Monday, October 15, 2012

I Despised Arlen Specter His Whole Political Life

But now that he’s dead, I’m supposed to say nice things about him.

I can’t.

I heard about Specter a long time ago while I was living in New York City. Two friends of mine were in city government in Philadelphia. Dick Buford was head of the Licenses and Inspections Department and Jason Nathan was head of Philadelphia’s Urban Renewal Administration. Both men moved to New York during John Lindsay’s term as Mayor of New York. Dick became head of the City Planning Commission and Lower Manhattan Development and Jay became head of New York’s Housing and Redevelopment Administration. I learned of the antics of Frank Rizzo and Arlen Specter way before I moved to Philadelphia in 1971.

Arlen Specter is the perfect example of one who stays too long at the fair.

No one in public office should ever be allowed to hold that office for 30 years. No one in public office should ever allow himself to hold office for 30 years. And yet, here was Arlen Specter, US Senator from Pennsylvania for thirty years.

Thirty years…my god! Five times longer than he should have allowed himself to be US Senator from PA. That was bad enough. But his ridiculous determination on the so-called Warren Commission in 1964 was totally insane until his ridiculous accusation of Anita Hill in 1992 topped it.

And then there was the fact that in 1965 he switched from being a Democrat for 14 years to being a Republican, and in 2009 he switched from being a Republican for 34 years to being a Democrat again for two years until finally he was kicked the fuck out. The only reason for his switches was that he calculated he could get re-elected by switching parties.

But back to the so-called Warren Commission. After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Lyndon Baines Johnson established a commission on November 29, 1963 to investigate the assassination. The commission gave LBJ its final 889-page report on September 24, 1964. In this report, Arlen Specter concocted his “magic bullet” theory that a single bullet killed JFK and wounded Texas Governor John Connelly by somehow doing gymnastics and gyrations and entering both men. Specter defended his bizarre fantasy until, I assume, this past Sunday morning, and probably has done beyond that.

And then there was the confirmation hearings for the worst Supreme Court Justice ever proposed, during which Specter accused Anita Hill of perjury to facilitate getting Thomas confirmed. It worked and we are stuck with Justice Thomas for the foreseeable future.

He did a great deal of good, you say?

Balderdash...the man was only interested in keeping his job come what may and no matter whose ass he had to kiss to do it.

I’m supposed to say something nice about Arlen Specter because he had the good grace to die? Well, okay.

Arlen Specter had the good grace to die on October 14, 2012

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