Arlen Specter switches to Democrats

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oldgoat
Arlen Specter switches to Democrats

So He made it official today. 

 

Quote:
WASHINGTON - Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, a move intended to boost his chances of winning re-election next year that will also push Democrats closer to a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.
"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Mr. Specter said in a statement posted on a website devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office. Several Senate officials said a formal announcement could come later in the day or Wednesday.

So when Franken finally gets seated, they'll finally have their 60.

Tor Sandberg

Wow - drama!

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

He'll have to win the Democratic primary first... which may be onl slightly less difficult than winning the Republican primary (which he seemed destined to lose).

Tommy_Paine

 

I think it's past due now to realize that the only vestige of the original Republican Party remaining is the Know Nothing element.

 

Unionist

Ok, form this mental picture:

Arlen Specter is standing still facing the road.

The Republican Party is a car parked in front of Specter. It starts moving to the right.

The Democratic Party is a car which was parked to the left of Specter. It starts moving to the right.

On April 28, 2009, the Democratic car passes in front of Specter. It keeps moving.

Specter hops on. He's getting on in years and can't wait for a lift from Nader.

 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

I disagree Unionist.

 

Spector is standing still facing the road.

The Republican Party is a car parked in front of Specter. It starts moving to the Right. Then it starts speeding up and careening wildly into the ditch with it's leaders yelling "yeah the ditch, the ditch, FREEDOM!, plus we're serving tea!,  we need to get over into that right ditch even more then we'll win! " Some passengers start bailing out, 'wtf are you alls just nutz!'  Some of the other passengers yell and actually start kicking people out, "we donts need yah then, you ain't real rightie ditch lovers anyways. God riddance you traitors"

The Democratic Party is car that is parked to the left of Specter. It starts taking up more of the road both left and right, then realizes that the car is to small and switches to van and starts waving at Specter and all the other people now rolling around on the road. "Come on we have room! Who cares what you  think. It's a better ride... right now anyways..."

On April 28, 2009, the Democratic Van passes Specter. Specter looks around and counts the people now rolling on the road, counts the numbers in the car thats pretty much now in the ditch and counts the people in the Van.  He does some quick calculations in his head and says, "Hot damn. I'm up for election next year. Aw screw it. No brainer on this one. I'm taking a chance on the van."

 

josh

Specter represents the worst in politics.  A craven, unprincipled opportunist.  And he's been like that his whole public life.  From coming up with the "magic bullet" theory, which got his ticket stamped in Washington, to becoming Republican in 1965 so that he could be elected Philadelphia DA, to opposing Robert Bork and then supporting Clarence Thomas, while trashing Anita Hill, to support the Employee Free Choice Act, and then opposing it.  He has always been a member of one party, The Arlen Specter party.  I hope a Democrat can take him out in the primary next year, but it won't be easy. 

Michelle

Franken still hasn't been seated yet?

josh, how do you REALLY feel about Specter?  Don't hold back, now. ;)

KenS

The Republicans have lost the really, really last re-count, etc in Minnesota. But they are dragging the appeals on with no purpose otherthan delaying Franken's seating. I don't watch enough to know how long they can string that out.

KenS

Unionist, your mental picture is a template you use everywhere. Even if it applies most of the time, doesn't mean it always does.

What is the 'less rightward' version of the Democrats that you say they drifted away from?

And in Specter's personal case- he doesn't pretend that the Democrats became more palatable to him. In fact, I don't think he explicitly said the Republican Party just became too rightwing for him. The fact he cannot win another primary battle is a manifestation of that, but I think that he only said that he wasn't going to let losing a Republican primary end his career.

However much he is just an opportunist, whatever his motivations are, pragmatically speaking- as well as the all important fillibuster breaking 60th vote, relieved of having to face that primary battle, Specter becomes a swing vote easier to bring around on crucial legislation like union organizing.

For example, the union sponsored Employee Free Choice Act, has recently become dubious because of the number of previously supporting Senators who have 'qualified' their support. Even Feinstein as well as Spector. Having a fillibuster breaker totaly shifts the dynamic. Because without votes like those 2, the legislation still has majority support: such 'wobblers' can and would vote to end the fillibuster, but against the legislation, and it still passes.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

KenS wrote:

The Republicans have lost the really, really last re-count, etc in Minnesota. But they are dragging the appeals on with no purpose otherthan delaying Franken's seating. I don't watch enough to know how long they can string that out.

Until June at least. Coleman is taking it to the Supreme Court and that's the first date his request for appeal will be heard.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

Unionist, your mental picture is a template you use everywhere. Even if it applies most of the time, doesn't mean it always does.

What is the 'less rightward' version of the Democrats that you say they drifted away from?

My post was just in good fun, but you are so deadly serious as usual.

Ok, here's my answer to your question.

Mr. Obama, commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed forces, has occupation troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, who continue to prop up vicious dictatorial pro-U.S. regimes and murder civilians, and he has announced his willingness to invade Pakistan in pursuit of "terrorists".

That's somewhat of a rightward shift from Carter and Clinton, isn't it?

Over to you, O humourless one.

Caissa

and when he pulls them out?

KenS

Maybe I do turn humourless with you. I suppose thats bound to happen when people who are sardonic all the time [in your case, not on all subjects]: without any live person clues on-line, there really isn't any apparent difference between sarcasm with a [usual] point and something that was meant more as just funning.

Read what you wrote as if you were someone else.

The theatres change, and the current stuff feels more raw but I don't see that the Clinton and Carter presidencies had any less of that.

