The Defeat of Joe Sestak: A Matter of Hubris

Supporters of Joe Sestak blame President Obama and progressive John Fetterman for his defeat.  Sestak’s defeat was of his own making.  Fetterman showed himself to be a progressive, and a person of character.  Sestak did not.  It took years for Vice President Biden, with the support of President Obama, to convince Arlen Specter, surely one of our state’s most successful and devoted senators, to return to his Democratic roots.  Sestak, a former Navy admiral and congressman, disregarded President Obama’s urgent 2010 request to wait his turn and not oppose Specter, whose cancer was in remission.  Sestak defeated Sen. Arlen Specter in a primary, but lost the general election to Republican Pat Toomey.  (Smart money said Specter would once again defeat Toomey.)  During this ordeal, Specter’s cancer returned; and after another valiant struggle, he died on October 14, 2012.  Through Sestak’s decision, two seats were lost.  Why should the President and his Party have rewarded this display of hubris?