Benedict Arlen

Honestly, I don’t mind a bit that the old RINO has finally come out of the closet and stopped pretending to be something he’s not.  Not that I think he’s a passionately committed Democrat, either.  He’s not a passionately committed anything.  He’s just addicted to power and influence, like most of the rest of the politicians, Democrat or Republican.  It matters little what side of the public trough he feeds out of, left or right, as long as he’s able to go on feeding until they carry him away from it in a pine box.

Blog reactions are too numerous to mention more than a few — Malkin, Ace, Hot Air, for starters.  And then there’s this nasty bit of photoshopping from S. Weasel.  It’s gross, really, so click with caution, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.  This one is much tamer.

As for me, well, if the man wants to be a Democrat, that’s his prerogative.  But he reveals his true political principles (viz., his absolute dedication to the Party of Keeping Arlen Specter Feeding at the Public Trough) when he says in mid-March:

I’m staying a Republican because I think I have a more important role to play there.  I think the United States very desperately needs a two-party system. … And I’m afraid that we’re becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party.

and then turns around and bolts in late April.  Is he stupid, or does he think we are?  It brings to mind Mark Twain’s words:

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

Comments 18

  1. Dan wrote:

    Yes indeed Brigette lets pretend that Specter is a traitor instead of recognizing that the GOP intentionally drove him out of the party for not being in lockstep with every single one of the far right’s definition of Republican policy positions. He should instead be a principled conservative like Guiliani and Romney who completely reverse their positions whenever Rush Limbaugh demands they do so.

    Posted 30 Apr 2009 at 10:58 pm
  2. Brigette Russell wrote:

    Your mastery of the Democratic talking points on this issue, as on all others, is most impressive.

    Posted 01 May 2009 at 4:06 am
  3. Dan wrote:

    Are you denying that the GOP specifically targeted Specter (among others) for insufficient ideological purity?

    Pretty funny that you accuse me of parroting Dem talking points when your opinions of late appear to be whatever Michelle Malkin says.

    Posted 01 May 2009 at 2:32 pm
  4. John wrote:

    Whatever. What I want to know is how the right got to be so bereft of creativity that more than one blog thought “Benedict Arlen” was a clever headline? Or perhaps you’re just plagiarizing?

    Posted 01 May 2009 at 10:52 pm
  5. Brigette Russell wrote:

    Plagiarizing? Like anyone would think I was trying to claim originality when there were already so many “Benedict Arlen” blog posts out there — at least one of which I linked to! How dumb would that have been, had I been fool enough to think anyone would think I came up with the name? The headline choice was partly for brevity’s sake, and partly because I thought it was clever.

    Actually, Dan, I haven’t been to Malkin’s website much lately. Busy with the kids and all that. I’ve been having trouble keeping up with the blogosphere in general. If I appear to be “parroting” her, it’s because we think alike, I guess.

    Posted 02 May 2009 at 4:47 am
  6. Suzanne Kari & Vicki wrote:

    We love ya Brigette.

    Posted 03 May 2009 at 12:41 am
  7. John wrote:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. How in the world could I accuse a blog devoted to flat-earth Republican delusional thought of being “dumb” or foolish? Silly, silly me.

    Hey, tell me more about how George W. Bush was a great president and Obama is a socialist!

    Posted 03 May 2009 at 1:42 am
  8. John wrote:

    Sorry, some horrible liberal cynicism there. I can feel the undergirding of Western civilization crumbling as I type…. Don’t worry, I don’t really want to hear your defense of GWB. I’m sure it would be painful to read.

    As far as Specter goes, do you really think there will be a lot of Democrats arguing with you that he is an unpleasant power-hungry opportunist? So unusual for a politician….. The thing is, he is ours now, not yours, and the incredible shrinking Republican Party looks even more pathetic than it did last week! Fantastic to see the people who ran this country into the ground so thoroughly marginalized and demoralized!

