Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Arlen, We Really Knew Ye

After all of the huffing and puffing & threats to blow the (white) house down, once again Arlen Specter ends up going voting with the current Administration, after creating his usual fuss and kerfuffle first. See, e.g., Puff the Magic Dragon.

As TPM so aptly puts it, Specter: Psych! I'll Back Holder:

It may be time to coin the phrase "pulling a Specter," because Sen. Arlen Specter (PA), the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, just did it again. After making a huge fuss questioning the independence of Eric Holder, Specter just caved and said he'll support the attorney general nominee.

"I can say with some confidence that there won't be a successful filibuster," Specter told reporters at a press conference gathered to share his thoughts on Holder in advance of tomorrow's Judiciary panel vote on the nominee.

Specter added that the strong recommendations Holder received from former FBI director Louis Freeh and former DoJ No. 2 James Comey were influential in swaying his vote.

"At no time did I challenge Mr. Holder's integrity," the Pennsylvania senator concluded. (But he sure came close, according to Holder himself.) "It was a question of judgment."

See also, Eric Holder Wins Backing of Key Republican.

Best of all, the Inky published a Letter to the Editor from Specter on the very day he announced his intention to vote for Holder, strongly suggesting that he would oppose him. See, Letters: Taking Exception.
FBI Director Louis Freeh said the Marc Rich pardon was a "corrupt" act. He, as well as the Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons, objected to releasing from jail the FALN terrorists. As deputy attorney general, Holder recommended both. He also objected to the appointment of independent counsel to investigate Vice President Al Gore's fund-raising. Freeh said he "couldn't think of a more compelling case to go to an independent prosecutor." The American people deserve Holder's explanations.
Gee, if all that's true, you would think Holder would be a terrible choice for AG and that Specter should vote his conscience against him. But, of course, that presumes that he has a conscience. And Arlen, We Really Knew Ye, so we know better.

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