Arlen Once Again Hands One to The Radicals
I used to sort of respect this guy and yet he keeps flip-flopping about. Talks a little tough and then fades when things get to the end. As to why, five theories follow:
#1 - He wants to keep the majority in the Senate. Patrick Leahy would take the Chair if the ReThuglican are in the minority and I think Old Arlen likes calling shots.
#2 - Rove has some dirt on him and he'll remind him everytime he gets contrary.
#3 - He's covered for Bu$hCo so long his reputation will be destroyed if meaningful hearings result should the Democrats gain subpoena power after 2006's elections.
#4 - Aging a bit, plus drained by battle with cancer, Arlen might have lost some of the fire.
#5 - Arlen Specter puts party loyalty over principles as do unfortuantely many Republicans these days. Chuck Hagel and Susan Collins and ... come to mind.
According to Laurie Kellman of the AP, reported by the Houston Chronicle, Arlen Specter and Russ Feingold tied up as Feingold walked out of the closed hearing on "gay marriage". Here's the coverage:
"Deserves debate on the Senate floor" is what Arlen offers. No investigations on anything of substance as to Bu$hCo yet this deserves floor consideration? Right? Red meat for the Dobsonites?
WASHINGTON — A Senate committee approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage Thursday, after a shouting match that ended when one Democrat strode out and the Republican chairman bid him "good riddance."
"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting. "If you want to leave, good riddance," Specter finished.
"I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman," replied Feingold, D-Wis., who is considering a run for president in 2008. "See ya."
Amid increasing partisan tension over President Bush's judicial nominees and domestic wiretapping, the panel voted along party lines to send the constitutional amendment _ which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages _ to the full Senate, where it stands little chance of passing.
Democrats complained that bringing up the amendment is a purely political move designed to appeal to the GOP's conservative base in this year of midterm elections. Under the domed ceiling of the ornate and historic President's Room off the Senate floor, senators voted 10-8 to send the measure forward.
Among Feingold's objections was Specter's decision to hold the vote in the President's Room, where access by the general public is restricted, instead of in the panel's usual home in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Specter later said he would have been willing to hold the session in the usual room had he thought doing so would change votes.
Not all those who voted "yes" support the amendment, however. Specter said he is "totally opposed" to it, but felt it deserved a debate in the Senate.
"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman," reads the measure, which would require approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states.
"Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman," it says.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has scheduled a vote on the proposed amendment the week of June 5. ...