Recently I gave you some reasons to oppose Arlen Specter for re-election. I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that I am supporting Joe Sestak only because he is not Arlen Specter. Joe Sestak’s candidacy can and does stand on its own. I would be supporting Joe Sestak no matter who else was in the race.
Despite Arlen Specter’s best efforts to convince people otherwise Joe Sestak is a man of integrity. Because he truly does support the President’s agenda and wants to move this nation forward he is giving up a safe house seat to do what he thinks is best for the people of his state. Despite the President’s support for Arlen Specter, Joe Sestak spend much of his stump speech in support of the Barack Obama and his initiatives. He is running because he thinks the President needs to have a dependable supporter in the Senate. Can we really trust Arlen Specter to be dependable in his support of the President? I think not. Joe Sestak is not going to be blind in his loyalty but I suspect he will be more dependable than Arlen Specter.
Joe Sestak represents the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. He is pretty progressive in his views but well within the mainstream.
He is the highest ranking military veteran to be elected to congress and he supports the overturn of DADT. After 31 years in the navy this is a bold and courageous position and it is the right position for our country. He is leading the efforts for a new GI bill that will ensure our veterans have the educational opportunities past heroes have benefited from. He has authored legislation the will provide health care to 230,000 vets that have fallen through the cracks of societies social net.
On health care reform he did not waver, he did not grandstand, he did not try to impose conditions for his support of reform, he just supported it because it is/was the right thing to do.
He authored legislation to give first time home buyers a tax credit. Like health care reform he supported emergency economic stimulus. He did not waver, he did not bargain, he did not think about what was in his best interest, he knew what the right thing to do was and he did it.
The League of Conservation Voters gave Joe Sestak a highest rating of 100%; Arlen Specter’s career average is 40.5%. Sestak has sponsored legislation to give grants to small businesses in the renewable-fuels field and he champion’s current efforts to pass the climate change / energy conservation legislation.
From a purely political perspective Joe Sestak can win in November Arlen Specter cannot. Arlen Specter always won because he worked harder than anyone else, because Republicans are very loyal voters and rarely split their tickets and because he has always reached out to Democrats with very strategic voting. Specter has lost his Republican base and he has been unable to convince Democrats that he is one of them. If he is the nominee there will be no enthusiasm for his campaign and he could well bring down the entire ticket; up to and including the Governor and control of the State House. The activist Democrats are not going to do what they did for Obama for Arlen Specter. In a year when that is not favoring the establishment, Pat Toomey and the Republicans will make the race about Arlen Specter not about the issues. If Joe Sestak is the nominee that advantage goes away. Toomey is a lobbyist, Washington insider and talking head a fact that he has been very successful in hiding from his teabagger supporters. Toomey will be able to hide this if Specter is the nominee he will not be able to if Sestak is the Democrats choice.
The Democrats have a choice on Tuesday; hope or cynicism, leadership or opportunism, principles or self interest.
There is no choice. I am asking you to vote for Joe Sestak. Win or lose you feel good about your vote.