Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, is believed to be eyeing a US Senate run from Pennsylvania in 2010 against "Snarlin' Arlen" Specter, a moderate Republican. If the hype turns into an actual run by Matthews, whom I consider to be a decent TV host, but a flaming partisan at best, then you will no doubt find my name among Mr. Specter's donors. And I will probably be back in Scranton knocking on doors.
It would not be because I am a Republican - I am not, far from it, actually. But Arlen Specter represents everything that is right with the GOP. And these days, it is not very easy to point to much that is right with the Republicans.
A loss by Specter, who, by all accounts, has been an effective and respectable Senator, would be one more nail in the coffin of the mainstream Republican Party. And even your typical San Francisco liberal would suffer as a result because such a loss would embolden the extreme right wing of the GOP even more.
I will let you in on a secret. Whenever I see a Republican in the Specter mold have to fend of repeated challenges to his right, as Arlen has every six years since 1980, it tells me that he must be doing something right. Look, Republicans are going to be elected in this country - that will never change. If that is going to be the case, then I would want to know that the Republicans we get will be more like Snarlin' Arlen and less like Billo the Clown.