hominem argument.

It's Alive
June 22, 2010

In 1997, Justice Antonin Scalia released a slender volume setting forth his judicial vision. In addition to defending originalism, Scalia sought to disparage what he viewed as the then-dominant mode of interpreting the Constitution. “The ascendant school of constitutional interpretation affirms the existence of what is called The Living Constitution, a body of law that ... grows and changes from age to age, in order to meet the needs of a changing society,” Scalia wrote.

How They Did It (Part Two)
May 21, 2010

This is the second of a five-part series explaining, in remarkable detail, how Obama and the Democrats came to pass health care reform. (Click here to read part one.) Be sure to come back Monday for the third installment, which examines just how nasty negotiations got in Congress—bruised egos, threatened careers, the works.   Workhorses It was an intimate gathering at Ted Kennedy’s home in Washington—just the senator, his colleague Max Baucus, and three senior staffers who worked with them on health care.

How They Did It
May 21, 2010

When the president and his closest advisers huddled in the Oval Office last August, they had every reason to panic. Their signature piece of legislation, comprehensive health care reform, was mired in the Senate Finance Committee and the public was souring on it. Unemployment was on the march, and all this talk about preexisting conditions and insurance exchanges barely registered above the Fox News pundits screaming, “Death panel!” Suddenly, health care reform was under attack everywhere—even in the West Wing. All week, the group had debated whether to scale back the reform effort.

Will The Ghost Of Specter Haunt Obama?
May 19, 2010

Rick Hertzberg has a good reply to the notion that Arlen Specter's defeat represents a setback for a White House-selected nominee: Arlen Specter was not “selected by leaders in Washington.” He selected himself. As one of the last of the moderate Republicans, he was headed for defeat in his own party’s primary. He thought (no doubt correctly) that his chances for survival would be better in the other party, so he switched.

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