Thursday, December 6, 2007

Specter: "I'm no puppet"

Press Conference 101: Never repeat the other side's attack words in your response.

I concede that, over the last three years at p3, I've had some sport at the expense of Senator Arlen Specter, former chair and now ranking GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Yes, I've made several "cave" jokes. I've compared him to the double-dealing Don Altobello. I've likened him to a foolish, posturing plumed fowl. Twice, I confess, I specifically used a borrowed analogy to draw an unfavorable comparison between Specter and a wet taco. I even compared him not to something as elevated as a grade-school bully, but to a grade-school bully's toady sidekick. At times I did everything but take bets on when next he'd make a finger-shaking press conference threatening to "get to the bottom" of some unethical, illegal, or unconstitutional act by the Bush administration, only to sheepishly vote for it (or against proper investigation of it) when the time came.

Really. I got a lot of shots in there. And now I can only say, I’m sorry, but in my defense I only had three years. There was so much more material to harvest that I never had time for.

All of which brings us to this recent bit of clueless hoof-stamping, which probably identifies the single best metaphor for the senior senator from Pennsylvania:

Taking offense at being described as a “puppet” of President Bush, Sen. Arlen Specter fired back at Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday, suggesting the Nevada Democrat isn’t up to running the Senate.

Reid on Dec. 4 had blamed what he called Republican obstructionism in the Senate on allegiance to Bush.

“He is the man who is pulling the strings on the 49 puppets he has here in the Senate,” Reid said, referring to the chamber’s GOP members.

Specter, R-Pa., cried foul and declared that Reid had not only violated Senate Rule XIX, which prohibits the questioning of a senator’s integrity, but was just flat wrong.[…]

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said it’s understandable that Republicans are sensitive about being associated with Bush.

“But the results speak for themselves when Republicans stall the process and then complain it’s not moving fast enough,” he said.

The Senator's figure then levitated upward from the stage, drawn by the wires affixed to his limbs, and was returned to a trunk in the basement of the Executive Office Building where he'll remain until he's needed again.

(Image via Youssouf's Sheeplog.)

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