Friday, May 1, 2009

Who Does Senator Arlen Spector Represent?

Senator Arlen Specter announced his change from the Republican Party, that he has been a a member of for 5 terms, to the Democratic Party (CBS). In his statement he said it was because "the Republican Party has moved far to the right." Of course, that is complete nonsense.
His position and power is being challenged by another Republican in Pennsylvania and the polls show that he will lose by a wide margin to the newcomer. This makes much more sense.

The fact that Mr. Specter's own words tell the truth:
"I have traveled the state and surveyed the sentiments of the Republican Party
in Pennsylvania and public opinion polls, observed other public opinion polls
and have found that the prospects for winning a Republican primary are bleak,"
he said. "I am not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States
Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate -- not prepared
to have that record decided by that jury, the Pennsylvania Republican primary
I'm not from Pennsylvania, so why should I care?

I see Mr. Specter's disingenuousness as systemic in American politics. A growing number of our "representatives" are very much the same when it comes to attaining and maintaining their honorable elected positions.

Mr Specter demonstrates with bold clarity the reality that career politicians primarily represent themselves. The people of his district come in as a distant third place, behind the interests of his big dollar supporters. A look at the contributions he has received tells the story. According to, he received over $22 million in the 2003-2008 election cycle. Some of his top donors were Lawyers/Law Firms ($2,558,680.00), Securities & Investment ($927,899.00), Real Estate ($812,666.00), Lobbyists ($724,737.00), and Goldman-Sachs ($99,100.00). says he received $7,958,435 (47%) from out of state over this same period. He must be representing those folks as well.

Modern politicians have learned that as long as they don't give much detail (see the Obama presidential race), talk as though they "feel your pain" and understand your issues, that they will confront your enemies (big business, big oil, anyone who is successful, and the opposition party), and they will make your best interests job one for them, is all they need to keep their jobs.

This has to change before the government has everyone of us under it's thumb. They have already made dependents out of millions, taken over private industry - firing CEOs and dictating wages, "stress testing" financial institutions and picking the winners and the losers.

We have already lost control of a government that was, by law, "by, for and of the people". These days it is "of, by and for the highest bidder and/or the slickest politicians".

It's time to return to a real representative democracy.

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