Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Dan Simpson writes that embattled Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switch parties. James Taranto does his usual skillful job eviscerating Simpson’s arguments, but this was striking to me:
The first time I met Mr. Specter was in 1974 as the state department desk officer for Rhodesia. The Nixon administration was trying to repeal the Byrd Amendment, which had America importing chrome from Rhodesia in opposition to most of the rest of the world.
Mr. Specter was representing a steel state and was not inclined to vote on the issue with the Republican president. I was told before seeing him that he was hard-minded and sometimes short-tempered. Nonetheless, he heard out the State Department argument, made no commitment and eventually avoided a vote. But he was fair and did not take the obvious position automatically. He was judicious.