Remembering Arlen Specter: Last of the moderates

In my days as co-host of Crossfire, co-host of Buchanan and Press, and host of The Bill Press Show, I’ve met most of the colorful characters in Washington. But none more colorful than Arlen Specter.

When Arlen Specter died this weekend at the age of 82, we didn’t just lose a former U.S. Senator. We lost one of the last moderates in the Republican Party.

There’s no room in the Republican Party anymore for people like Specter. In fact, they drove him out, into the arms of Democrats.

Specter was one of those independent thinkers you can’t always figure out. Yes, he was a conservative on some issues. He supported Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court – helping move that court in the wrong direction for decades.

Yet he also helped block the nomination of Robert Bork to the court. He was pro-choice. He was a strong pro-labor vote. He voted for the stimulus. And he was an outspoken critic of the Citizens United ruling.

And he was certainly no fan of Mitt Romney. Just a few months ago, he accused Romney of “changing positions more often than a pornographic movie queen.”

Arlen Specter. May he rest in peace. And may more like him come along.

That’s my parting shot for today.

5 Responses to Remembering Arlen Specter: Last of the moderates

  1. John Restino says:

    It’s journalists like you that keeps the charade of politicians alive. Arlen Spector was the epitome of snake oil salesmen in US Government. Did you forget what he did to disgrace this ONCE great country by “devising” the single bullet theory for the Warren Commission?

  2. RICHARD DEMUTH says:

    And let’s not forget that he was also inventor of the “Spectral” bullet in the “Magic Bullet Theory” of the JFK assassination “investigation”! A “prosecutor” that can contrive a defiance
    of physics in order to condemn an accused suspect is NOT more of the type we need for justice.
    Let’s hope, but I don’t think it practical, that “more of HIS kind” DON’T come along”!

  3. Ned Ammari says:

    Bill Press,

    Yes,the late Senator Arlen Specter’s votes on the nominees for the Supreme Court,on abortion,labor were,indeed,colorful. His criticism of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Citizens United added even more colors to the way he thought and voted.

    Thank you for reminding your readers of the moderation of Arlen Specter-a rare commodity,these days,in the Republican party which has been hijacked by the neoconservatives and the right winged evangelicals. Sad!

  4. Brewster says:

    ” But none more colorful than Arlen Specter”

    Really Bill? even more colorful than Barney Frank?

    Pshaw!

  5. RICHARD DEMUTH says:

    I SHOULD HAVE known that a “jounalists” website that would praise someone like an Arlen Specter would then try to pull a “magic bulletin” trick by inverting my post to a secondary position thus making me look like an idiotic repeater when at the time I entered it thre were NO previous posts— especially on the subject of the “magic bullet theory”!

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