Well, it's not like I didn't see this coming eventually.
"Veteran Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched parties Tuesday with a suddenness that seemed to stun the Senate, a moderate's defection that pushed Democrats to within a vote of the 60 needed to overcome filibusters and enact President Barack Obama's top legislative priorities."
This was hardly stunning. Specter has been essentially liberal for a long time. This move simply changes Specter from a pseudo-Democrat to an actual one. And with Franken gaining the Minnesota Senate seat with near certainty, it will give the Democrats the magical 60 votes needed to "bust" the filibuster. This will also unfortunately make the Republican Party essentially irrelevant until at least late next year. I certainly hope the RINOs are satisfied now.
"Specter, 79 and seeking a sixth term in 2010, conceded bluntly that his chances of winning a Pennsylvania Republican primary next year were bleak in a party grown increasingly conservative. But he cast his decision as one of principle, rather than fueled by political ambition as spurned GOP leaders alleged."
Yeah, and Specter is pretty much full of shit. His entire career has been one of political ambition. This is the jackass who gave us the "magic bullet" theory when JFK was assassinated. This guy was a Democrat until he switched parties in 1965 (running for the attorney general). Interestingly enough, he switched because he was about to lose in the Democratic primary. Specter has always been a total douchebag and this pretty much reinforces it. Of course he's doing it to stay in power! He's 79 years old, what else can he do with his life?
"Specter called the White House on Tuesday to notify Obama of his decision to switch. The president called back moments later, according to spokesman Robert Gibbs, to say the Democratic Party was 'thrilled to have you.'
Several officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said discussions of a possible switch had reached into the White House in recent days, although Gibbs said he had no details."
From what I read in other articles, VP 'Hoof in Mouth' Biden had a major hand in bringing Specter over. The idea of Obama "calling back" reinforces that, since if Specter called the White House, don't you think the President would talk to him? Again, this goes against the 'bolt from the blue' statement uttered elsewhere in this article. And why wouldn't Obama be thrilled to have Specter? After all, he just gave Obama a literal filibuster instead of one in the hands of a few RINOs.
"At his news conference, Specter grew animated as he blamed conservatives for helping deliver control of the Senate to Democrats in 2006, making it impossible to confirm numerous judicial appointees of former president George W. Bush.
"They don't make any bones about their willingness to lose the general election if they can purify the party. I don't understand it, but that's what they said," he added."
Huh? How is it that conservatives are to blame? The RINOs have been running this party for almost a decade now. They pushed their candidates in 2004, 2006 and 2008. And what was the outcome? A party that had no message whatsoever, increased spending and a party that was essentially Democrat-Lite. And we're to blame? Please Arlen, do a better job of covering your ass.
"Ironically, Specter had spoken recently about the importance of a strong Republican presence in the Senate.
'If we lose my seat they have 60 Democrats, they will pass card check, you will have the Obama tax increases, they will carry out his big spending plans. So the 41st Republican, whose name is Arlen Specter, is vital to stopping tax increases, passage of card check and the Obama big spending plans.' "
So... let me get this straight. To deny the Democrats the magical 60th Senate seat, you decided to head over and become the 60th seat. Wow, Arlen, you really are a fucking numbnut, if you actually believe anything you say, which is doubtful. After all, you did go along with the big spending plans and you are for the budget (i.e. tax increases) so how is keeping you as a RINO Republican going to change that? However, I will say that you answered your own question by speaking of yourself in the third-person by somehow being the savior of the GOP. So it's not really about the Republicans so much as really helping yourself (wow, talk about narcissism).
Well, I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this move. To be honest, Specter was essentially a Democrat and he will continue to vote that way in the future. Therefore, I don't believe that this is as big a loss as many might fear. Yes, this gives the Democrats the filibuster-proof Senate that they've been drooling over for several months now and I do think that he will beat Toomey in the general election next year. If anyone still thinks Pennsylvania is a battleground state, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. It's a blue state, so let's just acknowledge that fact.
Secondly, I really do have to wonder how this will play out for other "moderate" Republicans? Firstly, Specter's defection really makes the Maine sisters irrelevant, and in fact I think they realize it .
" 'You haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words about how [the GOP] views moderates,' said Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate. "
Uh, that's because you moderates are essentially spineless and worthless. You "moderates" are closet Democrats, so you might as well openly acknowledge that. After watching the 2008 election results and how the RINOs destroyed the Republican Party, I don't feel all that warm and fuzzy either. And Lindsay Graham, a GOP Senator, didn't make much sense either.
" 'I don't want to be a member of the Club for Growth,” said Graham. “I want to be a member of a vibrant national Republican party that can attract people from all corners of the country — and we can govern the country from a center-right perspective.' "
Um, yeah...vibrant like, what, 2006 and 2008? Yeah, the GOP looked like a friggin' juggernaut then, didn't it? It seems your idea of center-right is to act Democrat-Lite. That's not center-right. It's not even center. It's left, so just admit it.
" 'I happened to win with 74 percent of the vote in a blue-collar state, but no one asked me, 'How did you do it?'” [Snowe] said. “Seems to me that would have been the first question that would have come from the Republican Party to find out so we could avoid further losses.' "
Hey Olympia? You won because Maine is a northeastern liberal state and elects liberals. That's why no one asks you. When you vote like a Democrat for big budgets and even bigger government, then conservatives could care less how you won. You whored yourself out to the left, end of story. But I'll let you in on a little secret, ok Ms. Snowe? We'll avoid further losses if the GOP grows a spine, gets a clear message to counter the leftist-Democrats and actually practices what it preaches. See, pretty simple, wasn't it?
Senator Snowe is indeed worried, as is her state counterpart Susan Collins (I don't think I'm too far off here). And they have good reason to be. With Specter's defection, their bargaining power just diminished considerably. With Franken coming in and Specter basically playing along, the Democrats will have little need of courting these two in upcoming votes. Will the Maine sisters continue to vote Democrat? Probably, since their state is pretty liberal and they have to represent them. But they won't be getting any future goodies (well, at least not as much) that they probably got when they voted for the other Democratic packages earlier in the year (I'm really interested to see how Maine benefited from their votes).
So now the Republicans really are politically irrelevant until at least 2010. I hate to say it, but a third party built entirely around conservatives is looking better every day (which means the GOP will dissolve).
So now the RINOs really have to make a decision with regards to their "party." Either they can join in with the conservatives in at least symbolically opposing the Socialist Democratic agenda (in which case, they may regain some of their honor) or they can continue the way they have. If the former, welcome back. If the latter, then just follow Specter's lead. We conservatives don't want the RINOs. Now if only we could get those pesky Maine sisters to switch now...