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Arlen 'Profile in Courage' Specter bemoans lack of courage among other senators

December 24, 2010 |  2:48 am

April 2009 Arlen Specter changes from one party to another under the happy gaze of Barack Obama

A brief humorous holiday observation from Arlen Specter, the about-to-be-ex-senator from Pennsylvania.

The 80-year-old ex-D.A., you'll remember, is the RINO who became a DINO when he saw a genuine primary whupping coming from conservative Republican challenger Pat Toomey this year. So Specter suddenly realized he was a Democrat after nearly six terms in the party of Lincoln and switched sides early in 2009 (see happy party-switching day photo above).

But then Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak up and challenged the old guy, rejected a disputed job offer from the White House to go away and whupped Specter despite, or perhaps because of, campaign help from both President Obama and Joe Biden.

And then Sestak lost the big race anyway to Toomey. GOP Senators +1.

Specter is still hanging around Capitol Hill enjoying the special parking perqs a few final days. And he told The Hill -- are you ready? -- that he's really disappointed at the lack of courage among fellow members of Congress.

Wait, so the guy who jumped from one inconvenient ship to another seemingly convenient ship that sunk anyway, says his Senate colleagues often lack the courage to take take stands that are unpopular with the people who voted for them.

"Senators today," says Sen. Specter, who voted for the Democrats' failed $787 billion stimulus spending bill, "are shying away from casting controversial votes on the proposition of any single vote can lead to their defeat.”

So, many of those colleagues who listened to voters will return Jan. 5 for the 112th Congress, while Specter will have considerably more time for squash and work on a book that readers are already not lining up to buy.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press (Specter and a fellow Democrat in happier times).