Tim Carney has the details, discussing Specter’s “closing argument,” his swan song from the Senate floor:
Specter began by singing the praises of old GOP Senate moderates, including Bob Packwood and Ted Stevens, both of whom left the Senate in disgrace under a deserved cloud of scandal.
Then he attacked the “activist” Supreme Court for infringing on Congressional prerogative — this is the man who killed Robert Bork’s nomination out of fear Bork would overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s hard to think of a decision in the last 50 years that was more “activist” and trampled more on legislative prerogative, but Specter has called Roe “inviolate.”
Speaking of Bork, this was where Specter showed his petty meanness. He gratuitously brought up Bork in his speech, saying, “Justice Bork — excuse me … Judge Bork.”
Stay classy, Arlen.
The climax of the speech was his thinly-veiled complaint that Pat Toomey primaried him, and that Jim DeMint was ready to endorse Toomey. This shows too much “ideological purity,” shows the power of “right-wing extremists,” and amounts to “cannibalism.”
Nobody likes a sore loser, which is another way of saying that nobody likes a loser, period. About the only thing that Specter’s speech has to recommend it is that it shows a true glimpse of the man himself, and his career. Specter was always the kind of politician Carney describes his speech as being; “angry, petty, mean, self-serving,” and handicapped with “a total lack of self-awareness.” His speech made that clear for all to see.