The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, May 10, 2004  

Ignorance Backing Ignorance

Rep. Joseph Hoeffel (D-Pa.), the Democratic Party’s candidate against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (R/C-Pa.), has called for the dismissal of both Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and CIA Director George H. Tenet, accusing them of errors that “have undermined America's standing in the world and done serious damage to our mission in Iraq and the battle against terror across the globe.”

Nice job, Rep. Hoeffel. I wish I could say your brave and honest statement is “par for the course,” but sadly, it is not. You, Rep. Hoeffel, are speaking out more strongly and with more conviction than most of your colleagues. For that alone, you deserve a seat in the U.S. Senate.

And so what does Sen. Specter have to say? If you can believe it, this: “I do agree with the president’s judgment because I have a lot of confidence in the president and he knows a lot more about this than anybody else does.”

First, so much for the “moderate” and “independent” reputation of Sen. Specter.

Second, when push comes to shove it’s clear Sen. Specter is a hardcore, hard-line Republican all the way.

Third, how different is Sen. Specter’s defense from that of the Archie Bunker-and-Pentagon-type supporters of the Vietnam War who tried to tell us we didn’t know everything the White House knew and so we should just shut up?

Fourth, may I ask, Sen. Specter, what is it, exactly, that President George W. Bush knows, or knew, about the abuse of prisoners in Iraq? What he knew before the appalling spot on CBS’s “60 Minutes II” and the article by Seymour Hersch in the New Yorker? Anything? Anything at all? If anything, media reports portray President Bush as decidedly “out of the loop” on this matter.

Arlen Specter: “moderate Republican”?

I don’t think so.

Vote Hoeffel.

Contribute to Hoeffel.

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