    As far as the 60-vote margin in the Senate goes, it is a beat-up by the media. If they were smart, Republicans would bid Specter farewell and good riddance and realize that not much has changed in terms of the balance of power. Unless Democrats vote in lock-step, which is very rare, the difference between 59 and 60 is negligible. I’m sure Specter, Snowe, Bayh et al–the usual collection of “moderate” Republican and right-wing Dem senators–will still be the decisive bloc on much legislation. More’s the pity….

    Posted 03 May 2009 at 2:12 am
  9. John wrote:

    As usual, Frank Rich’s analysis is insightful. He nails the fawning of the media over Obama (it’s not because they’re liberal, wingnuts, it’s because they are driven by the bottom line!) and the collapse of the Republican Party:

    He’s quite right that we need a functioning opposition rather than the pathetic bunch of “aging, rural Dixiecrats and intrusive scolds”. Unfortunately, as other commenters have observed, on blogs like this there is little sign of a renewal of conservative thinking, just paranoia, fear, hate, and parroting of cynical Republican talking points. Oh, and Ms Moralia, if you’re not an aging dixiecrat, what must you be?

    Posted 03 May 2009 at 2:25 am
  10. Brigette Russell wrote:

    Unfortunately, as other commenters have observed, on blogs like this there is little sign of a renewal of conservative thinking, just paranoia, fear, hate, and parroting of cynical Republican talking points.

    When liberals call for “a renewal of conservative thinking” they generally mean abandoning conservative principles and adopting liberal ones. Taunt, mock and name-call (yes, I get it, you think I’m a scold) all you want, but I will not be abandoning my principles in order to get you to like me better. If you find my blog boring, lacking in originality and hate-filled, you are certainly free not to read it.

    Posted 03 May 2009 at 10:50 pm
  11. JT wrote:

    I have to say that I have always liked Arlen Spector and I couldn’t care less what party he belongs to. I felt the same way about Joseph Lieberman – whose connection to Al Gore made me sick to my stomach. I wish we could just do away with the party wars. It’s like an American Indian tribal system and we know how well that’s working for those Indians! In the end the two parties don’t stand for what they claim to stand for but stand for whatever they think will get them elected from time to time.

    On Spector, the thing that I don’t like about this matter is his bold-face lies about the root cause. He doesn’t want to lose his job – and he may well lose it anyway – and that was the simple math. He should just have said he would retire. The GOP has not always been happy with him but it has not gone after him, as a team, the way the Democrats did with Joe Lieberman for voting his conscience. I donated to the limit to his campaign when that happened and I don’t even live in his state.

    With Obama having all this power, I wouldn’t invest in the dollar any time soon. Buy Sterling. I pains me more than I can say to have to say THAT.

    p.s. I think it is ridiculous for someone to imply that you plagiarized. I have been to many blogs and yours is always good for the fact that you actually cite (via link) those who works you are referencing.

    Your articles and blog posts, even where I don’t agree with you, are very well done and well reasoned and your opinions are worth knowing. I can’t compliment a blogger more than that. Even Dan apparently finds them interesting.

    Posted 04 May 2009 at 4:21 am
  12. Dan wrote:

    When liberals call for “a renewal of conservative thinking” they generally mean abandoning conservative principles and adopting liberal ones.

    It never ceases to amaze me that the GOP is *still* under the impression that what went wrong in 2006 and 2008 was that they weren’t right-wing enough. In the middle of an economic catastrophe brought on by right-wing policies and following the most unpopular president in the history of the Republic, moderate Republican John McCain still managed to get 47% of the vote. How can anyone be so blinded as to imagine that someone further right would have done better?

    I appreciate your wariness of concern trolls, especially since the Dems had to deal with an unending parade of Republicans pretending to be concerned about the viability of the Dems in 2002-2005.