Thats what we get from Democrat presidents. Always have, and until the earth opens up I'll expect that to continue... and no matter how promising a prospective next one might sound before he or she gets close to the actual seat of power.

Unionist

Ok, for all those diehard Obama supporters, here's what Obama and his White House had to say about Arlen Specter:

Quote:
According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

-- An aide handed President Obama a note about Specter around 10:25 a.m. during his Economic Daily Briefing. The note read that Specter "is announcing he is changing parties."

-- Seven minutes later, Obama reached Specter by phone. The president told Specter he had his "full support," and was "thrilled to have him as a member of the Democratic Party."

Update at 3:02 p.m. ET: Gibbs also said Specter could help the administration on health care, as well as other aspects of the president's economic agenda. "We are lucky to have his input and his leadership in our party," Gibbs said.

Obama and his White House are going to a lot of trouble to underline that Specter's defection represents a convergence of ideology and platform on key social and economic issues.

Or are they just silly people who can't control their public statements when they're happy about getting a filibuster-proof majority?

I'll opt for the former.

Comments?

 

Ghislaine

I liked Josh's statement. From what I can hear, this guy stands for nothing in particular - other than a super majority for Democrats.  Democrats who seem pretty indistinguishable from Republicans at the moment. Democrats who are approving billions more for war and 20,000 more troops for afghanistan.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Unionist wrote:

KenS wrote:

Unionist, your mental picture is a template you use everywhere. Even if it applies most of the time, doesn't mean it always does.

What is the 'less rightward' version of the Democrats that you say they drifted away from?

My post was just in good fun, but you are so deadly serious as usual.

Ok, here's my answer to your question.

Mr. Obama, commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed forces, has occupation troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, who continue to prop up vicious dictatorial pro-U.S. regimes and murder civilians, and he has announced his willingness to invade Pakistan in pursuit of "terrorists".

That's somewhat of a rightward shift from Carter and Clinton, isn't it?

Over to you, O humourless one.

To the right of Carter and Clinton? Hmmm, maybe Carter. Clintong didn't seem to have much compunction about destoying the Serbian economy, along with numerous Serbs, for the sake bringing "evil-doers" to justice.

KenS

Unionist wrote:

Obama and his White House are going to a lot of trouble to underline that Specter's defection represents a convergence of ideology and platform on key social and economic issues.

Or are they just silly people who can't control their public statements when they're happy about getting a filibuster-proof majority?

I'll opt for the former.

Comments?

I'm don't know what you are saying you think it is.

But of course they are going to chalk it up to convergences on substantive issues. Specter is the outlier in being blunt about his reasons. And you can chalk that up to he's sick of having to work around being the next election away from 'true Republicans' bumping him off. Thats all he ever had to really worry about, its gone, and he's been around long enough that as long as hes going to be re-elected he doesn't care much what the commentariat thinks about his motives.

josh

Unionist wrote:

Ok, for all those diehard Obama supporters, here's what Obama and his White House had to say about Arlen Specter:

Quote:
According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

-- An aide handed President Obama a note about Specter around 10:25 a.m. during his Economic Daily Briefing. The note read that Specter "is announcing he is changing parties."

-- Seven minutes later, Obama reached Specter by phone. The president told Specter he had his "full support," and was "thrilled to have him as a member of the Democratic Party."

Update at 3:02 p.m. ET: Gibbs also said Specter could help the administration on health care, as well as other aspects of the president's economic agenda. "We are lucky to have his input and his leadership in our party," Gibbs said.

Obama and his White House are going to a lot of trouble to underline that Specter's defection represents a convergence of ideology and platform on key social and economic issues.

Or are they just silly people who can't control their public statements when they're happy about getting a filibuster-proof majority?

I'll opt for the former.

Comments?

 

 

What do you expect him to say?

KenS

Like Cueball said, even Carter, only maybe.

Carter was only Pres for 4 years and during that time the US was mostly engaged in digesting the defeat in Vietnam.

josh

Unionist wrote:

Mr. Obama, commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed forces, has occupation troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, who continue to prop up vicious dictatorial pro-U.S. regimes and murder civilians, and he has announced his willingness to invade Pakistan in pursuit of "terrorists".

That's somewhat of a rightward shift from Carter and Clinton, isn't it?

 

 

He didn't put the troops in there.  He is endeavoring to remove the combat troops from Iraq, albeit at too slow a place.  I think he's risking an endless committment in Afghanistan, but I understand the cross-currents of pressures he is under not to "lose" the country to the Taliban.  I don't know what "viscious dictators" he's propping up, and you must have forgotten Carter's support for such sweethearts as the Shah and Somoza.

oldgoat

So maybe this is old news, but I had no idea that Arlen did standup comedy. 

I mean he does it badly, but I think it's funny he does it at all.  He makes Henny Youngman look fresh by comparison.  Got into a bit of trouble with some Polish jokes.  I really couldn't watch the whole thing.

 

Unionist

josh wrote:

What do you expect him to say?

I would not expect Obama (or his spokesperson) to welcome Specter's "input and leadership". Why not just say, "we're happy he has chosen to support our party and its social and economic platform"?? Specter has just decided to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (which he co-sponsored!!), having [url=just">http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/24/specter-to-oppose-cloture_n_178... gone to the trouble[/url] of promising publicly to vote against it. Is that the "input" Obama is hailing into his "economic agenda"?

Quote:

"This announcement should end the rumor mill that I have made some deal for my political advance. I have not traded my vote in the past and I would not do so now."

That's what he said on March 24!!