Arlen Specter went a bit too far after being asked to justify his party switch yesterday. Specter told Face the Nation that had the GOP listened to him and spent billions more dollars in the “war on cancer,” Jack Kemp would still be alive:
Greg Hengler calls this “demagoguery,” and it’s one of the worst types. Had Kemp’s body even started to cool before Specter exploited his death for his own political gain? Specter certainly could have stuck with his own battles with cancer, and that would have been fair game, but to claim that he could have saved Kemp if only the GOP had spent a little more like drunken sailors between 2001-6 is just despicable.
It’s also a grotesque lie. During Republican control of Congress, federal spending on health research and regulation increased 46% after inflation, from $49 billion a year to $72 billion a year, or about 7% increase each year. That’s almost the same rate of increase as Defense spending got in the same period (48%), when we actually had a real war on our hands, and not a political contrivance for excusing federal spending.
And Specter wonders why he can’t get within 20 points of Pat Toomey in a primary race?