It didn’t take long before acrimony set in amongst Democrats in the wake of Arlen Specter’s defection. As an inducement to defect, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised Specter seniority over a number of Democrats–seniority that could lead to a chairmanship of a committee or subcommittee. But the Democratic caucus is protesting and it is the caucus that will decide seniority issues. One anonymous member of the Democratic caucus put the issue thusly:
“He was a cooked goose,” said the senior Democrat. “He was going to lose to [former Rep. Pat] Toomey [R-Pa.] and we were going to beat Toomey. We did him a favor by allowing him to remain in the Senate.”
Either Specter is going to get disappointed by the caucus vetoing his arrangement with Reid, or the caucus is going to be told to accept Specter’s seniority and like it, thus leading to hard feelings down the road. In any event, we may soon find out what it is like for a party to wield absolute power in the Senate, and be miserable at the same time.