Posts Tagged ‘Arlen Specter’

She’s No Lady, She’s a Member of Congress

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

I couldn’t let any more time pass before the Truth Detector comments on the bruhaha from last week’s joint radio appearance by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R –  Minnesota) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D – Pennsylvania) in Pennsylvania.

As you may recall, Specter was a moderate Republican Senator until after the 2008 election that swept Barack H. Obama and a near filibuster-proof majority for the Democrats in the Senate. Specter’s re-election was coming up in 2010, and, seemingly reading the tea leaves at the time, he decided to change parties with the hopes of grabbing a plumb committee chairmanship while increasing his chances of re-election.

But how quickly the political winds change. Merely a year later, Democratic fortunes have reversed, and Specter, who historically gets re-elected by comfortable margins, is in the re-election fight of his life. Last week’s radio appearance with Bachmann may not have helped his chances.

Bachmann and Specter were vigorously debating the Democrats’ health care proposal. Specter asked Bachmann what she voted in favor of. When Bachmann answered in generalities, without naming a specific bill, Specter was not satisfied. The moderator called on Specter to respond, while Bachmann continued to press her point. Specter, frustrated by being interrupted, told Bachmann to “act like a lady.” “I’m treating you like a lady, so act like one.”

Bachmann later said she felt like she was being treated like a child.

 While Bachmann is no stranger to fallout from making erratic statements, the political fallout this time, fair or unfair, will fall on Specter. Specter has since apologized directly to Bachmann, which may limit the political fallout as far as he’s concerned. Let’s face it. Specter’s comments had shades of sexism. Had he been paired with a Congressman (Mike) Pence, a Congressman (Jeff) Flake, a Congressman (John) Kline or any other male member of Congress, does anyone believe Specter would have asked any of them to “act like a gentleman”?

Now, whenever two or more politicians are gathered in one place and asked to express their opinions, interruptions can be expected. But whether Specter realized it at the time, his insinuation that Bachmann is not a lady has a ring of truth to it. I’ve written on this blog before about people close to me who have been trampled on by Bachmann’s stilettos. Figuratively, of course, but the fact is Bachmann is capable of being downright rude and tacky, especially when it comes to promoting her own political  career. (BTW, if she were a man, I would give the words, “rude”, “tacky” or even “ungentlemanly” equal time here.)

So while the Truth Detector says Specter couldn’t have said what he said to a more deserving person, the Truth Detector also says whatever political fallout Specter suffers because of it also couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. He may pay the ultimate price for switching parties out of political opportunism this November. Because of his comments last week, female voters in Pennsylvania just might make sure of it.