By Dylan Matthews
Arlen Specter's flip-flop on the Employee Free Choice Act was shameless enough, but the fact that he's considering filibustering Dawn Johnsen reaches a whole new level of opportunism. The only reason Johnsen is being opposed so vociferously is because of her record on reproductive rights, particularly a single footnote written during her tenure at NARAL. And Arlen Specter is - or at least was - pro-choice. But when you're losing your primary for reelection, these things tend to fall by the wayside.
I really wonder why Specter is choosing to do this rather than just run as an independent. No conservative who's involved enough to be voting in the primary is going to see Specter's flips as genuine, and if anything they'll lower their opinion of the man. After all, if he's only going to vote their way when he needs their vote, why choose him over Pat Toomey? On the other hand, a three-way contest between Toomey, Specter, and, say, Pat Murphy could very well turn out in Specter's favor if he solidifies the independent vote and peels off enough moderate Democrats. And Specter wouldn't have to go through this whole humiliating exercise, which I hope is as embarrassing as it looks from the outside.