Senator Arlen Specter — ‘Snarlin’ Arlen’ as he’s known — has been silenced. His grouchy, mean-spirited and shamelessly opportunistic visage no longer shall haunt Capitol Hill as an elected representative of the people. For many on both sides of the political spectrum, Tuesday was a day that should have arrived long ago. If it seems like we’re piling on … it’s because we are.
The countdown to January 2011, when Washington politicos, bleeding-heart liberals and wild-eyed Tea Partiers can tack the word ‘former’ in front of Specter’s title has begun. His defeat at the hands of Rep. Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary is a fascinating turn of events as it was primarily conservative Republicans who had tried so hard to throw him out of office, barely missing the opportunity in the 2004 when then Rep. Pat Toomey came within 1.7 percent of handing him a humiliating defeat.
Why does Arlen Specter inspire such widespread dislike? What makes the mere mention of his name bring scowls and winces to the faces of politicos of all stripes?
We’re just gonna throw this out there: he’s an 80-year old, five-term senator who admittedly sacrificed all principle to achieve reelection — and failed. Specter’s famously curmudgeonly attitude doesn’t help.
We’ve compiled five clips to prove it. The first is an interview in March 2009, almost exactly a month before he infamously switched parties. Sen. Specter not only confirms he’s staying a Republican, but doubles down saying that each and every one of the 41 Senate Republicans is a “national asset” helping to maintain a balanced two-party system. One month later, the “committed Republican” ushered in one party Democratic rule.
WATCH SOME OF SPECTER’S GREATEST HITS
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We’ve also included his cringe-inducing scolding of Rep. Michele Bachmann to “act like a lady,” his trainwreck of a health-care town hall appearance, an interview with Chris Matthews where he swears he’ll vote for Obama in 2012 (even though he voted for McCain in 2008) and finally a 2001 speech on the Senate floor where he rails against — wait for it — party switching.