RIP: Democrat Specter

Arlen SpecterDo you remember the end of I Was a Teenage Werewolf, when Tony dies having reverted to human form again? It may be bad for science, but isn’t it great that his parents don’t have to bury a monster?

That’s how I feel about the death of Arlen Specter: at least he died a reasonable man—a Democrat!

Let me be clear: I am not making fun of Arlen Specter nor am I making light of his death. It is obviously a personal tragedy for him and his family. But I’m more concerned about his political life. And I think it is pretty great that Specter was mostly on the right side of history with his votes. His political career is certainly not perfect by my standards, but on the whole, it is something to be proud of. Arlen Specter lived a life worth living.

Specter will be remembered as the man who stood still. Earlier today, Robert Reich tweeted pretty much the same thing. (You can always tell when someone is brilliant: they agree with you publicly.)

Specter didn’t leave the Republican Party. It left him, lurching rightward—away from the principles and policies Specter had supported.

I didn’t hate Specter when he was a Republican. In fact, he was always someone I could point to and note that not all Republicans on the national stage were crazy and evil. Just the same, had he not so publicly repudiated the Republican Party, I doubt I would now be writing this little obituary. But I am glad to do so.

Rest in peace fellow Democrat.


Note that Specter really was a political maverick. Unlike John McCain.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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