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Audio: Howard Stern: Specter inspector

by Jeremy Hooper

SpecterSen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) stopped by the Howard Stern (B-Ababooey) show today. And since it's politics in the 21st century, marriage equality of course came up:

(Don't worry, it's SFW)

Audio source: The Howard Stern Show for April 7, 2009 [Stern]

Lovin' Robin Quivers right about now! Though Sen. Specter seems kinda all over the place on this. He's doing the silly "everything but the word" thing in the beginning, but then at the end he talks about state legislatures passing a "gay marriage" that entitles same-sex couples to all the benefits of marriage. He actually uses the word marriage, just with a "gay" qualifier on it!

Then when referring to the Senate, he's talking about 85-14 DOMA vote, which was held almost 13 years (and numerous seat and sea changes) ago. Sure, he's been in the Senate for a long time (almost 29 years). But 13 years is 13 years. He has to know that the tide has turned in amazing pro-gay ways since that mid-90's misstep!

To us, he's basically highlighting the ever-increasing silliness of the jigsaw puzzle approach to fairness. Hopefully when Sen. Specter hears the Stern show replay, he'll too form some opinions about whether Richard should take Sal's load on his back have a pro-equality epiphany.

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Your thoughts

Maybe I heard that wrong, but it seemed like he was not going for the Jigsaw approach but the Everything But The Name approach.

If I were to lay out Specter's position it would be: I support fairness, decency, and everybody getting the same, but I'm really really really really old and just can't get over calling it marriage.

In any case, I'm glad he's willing to support immigration change.

Posted by: Timothy | Apr 7, 2009 6:51:18 PM

Timothy: I think it's just a confusion of terms. I used "jigsaw approach" only to conjure up the idea of a more-complicated-than-need-be puzzle, not to refer to any official strategy. You're right -- he's certainly using an "everything but the name" approach, piecing together quasi-fairness without having to cede the name.

But then, as mentioned, he does confuse things a little when he uses the term "gay marriage" in the last few seconds of the clip (though he sets that apart from "heterosexual marriage").

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 7, 2009 7:39:14 PM

I think that these guys have come to the realization that, while we as a community are a relatively small minority, and while we don't vote as a block by any means, we are still significant enough that they can't overtly piss us off as much as they used to get away with. When 6 to 6.5 million of us voted for Obama, and 2 to 2.5 million of us voted for McCain, there is a reason for them to start pandering to us at least, or unabashedly supporting us at best.

I don't know how many of those who voted for Obama would have switched if there was significant effort from the conservatives, but you know that they are running the numbers. We might see significant softening from the hardliners in the near term. As hating on us continues to be less effective, and as the died-in-the-wool, unwavering, old bastards finally completely die off, they aren't going to have any reason to continue pandering to their lunacy (or senility).

Posted by: Dick Mills | Apr 7, 2009 8:00:07 PM

Actually I'm kind of fond of Arlen Specter. He's one of my two Senators here in PA, and the right wing absolutely hates him. He sounded pretty wishy-washy on the air, yeah, but the last thing he needs is for the right wing kooks to have tape of him saying "I support gay marriage," during the inevitable primary challenge which he always faces, in which one of the right wing types tries to run against him.

I know that Specter is generally supportive in the Senate, going so far as to contact our statewide activist types looking for supportive letters on federal pro-gay legislation, so he has something to go and read from on the Senate floor.

Sure he's not perfect, but his position is no different than many (most?) of the democrats, and having a pretty pro-gay Republican of some seniority might just come in handy.

Posted by: PSUdain | Apr 9, 2009 2:59:54 PM

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