If you've been online in the last few days, you've probably noticed many Democrats are not terribly thrilled with the boneheaded deal Biden and Reid entered into with Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter-- namely that Specter gets a reprieve from political death by being allowed to call himself a Democrat while continuing to vote like a Republican. We've been encouraging our old friend, Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired admiral with progressive values, finely honed leadership abilities and impeccable ethics-- all traits severely lacking in Specter-- to jump into the race. I had a long conversation with Joe and he assured me that if Specter doesn't prove himself a Democrat in deed as well as word in the next few weeks, he will enter into a primary battle against him. It isn't an easy decision for most men-- although Joe seems to be coming along pretty well-- because it means going against party leaders he respects, President Obama, Governor Rendell (+ Reid and Biden).
Senate Democrats have been hearing enough anger from the grassroots-- a grassroots that frowns on the concept of backroom deals, kings and kingmakers, and a grassroots that thinks the Democrats are afflicted with too many reactionary shills for Big Business already-- and yesterday they did a little kabuki dance ostensibly stripping Specter of his seniority, seniority he didn't have and was never due to get until after the midterm elections. On top of that, the 80 year old Specter is now claiming "confusion" as the reason he accidentally told the NY Times that he wanted Norm Coleman to win the Minnesota Senate contest.
Many activists online are backing the PCCC's straw poll idea. We want to know what our readers think about this. It's being covered Inside the Beltway by Politico today and in Pennsylvania by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
[T]he effort is aimed at determining the depth of Netroots support for Rep. Joseph Sestak, the two-term Democrat who hasn't ruled out running against Specter.
The poll, which will remain open for five days, asks whether a "Draft Sestak" movement should be created to take on Specter. The possibility of a Sestak run has been lighting up left-leaning blogs and provoking debate among Pennsylvania Democrats ever since Specter changed his party affiliation last week.
Please go to the straw poll and vote today. We'll report back on the results next week.