PA-Sen: Specter Opposes Afghanistan Escalation, Sestak Supports

The progressive bloggers supporting Joe Sestak have an interesting problem on their hands now. Their champion in the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary, Rep. Joe Sestak, supports escalation in Afghanistan. (So do I.) Their nemesis, Senator Arlen Specter opposes the Afghanistan escalation. Via Jerome Armstrong, Hotline reports:

Sen. Arlen Specter (D) has staked out Afghanistan as the next issue on which to prove his Dem bona fides after his party switch earlier this year. Specter has come out against a troop buildup in Afghanistan, a position his campaign cites as farther to the left than that of his opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak (D).

Some Sestak supporting bloggers have been prominently opposed to the Afghanistan escalation. In addition, one Sestak supporting blogger has now reversed course on his support for the public option. Is this a harbinger of a Sestak capitulation on the public option? Will Specter left flank Sestak on the public option too? Interesting problem for the Sestak contingent.

Speaking for me only

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    Meaning no disrespect, but (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:35:47 PM EST
    I hope all of the pols supporting this get thrown out of office.

    Makes you a Specter supporter (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:36:45 PM EST
    I've always found Specter odious ... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Demi Moaned on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:39:43 PM EST
    ever since the Anita Hill days. But, I have to say he's been acting like a true convert on a number of issues recently, and my opposition to him is softening.

    PATRIOT Act too (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:57:24 AM EST
    Specter backed Feingold's Amendments in the renewal battle in Judiciary.

    That's (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:49:01 PM EST
    like calling anyone who criticizes Obama a "Republican".

    Nope (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:53:40 PM EST
    If you want Sestak to lose, you necessarily want Specter to win.

    I am sorry if the logic escapes you, but that is what it means.

    Similarly, If you wanted Obama to lose last November, you wanted McCain to win.

    That's how elections work.

    I hate silly BS. Let's deal with reality.


    I will try (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:28:59 PM EST
    to clarify my statement.
    I hope that elected officials who support this war plan are voted out of office.

    If Sestak takes this pro-war position, I hope he loses because of it. My hope would be that other pols would think twice before going along with the herd about a war.

    In order for this to happen, people have to vote for an opposition candidate. Maybe they'll vote for Spector. Maybe a viable, wealthy progressive can defeat them both.


    Vote Against Sestak (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by norris morris on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:15:16 PM EST
    Any Democratic candidate running on the Bush/Cheney war machine currently being re-promoted by our fearless leader, should NOT receive Democratic voter support.

    Afghanistan is a tragic mistake. Obama has been showing his hand for months as a compromiser,aloof  lacking presence and visceral connection to the electorate.

    I have seen him as someone without deep core principles, and Obama will do anything he feels is politically expedient.

    I am not shocked as his lack of experience along with his past voting performances in Chicago and US Senate were middling, safe, and convenient.

    I voted for him only to stop the right wing juggernaut, but from what I am seeing regarding his poor leadership, I  expect the GOP to become even more contrarian and disruptive.  They may even win the next election.

    The naifs who threw Hillary under the bus for Obama are now suddenly betrayed...shocked!!!!
    Obama's speeches are now hollow teleprompted drivel without passion or promise and certainly lacking in clarity and energy.

    Afghanistan is a tragedy in the making and we will gain nothing at the expense of our nation.

    Obama now owns this disaster about which there is no military solution.  After squandering 10 years
    Russia left Afghanistan having lost men and treasure with nothing to show for it.

    The current corrupt  regime is no different than before. Heroin and money fuel the regime and have for a long long time.

    This is a fool's errand, and I'm ill thinking aout the loss of life and suffering to come.


    Ummm (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:50:51 PM EST
    that makes you a Specter supporter.

    I always hated it when you did this to me (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:55:33 PM EST
    on my using abortion issues to guide my ultimate voting hand.

    I use the same test (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:57:57 PM EST
    I understood what it meant.

    I would vote for a pro-choice Republican over an anti-choice Dem.

    That almost never happens.


    Any luck getting Arlen to change his mind (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:02:08 PM EST
    about supporting Obama's Afghan plan?

    Not now (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:07:45 PM EST
    He's got a political issue.

    And Apparently (none / 0) (#17)
    by dissenter on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:13:30 PM EST
    more sense than I have ever given him credit for:)

    Pro Life Republican???? (none / 0) (#30)
    by norris morris on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:18:23 PM EST
    You're dreaming.

    Even were there a pro-life Republican or two, they'd keep it under wraps or risk being frog marched out of the GOP.


    Do you vote for the pro-choice Republican (none / 0) (#31)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:26:05 PM EST
    when the balance of power in the Senate is in play?

    That's the rub for me.  


    I think you mean "Sestak" supports (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:31:38 PM EST
    in your post headline.

    I do, thanks (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:32:56 PM EST
    Will fix now

    I am not a Specter a supporter (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:39:47 PM EST
    and nothing hurts making the claim, not my head, not my heart.

    I am uncommitted (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:43:26 PM EST
    Certainly his Afghanistan position is wrong imo. I told him so when I talked to him about it.

