Specter: “I don’t have any requirement to be here”

posted at 12:15 pm on August 11, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Things got a little heated at the townhall forum held by Senator Arlen Specter (R er, D-PA) this morning after a curious decision not to allow people to ask questions live from the floor.  One constituent had to initially be restrained when he found out that he couldn’t ask a live question, but Specter handled the incident well by giving the man his say — and admitting that his office needed to do better in adopting a process that allowed for live interaction in his meetings.  He then angered the crowd all over again by reminding them how lucky they are to be in his presence at all, as this video clip by The College Politico shows at the end:

SPECTER: I’m encouraging constitutional rights.  I’m encouraging constitutional rights by coming to Lebanon to talk to my constituents.  I could be somewhere else.  I don’t get any extra pay — I don’t have any requirement to be here.  But for somebody —

CROWD: [Angry murmuring] You work for us! You report to us!

SPECTER: Okay, okay, number — well, I am reporting to you …

Putting aside the risible notion that holding townhalls are required for “encouraging constitutional rights,” lecturing Pennsylvanians on their good fortune to have an audience with their lordly Senator seems to be right in line with the Democratic approach to democracy these days.  Specter doesn’t get any “extra pay”?  He makes $174,000 a year for a job that requires him to be at the office four days a week when Congress is in session, which is only about 2/3rds of the year.  He has a gold-plated medical and dental package that Specter certainly won’t surrender for the ObamaCare system he’s pushing.  Thanks to his 30 years in the Senate, he’s eligible for a pension that will pay 80% of that salary and keep his benefits package in place until he dies.

How many of his constituents have that kind of job?  How many do you think will be impressed that Specter deigned to receive his subjects without getting a bonus payment to do it?  What a great example of Beltway arrogance — and what a great opportunity for Pat Toomey.

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Soon to be former Sen. Specter, aren’t you glad you switched parties now? Now instead of your trademark useless waffling your arm is being twisted to support this hot mess. I would so love to be able to vote you out in November, but alas I can no longer vote in PA. Or maybe I could, apparently I’m still on the rolls there despite moving across the country 9 years ago.

RocketGirl on August 12, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Testing my newfound ability to comment. Wish I still had the ability to vote in PA and get rid of this useless bum. It was always painful to have to vote for him, but when the opponent is a commie, you do what you must.

RocketGirl on August 12, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Oops, sorry, didn’t realize that first one worked. Told me it was a duplicate. Yup, official n00b.

RocketGirl on August 12, 2009 at 4:47 PM

I have seen this same condescending attitude displayed over and over. They truly do have a sense of entitlement and I think they should all be kicked to the curb in 2010. In the meantime, we need to hold their feet to the fire all the way.

micmac on August 12, 2009 at 5:22 PM

That stiff should be measured for his coffin. Thank GOD he flipped and left the Republican party… one less crank traitor to have to apologize for.

leftnomore on August 12, 2009 at 6:49 PM

I think it’s quite telling that he now votes almost 100 percent in lockstep with his fellow dimocraps. So much for being his own man. I wish I lived in Pennsylvania if for no other reason than to get the opportunity to vote against this tool.

bluestateconservative on August 12, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Na na na na na na na na hey hey hey GOODBYE! And good riddence

bluestateconservative on August 12, 2009 at 8:45 PM

What a jerk! I think it is time that we remind these clowns that we the people put them into office and that they have a DUTY to come and talk to us. They are supposed to represent us! It is time to boot all of the guys out of office!

shawno on August 12, 2009 at 8:57 PM

Senators like turn-coat Specter really hate dealing with pesky citizens.

Chessplayer on August 12, 2009 at 10:08 PM