...still stays here, at least when it comes to the working class being able to find strength through numbers and negotiate a living wage. The rest of the country will be perfectly happy to continue to let businesses crush union organizing efforts through intimidation, firings and whatever other nefarious means are at hand, thanks to the acrobatic flip-floppery of one Arlen Specter.
The Pennsylvania Republican was for the Employee Free Choice Act -- the "card check" bill -- before he was against it. But against it he is, now, because he's afraid if he isn't than Rush Limbaugh won't let him be a U.S. senator anymore. Specter is gearing up for a primary fight against Pat Toomey of Club for Growth fame. Toomey hails from the economic extremist nether fringe of the Republican Party -- for instance, he'd probably fit right in with the angry rump of Nevada Assembly Republicans who hate everything (whatever happened to them, anyway?). So Specter has determined some brazen sucking up to the most enthusiastic if poorly informed segments of his party's base is in order.
Specter was the only Republican senator to vote for card check legislation in 2007. Specter's new flibbertygib job notwithstanding, Sen. Harry Reid says EFCA isn't dead yet because Specter is "not the only Republican that has indicated a willingness to consider something being done." We'll see.
Meantime, the silver lining here is that Specter's betrayal means no one has to feel sorry for him when Toomey beats him in the primary, which still seems likely since Republicans absolutely hate Specter because of the occasional sane vote -- support for the $789 billion stimulus package being a fresh case in point.
And then with a certifiable right-wing extremist and wholesale economic illiterate as the GOP nominee, Pennsylvania Democrats should be able to flip that seat. Unless of course society has deteriorated so dramatically by November 2010 that general election voters are willing to support a zealous advocate of all the irresponsible cronyism, ethereal dogma and failed economic exotica that brought us here in the first place. But in that case, civilization will in the advanced stages of an irreversible headlong plunge toward a post-apocalyptic dog-eat-dog anarchy intermittently ruled by roaming bands of armed gunmen -- the Libertarian Utopia! -- and nobody will care who is in Congress, if there is one.