There, I said it. I called the former senior Senator from Pennsylvania a Poo Poo Head.
Because he is. And he is also partly responsible for the possibility that Obamacare will not be declared unconstitutional. I’ll tell you why.
But first, to establish Specter’s credentials as a Poo Poo Head, listen to this, courtesy of The Daily Caller:
It’s moments like these that remind we why I’ve never liked Specter. The final straw for me with Specter came a full 25 years ago, when he faced off with Robert Bork during the 1987 Judiciary Committee hearings on his nomination to be a Supreme Court Justice.
Bork was then viewed as perhaps the most qualified candidate for the Supreme Court in the nation. Then the political attack began.
Sen. Edward Kennedy famously led off by sliming Bork on the Senate floor:
Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.
Then-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, one Joe Biden, soon fell into line. Here’s what he had said about Bork in 1996, just after the Senate had confirmed the equally conservative Antonin Scalia by a vote of 98-0.
Say the administration sends up Bork. and, after our investigations, he looks a lot like Scalia. I’d have to vote for him, and if the [special-interest] groups tear me apart, that’s the medicine I’ll have to take.
Well, Biden wasn’t going to be taking any medicine, as it turned out. He was running for president, and he flipped his position on Bork.
That’s where Specter comes in.
It was a new day suddenly for Supreme Court nominees. What should have been a no-brainer now was politically dangerous territory for a moderate Republican like Specter.
So Specter, known as a pretty good legal mind himself – though the mind is contained within a Poo Poo Head – launched into an arcane and erudite Socratic Dialogue with Bork on the Constitution, pretending to try to devine Bork’s views so he could make an educated decision on his vote.
What this was, I have always firmly believed, was actually a smokescreen for Specter’s foreordained conclusion that securing his own petty political hide required a vote against Bork.
Specter became the only Republican on the committee to vote with the Democrats to send a negative recommendation on the nomination to the floor. It gave a certain legitimacy to the vendetta against Bork.
Specter pretended he opposed Bork because he was smarter than the other Republicans on the committee. But he was simply more craven.
After Bork went down and another hapless nominee withdrew, Ronald Reagan was forced to nominate someone nice and safe. His name was Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on Obamacare, and so many other issues.
Bork, who would still be on the court today, would have left no doubt which dustbin Obamacare was headed into.