Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Short Tale About Arlen Specter, The Democrats, and The Employee Free Choice Act

Once upon a time, near the edge of the political wilderness, a Democratic Party with a 9-vote Senate Majority (but not quite enough to prevent a Republican filibuster) saw a poor, battered Arlenspecter just by the side of the road.

While still greatly sustained by his constituency, he was very mindful of the fate of another member of his local ecosystem, the Ricksantorum, who was foolish and took his niche for granted, so he was stepping carefully, lest he be consigned to the political wilderness forever with the rest of this species.

"Excuse me, Democratic Majority?" he asked plaintively. "I know I'm a Republican and all, but I'm a moderate Republican – heck, I'm almost one of you, and I sure would appreciate it if you could help me stay out of that there political wilderness."

"Well, I don't know," said the Majority. "I remember how you treated me when I was the Minority. You talk reasonably now but back then, others in your species all but tried to kill me. I know you're a reasonable member and all, but you can't help but deserting me when me and the American people need you to do the right thing. Because of your species, we have two pointless wars in which we're still losing blood and treasure and an economy that's hollower than a Republican promise (sorry, no offense). You'll tell me this but you actually have a poisonious bite thats fatal to working-class Americans and a toxin would stop at no lie to tell a posionous untruth about what my party's trying to to rebuild America."

"Look", said the Arlenspecter, "Though your words sting, I'm not going to insult your intelligence by saying you're wrong. I understand your reluctance. But if you pick me up and bear me away from the boundary of this wilderness, I'll be your friend. I'll treat you better. I'll help you by making sure that the Employee Free Choice Act doesn't get filibustered by others in my species."

"Well, I'm still not sure. Your colleagues have given insincere promises before"

"Okay, I'll tell you this one thing", the Arlenspecter said, almost desperately. "You've heard whisperings in the Beltway Press that I might join your side to stay in my seat? Whether there may or may not be a truth in that is yours to ascertain. But it certainly may happen if you help me. So what do you say?"

The Democratic Majority was still unsure. To say that the Republican Party has been dreadful to them over the last two administrations would be to severly gild the lily. But the Majority was made of compassionate stuff. Don't we all love America? Do we not have more in common than we have in difference? Doesn't even the most sincere Republican deserve a chance to make it back out of the wilderness if they do the right thing? were all thoughts that went through the Majority's mind in and out of committees and debates.

And he was a particularly snappy dresser–Republican or Democrat, he was clearly, by the couture of his kind, one of the tribe.

"All right, I will save you. All living things and decent Senators deserve kindness, a lift out of the wilderness, and a chance to remain relevant."

And the Democratic Majority picked up the Arlenspecter and, placing it under its cloak close to its EFCA, confident that it did a Good Thing, carried it right up to the boundary of the political wilderness.

All of a sudden, as they got to that amazing line, the Majority felt a sharp pain right in its EFCA, and felt the venom start to spread. It dropped the Arlenspecter in betrayed shock.

"Arlenspecter! You gave me your word of honor that you wouldn't do that!"

"People make a lot of promises in this town," the Arlenspecter said as it crawled off. "Next time, get it in writing. And don't wait up for me to join your side when I run for re-election either, ha!"

"But ..."

"Hey, hey, hey there. You said it yourself. You knew what I was when you picked me up."


  1. The Arlenspecters of the world have no honor, so their "word of honor" is meaningless.

  2. Your exactly right, of course, and that was part of my point.

    I am constantly amazed at how nice the Democrats are willing to be to Republicans .. a party that was, still just a year back still trying to do what it can to cause the extinction of the Democratic party.

    When I heard that they were counting on Arlenspecter to live up to their word I just shook my head and cried and died a little inside.