    Of course, I predicted the current GOP civil war immediately after the election right here on your blog. The GOP is painfully predictable at this point. The relative moderates who run the actual political apparatus (the RNC etc) try to do what will improve their election chances while the far right media opinion makers(Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter etc) call for the heads of any party member who dares to step out of line. The only thing I didn’t anticipate was that the RNC would elect Michael Steele, who was doomed to fail before even taking the chairman’s gavel. Even the RNC doesn’t take him seriously and as a result he has no real pull within the party and as a result, when he took Limbaugh to task for one of the typically stupid things Limbaugh says on a daily basis, he ultimately had to publicly beg Rush for forgiveness.

    The GOP normally keeps the horse in front of the cart. Right now they have the whip before the horse and the cart is missing a wheel.

    Posted 04 May 2009 at 3:02 pm
  13. John wrote:

    Hey, this here internet is public property. If you don’t like people commenting negatively on your views, don’t post them. You’re a public figure, remember?

    You’re right, a “renewal” of conservative thought is unlikely. What Rich and other accursed liberals are suggesting is that to function properly US democracy needs a credible opposition that proposed legitimate alternatives to the governing policies. The Democrats failed to do this when Bush was in power and thus they were complicit into getting us into the monstrous mess we now find ourselves in. It may be impossible for Republican ideologues to believe, but some liberals recognize that unfettered power is bad, no matter who wields it. We don’t need conservatives to think like liberals, we just need them to think. “Small government,” “family values”? These are failed ideas, to the extent that they were ever anything but cynical boilerplate. What are you offering in their stead?

    Posted 05 May 2009 at 10:09 am
  14. Brigette Russell wrote:

    “Small government,” “family values”? These are failed ideas, to the extent that they were ever anything but cynical boilerplate. What are you offering in their stead?

    They are not failed ideas. They are simply ideas you do not like.

    They may indeed be cynical boilerplate to many of the elected officials who are primarily concerned with feathering their own nests, staying in power, and enjoying the perks of office. To all of the principled conservative citizens whom I know, they are another matter entirely.

    Posted 05 May 2009 at 1:42 pm
  15. Dan wrote:

    Oddly enough, “family values” is just GOP code for “enforcing our evangelical christian ideals on your personal lives” and as such is in direct conflict with the concept of “small government.” The government need have no involvement whatsoever in “family values.”

    Posted 05 May 2009 at 3:12 pm
  16. John wrote:

    Good point, Dan. That goes to my point. It’s easy enough for christian home-schoolers to sit around and talk about their oh-so-pure conservative principles. But the fact is, Bridgette, conservative christian republicans have been in charge of this country for most of the last 25 years. You may like to imagine that they were not real principled conservatives and that they were corrupted by power, but the fact is that the GWB and Reagan (I’ll concede that Bush I was perhaps less fundamentalist) had far more points of ideological agreement with your kind than, say, Clinton, has with people like me and Dan. That is to say, if small government and family values etc haven’t worked as governing principles by now, then why would they ever? They *are* failed ideas because we have had years of trying them and they have not worked. The economy is in a mess, foreign policy is dire, the state of the global climate is on the edge of armageddon etc. Beyond decrying gay marriage (which, you might be interested to hear, I don’t actually support, but that’s for another day) and calling Obama a socialist, what would conservatives actually do with power? The same as they did last time? It’s time to face reality, to take responsibility for where you have taken this country and this world, and to think about what you could do differently if, God forbid, you get the chance to try again any time soon. Until then, you just sound like any ideological purists insisting that if only your ideas were applied by true believers and not just “politicians” we would achieve nirvana. Well, that argument didn’t work for the Marxists, and I don’t think it’s going to work for fundamentalist christians or crazy free-marketers. On the other hand, maybe it’s time for the Republicans to become as relevant as the Socialist Workers Party and for some new opposition to grow in their place.

    Posted 05 May 2009 at 9:41 pm
  17. John wrote:

    Brigette, that is. Sorry for the mis-spelling. Is that French?

    Posted 05 May 2009 at 9:42 pm
  18. Olesya wrote:

    fantastic issues altogether, you just received a new reader.

    Posted 16 May 2013 at 11:56 am

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