    I am just pointing out the problems that Sestak supporters are having adhering to what they SAY they believe.


    The problem (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:51:32 PM EST
    that a lot of the "creative class" has is that they are single issue voters adn it puts you in a huge bind and makes you look completely foolish. Big picture is a better way to look at candidates IMO.

    The big picture (none / 0) (#44)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:05:21 PM EST
    was and is that your candidate -- that you're still in a puma-snit about -- was barely discernable from the one we ended up with and would'nt be doing anything much differently.

    Skippythebox is not a Specter (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:44:07 PM EST
    supporter either.  I can't recall ever being on the same of side of guns vs butter with Skippythebox because Skippy usually goes Soy but chit happens :)

    I disagree with the Obama position ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:52:33 PM EST
    on Afghanistan, but Spector's move is so transparently political I doubt it will play.

    The Sestak supporter quandary is just another bit of proof that it's better to be an issue advocate than to tie your fortunes to a pol.

    Every pol is a walking ploy (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:54:13 PM EST
    True ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:39:08 PM EST
    of course that's also true of most humans.

    You could say the same thing (none / 0) (#24)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:07:20 PM EST
    about many of Specter's positions throughout his career.

    Heh (none / 0) (#20)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:40:37 PM EST
    Specter will find a way to triangulate back somehow.  As much as he blatantly wants to run to the left, he can't afford to be an anti-Obama Democrat.

    Probably true. Though (none / 0) (#21)
    by dk on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:41:56 PM EST
    it just might work for the primary, and if he beats out a definite war supporter, that sends a good message IMO.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#26)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:17:50 PM EST
    but there are a lot of potential test cases out there.  It's going to be difficult to point to any one race and say it was decided because of the war, particularly one as complex as the Sestak-Specter matchup.

    If there's a wave of anti-escalation challengers unseating incumbent Dems, that would certainly send a powerful message.  I don't think it's smart to bet on that outcome though.


    I admit, it probably is more (none / 0) (#28)
    by dk on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:25:31 PM EST
    wishful thinking on my part.  But at least it is good to see some candidates being more openly anti-escalation in primaries in PA, as well as in MA where I live (the apparent frontrunner, Martha Coakley, also opposes escalation).  

    I'm trying to at least see it as an improvement over last year, when the Democrat most vocally hawkish on Afghanistan (Obama) won the primary.


    Does anyone know (none / 0) (#25)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:08:26 PM EST
    how many in Senate & House oppose the president's Afghan plans?  How many in the Feingold group?

    Feingold said the Taliban are our allies (none / 0) (#33)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:11:59 PM EST
    in a speech a couple of weeks ago, which I attended.  (It was fascinating for many reasons. . . .).  So I am waiting to see what he has to say about Obama's reasoning.

    Then again, it may be a long wait.  I never have seen my Senator so careful and cagey in many of his comments; he is up for re-election, after all.  And it's going to be a very ugly year here -- because it already has been, as the Obama administration really messed up the Dems' race for governor, too.


    Thanks Feingold did (none / 0) (#43)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:59:08 PM EST
    make statements picked up by reporters to effect he and others in Congress would oppose President's planned build-up in Afghanistan.

    This is disappointing on Sestak's (none / 0) (#22)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:46:41 PM EST
    part, but not so disappointing as to push me into Specter's lap.

    Don't live in PA (none / 0) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 07:23:38 PM EST
    so can't vote for either. I will save some money on campaign contributions.

    Undecided before, undecided now (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:33:21 PM EST
    Sestak is probably a better long term bet, and Specter flubbed his party switch such that he wasn't able to retain his seniority.

    You and Joe (none / 0) (#35)
    by NealB on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 10:21:41 PM EST
    are wrong. Spectre will win "reelection" as a Democrat. He'll be joined by lots of other Republicans.

    You and Joe are wrong to support escalation in Afghanistan. You know it. You don't care. Neither does anyone else anymore. Why should we? Just a comma.

    So it goes.

    March on Washington is March 20 (none / 0) (#37)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 11:15:31 PM EST
    which is spring break for a lot of campuses. . . .

    Unfortunately... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Raskolnikov on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 12:03:14 AM EST
    ...without a draft or a tax the overwhelming majority of college aged kids don't care enough to act on whatever views they profess to have over coffee or beer.  In my college town most are blissfully unaware of our foreign policy, so it will be interesting to see the [lack of] turnout.

    UMMM --- (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:05:41 AM EST
    I will try to help you, BTD.

    Remember all those folks posting that they wanted the Yankees to lose? Most if not all did not continue by saying that they were fans or supporters of the Angels or the Phillies. They just wanted the Yanks to lose.

    That's the way I feel about people supporting this escalation.

    That made them Phillies supporters (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:27:23 AM EST
    for the World Series.

    OK - I'll consider Spector if you insist. (none / 0) (#42)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:09:19 PM EST
    I'll look forward to Obama and Biden fulfilling their promises to campaign for Spector. That should be fun.

    Maybe they can convince me that I should support him.
    Obama can be very persuasive, I've heard.

    Until then, since I don't like or trust Spector, I'll just have to content myself with hoping that Sestak loses.