So, I went to the town hall with Senator Weathervane.
There was a big, fancy bus for one of the anti-reform groups, driving past the line of folks waiting outside the conference center. Way to buy into the Democrats' complaints about bussed-in ringers, you knuckleheads!
I'm not going to relate everything the old so-and-so said, because most of it was nonsense and the rest was boring. He kept going on about selling cantaloupes with his father in Wichita. And Bonus Marchers! At one point he kevetched about his WWI-era vet father never getting his $500 bonus. A bunch of us in the back asked, more or less simultaneously, if he'd retire if we gave him his father's $500.
Specter doesn't really sound like he's from Pennsylvania - it isn't an eastern accent, it isn't yunzer or hillbilly or anything like that. It isn't even recognizably immigrant like a couple of the questioners, one of which was somebody from coal mining country who him hell over cap-and-trade, and had an accent I couldn't place - sounded sort of like Welsh crossed with a Germanic dialect. But the way Specter talks... it's like the Senate has evolved its own microdialect, full of orotund wide vowels and pseudo-Southern gothic pretensions.
I had never realized just how big of a socialist tool Specter was. I guess I've never listened to more than five minutes of him, and never about this sort of thing. He was usually nattering on about Judiciary Committee stuff, now that I think about it. His biggest beef with the current health care bill is the lack of a single-payer system. I don't understand him - he goes on about balanced budgets, and line-item vetoes, and preserving jobs - and then turns around and demands gold-plated government health care, and cap-and-trade monstrosities, and the budget-busting stimulus act. He never talks about raising taxes, except that's the only way to square this circle of his.
He was *bragging* about his time on the Veteran's Affairs committee, and how wonderful the VA was as a model for public health care. Some sheep-like member of the single-payer herd in the front right of the room bleated something about the VA, civil service, and prison health care systems as marvelous examples of how to do public-option health care properly. I couldn't help myself - I yelled something along the lines of "prison health care for everyone!"
In short, Specter isn't really persuadable on the subject. He's home, and happy, and stubborn. As far as he's concerned, a woman's right to choose ends at the womb - government can't tell you to not have an abortion, but he wants 'em to hector patients about smoking, diet, and all the rest of the heavy hand of preventative care.