It looks as though Joseph Sestak has beaten Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. And this follows Specter's becoming a Democrat to avoid being defeated by Pat Toomey in a Republican primary. I'm not happy, though obviously if I lived in Pennsylvania it would bring some relief, as I'd have a tough choice in November if I'd lived there and Specter had won. For on many issues I agreed with Specter, but I could not be very comfortable with supporting a Democrat who would vote for Harry Reid's leadership in the Senate.
What really hurts is that Specter, when he was a moderate Republican, was almost my ideal Senator. And seeing that he left the party because he could not win the Republican nomination, and yet, with all his support from both sides in Pensylvania, he could not win the Democratic nomination either, makes me wonder: Is there any place in American politics for someone who is not an extremist? I hope so, but it certainly seems grim. Charlie Crist, in Florida, had to run as an independent; he may be popular enough to win that way; independents rarely do, but Jesse Ventura in Minnesota and Lowell Weicker and Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut have done so. (Though it was years ago for some of these; have things changed?)
I hope that this trend toward extremism can be reversed; I'm not sure my hope will be fulfilled, however.