Arlen’s Vote

When Sen. Arlen Specter cast the lone Republican vote in support of the card check scam, he might have thought he was buying peace in Pennsylvania. Not so. Picking the union bosses over the rights of rank-and-file workers just isn’t smart politics.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review takes Specter to task — and rightfully so:

Sen. Arlen Specter voted with his Democrat colleagues to curtail workers’ rights, advance union thuggery and destroy the secret ballot.

Of course, the Philadelphia Republicrat, always the parser, sees it differently.

The Senate last week came up nine votes short of the 60 required to end debate and bring to a vote the House-passed (and deceivingly titled) Employee Free Choice Act.

The measure would have federally certified unions once a majority of workers had signed cards, in public, under union pressure and without a private vote.

Mr. Specter was the only Republican to vote with the Democrats. And his “reasoning” was on par with his “not proven” vote in the Bill Clinton impeachment trial and Thursday’s contention that rejection of amnesty for illegal aliens was “silent amnesty.”

Specter said his “yes” vote on the union-enabling measure did not necessarily indicate his support of the bill — only that he wanted to end debate so the Senate could “consider a great many very important and complex issues.”

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President William George and Secretary-Treasurer Richard Bloomingdale didn’t get the memo: They “applauded” Specter for his support.

Specter will seek a sixth term in 2010. But 26 years of such nonsense is enough. Arlen Specter would do Pennsylvania, the nation and rational thought a great service by stepping aside now.