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Response to russspeakeasy (Reply #40)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 03:45 PM

54. What are you smoking? (+ a few things we should be grateful to him for)

He unabashedly supported Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, and championed biomedical and embryonic stem cell research long before he received his cancer diagnosis.

When he made a bid for the White House in 1995, he denounced the Christian right as an extremist “fringe” — an unorthodox tactic for a candidate trying to win votes in a Republican primary.

During Mr. Clinton’s impeachment on charges of perjury and obstruction, Mr. Specter, objecting to what he called a “sham trial” without witnesses, signaled that he would vote to acquit.

He enraged conservatives in 1987 by derailing Judge Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/us/politics/arlen-specter-senator-dies-at-82.html?hp


Sure, we could cite the other side of the question. His party was so angry at him that he indeed ending up voting "not proven" rather than "not guilty." But at least he didn't cave. And yes, the rage of his party against him for tanking Bork, caused him next time around to vote for Thomas. And then, of course, there was Anita Hill. But not everyone has held that against him unto eternity:

Even so, some of Hill's closest supporters in those hearings forgave Specter.

"I have the utmost respect for Arlen Specter," said Charles Ogletree, the liberal Harvard law professor who helped lead Hill's legal team at the hearings. After a period of mutual enmity after the Hill hearings, "We've become the best of friends." Ogletree said that Specter had "very progressive views on judicial appointments."

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-arlen-specter-20121015,0,3463184.story?page=2



Take any senator who served as long as he did, and you will find both pluses and minuses. That's true even for Teddy Kennedy, who made some big mistakes as well. Let both of them rest in peace.

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