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Having a Ball

Predicting a Specter victory



Ding, dong, Pat Toomey's dead, Arlen Specter won instead, ding, dong, the right-wing nutbag's dead!


OK, the Pennsylvania congressman is still alive, but his political career is definitely worm food. Let me be the first to congratulate Snarlin' Arlen on beating back the butter-churners from the black hole of conservatism known as the T. How confident was I that the wack-jobs wouldn't prevail? As I write this, the election has not yet been held; this column will appear the day after the primary election. Tribune-Review columnist Dimitri Vassilaros foolishly predicted a Toomey victory in a column a few weeks ago. That takes cojones, but unlike Mr. Vassalino, my crystal balls have not grown foggy.


This was a major election for right-wing nutbaggery everywhere. The notoriously conservative Club for Growth ponied up nearly a million for negative advertising to beat Specter, who has the colossal audacity to think for himself from time to time.


Arlen is an old-school and occasionally moderate Republican. That is to say, he's not completely blinded by ideology or stupidity. He voted against the Clinton impeachment. He wants to scale back John Ashcroft's Patriot Act. He's a little worried that Mr. Ashwipe gets to find out what library books you're reading.


But I don't mean to just gloat and have a few drinks at the expense of the scary wingnuts everywhere. I'd like to make it more personal than that. I'd like to gloat on an individual basis.


There's a kid named Chris who goes to Duquesne University. He jauntily bops into the Starbucks I inhabit with an update on Toomey's polling data. One week before the election he announced that in a reputable poll, Toomey was only five points down. This is delicious. It lets me know these true believers believed their ideologue actually had a chance, which makes his defeat all the more satisfying. I tried to bait the little bugger into putting his dough re mi where his mouthy mouth was. He pleaded poverty. Chris is a blond curly-headed whirling dervish of young Republican energy, which I assume results from some horrible childhood tragedy.


Let this be a lesson to you, Christopher: As stupid as Americans are, even Americans in Pennsylvania, sometimes a slim majority of people with a brain actually emerges victorious. 


Let me further say ... HEE HEE, HA HA, HOO HOO!!!!!


But I don't mean to pick on the young, misguided and naively optimistic. Let me spread the gloating across generational boundaries. WPXI political anal-ist William J. Green is a longtime Specter-hater. I think he hates Specter more than Bill Clinton, and that's saying something. He, too, was led to believe that the forces of darkness had finally assembled enough cash and automata to get rid of Specter. He, too, declined to make it interesting with an actual cash wager. (Bill still owes me $100 from when Dan Onorato electorally throttled Jim Roddey.)


Bill, as your favorite disgraced President used to say, "Let me make one thing perfectly clear." And that is this. BWAAAAAA HA HA HA HA. HEE HEE! HOO! HOO!

Of course there is a downside to this gloating. Since Dubya and Dick "Dr. Evil" Cheney publicly backed Specter, it is a victory for them. Rightly or wrongly they believe Specter is a much safer bet to prevail in November (he is) and that he can be useful in winning Pennsylvania for Dubya (who knows?).


And Democrat Joe Hoeffel had a real chance to beat Toomey. He has the proverbial snowball's chance in h-e-double-toothpicks against the Snarlenator. That is a bummer. But there is nothing more delightful than knowing that the wingnuttiest of the wingnuts are crying in their beer, stewing in their Crock-Pots, rassenfrassening in their #%&*^*(!'s.


Even in a state scary enough to elect Tricky Ricky Santorum, even in an election in which only registered Republicans were voting, even when outside special interests poured millions into evil campaign coffers, the good guy (relatively speaking) somehow emerged victorious.


Unless, of course, I was wrong somehow. In that case, Joe Hoeffel is going to beat that wingnut like a rented mule. HOO! HOO!

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