Fool Me Once, Shame On You, Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me
I just saw this today, about PA-06, http://www.dailykos.com/story/… at GOS, and since I have relatives who live in this district, plus I spent part of my life very close by, I thought I’d comment. First, some background on Southeastern Pennsylvania politics.
In 2006 a former career Navy admiral named Joe Sestak(D) decided to run for Congress in nearby PA- 07. It was a traditionally Republican district, but he managed to win. Sestak was a Netroots candidate.
After he won his second term, he became bored or more ambitious, and decided to run for the Pennsylvania Senate against Arlen Specter, who had switched parties from Republican to Democrat.
Even though he was still in the House, Sestak’s campaign donations jumped dramatically until he officially announced he was out of the congressional race and into the Senate. This happened during the height of the health care debate in the spring of 2009, and during that, the issue was, for many activists, whether or not we would have a bill with a Public Option.
In spite of my online, public queries as to whether or not Sestak supported a Public Option, his online coordinator remained coy and merely directed me to links on Sestak’s campaign site, which did not supply that information. I also searched elsewhere. From those links, it seemed that Sestak was for the concept of health care reform in general, but which sounded like mostly private plans, managed differently. Since Sestak had campaigned on his family’s personal health care struggles, this was rather annoying.
Plus, with Sestak running for Senate, it now left PA- 07 at risk of being retaken by the Republican Party, after a lot of people for a very long time had worked to get it out. Triple annoying. Now it looks to be a race between a Democratic State Representative, Bryan Roy Lentz, and a former Republican US Attorney, Patrick L Meehan. http://www.thegreenpapers.com/… Here is Meehan’s site, http://www.meehanforcongress.com/ he’s raised over a million so far, and he’s not going to do a damned thing for that district. Here is Meehan’s version of health care “reform” http://meehanforcongress.com/h… which is to give people tax credits to purchase insurance and have them use Health Savings Accounts. He is against the current bill and would have voted against it. On the other issues, economy, taxes, and transportation, he ignores foreign policy. Meehan’s probable Democratic opponent, Bryan Lentz, isn’t something to get enthused about, either, he is also tacking to the right trying to keep up with the “more tax cuts will solve everything” meme. His healthcare stance is vague other than he says he will “fight” to let Americans keep their doctor and insurance, and “fight” against insurance companies to stop discrimination against those with pre existing conditions. “Bryan will fight for real lobbying reform that includes banning all gifts from lobbyists ” to reform our government.” “Bryan will also work to provide tax cuts to companies that take advantage of innovative renewable energy technologies like wind, solar and geothermal.” http://votelentz.com/index.php…
So, if Lentz loses, because he is a klutz, http://www.pa2010.com/2010/04/… Sestak has turned the seat over to the Republicans, only to run against a Democratic incumbent in a race he is also likely to lose, because he underestimated Specter’s being a known quantity state wise, and his personality seems to have some Philly area, eastern PA loyalty.
In 2006 I had travelled to the district and had talked a high school friend into campaigning for Sestak, so I was very interested in the answer to the Public Option query, as here it was 3 years later, in 2009, since the Democrats had taken control of the House, the economy was worse, the war(s) were still going on, and we still did not have any sort of decent bills coming out of this Congress on this matter. I take my endorsements seriously. Especially since I was talking to somebody who told me what his life was like living in a town whose economy was not doing well, and he was now enthused about this candidate.
It was only after Senator Arlen Specter publicly said that he was for a Public Option, in 2009, that the formerly reticent Sestak began to publicly be for one, too. THIS is the power of the primary. It makes candidates commit to platforms and give their stances on issues, which then we the voter can compare to their later behaviors.
Arlen Specter is a crafty old ex Democrat, then ex Republican who’s a Democrat again, who’s alway’s had a bit of a moderate- liberal streak. If there is one thing he knows, it’s that you can’t undercut your own Party consistently. Hence Arlen, after a bit of a fumble out of the gate, got with the program and supported Health Care Reform and the Public Option. He also signed the “Bennet Letter” on Feb 19, 2009, which supported the leadership to use reconciliation to pass a Public Option. http://www.politico.com/news/s… Yes, I know that we didn’t get one, but we also had alleged Democratic Senators who were actively fighting against this P/O the entire way, such as Blanche Lincoln ( D, “Koch Oil, Walmart”) of Arkansas, and a lot of alleged Democratic congressmen. Overall, Specter has been a Democrat during his time as a Democrat.
But this isn’t about him, really, or Sestak. It’s about Doug Pike vs. Manan Trevidi, in the Democratic Primary in nearby PA – 06 .