Monday, August 17, 2009

Tweet Fight! Specter versus Grassley

The first rule of Senate Twitter Fight Club is You do not talk about Senate Twitter Fight Club. That having been said, sour Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley got into a Tweet fight with newly-minted Democrat Arlen Spector over Death panels. Spector, as you know, is in the thick of a tough re-election campaign. He is taking hits from his right and his left. From ABCNews:

"Earlier today, Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Penn., tweeted under his twitter handle “@SenArlenSpecter”: “Called Senator Grassley to tell him to stop speading (sic) myths about health care reform and imaginary ‘death panels.’”

"Specter was referring to Grassley’s comment about the end of life care provisions in the House Democrats’ health care reform bill earlier this week in Winterset, Iowa.

"'In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life,' Grassley said. 'You have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.'

"Moments ago, Grassley responded on his twitter account, which is under the name “@ChuckGrassley.”

"'Specter got it all wrong that I ever used words ‘death boards’,' Grassley wrote. “Even liberal press never accused me of that. So change ur last Tweet Arlen.'"

The recent history of Pennsylvania's Senate seats and the issue of health care is an interesting one. And, sometimes, the state is a bellwether for the national temperature. In 1991, Harris Wofford, Pennsylvania's Democratic candidate in a special Senate election, went from trailing Dick Thornburgh, a former two-term governor of Pennsylvania and an attorney general in the Bush Administration, 65%-21% to winning 55%-45% in just four months time. Thornburg's boss, Bush, 41, had a peak approval rating of 89% after the successful conclusion of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Not long afterwards Bush lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton, who took 43 percent of the popular vote to Bush's 38 percent. In Wofford's 1994 race against Rick Santorum -- who, we cannot fail to note, is loitering in Iowa -- Wofford lost, mainly on the fact that the Clinton health care plan tanked and his constituents revolted on the failed campaign promise of health care. Ominous parallels between Pennsylvania Senate races and national politics on the subject of health care?

Deja vu?

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