Switching to save his skin
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," Specter said in a statement posted on a Web site devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office. Several Senate officials said a formal announcement could come later in the day or Wednesday.
[For the record, his political philosophy has been more in touch with Democrats than Republicans for years, so it's a lie for him to say "now." He has always been a RINO]
Specter, 79 and in his fifth term, is one of a handful of Republican moderates remaining in Congress in a party now dominated by conservatives. Several officials said the White House as well as leaders in both parties had been involved in discussions leading to his move.
[Dominated by conservatives? Who the Hell are these people kidding? If we had conservatives that "dominated" our party, we'd be winning. the party is filled with squishy moderates that have been a thorn in the base's side for the past decade.]
With Specter, Democrats would have 59 Senate seats. Al Franken is ahead in a marathon recount in Minnesota, and if he ultimately wins his race against Republican Norm Coleman, he would become the party's 60th vote. That is the number needed to overcome a filibuster.
[And the question on every political junkie's mind should be "What deal did Arlen "Faust" Specter cut with the devil?"]
Specter faced an extraordinarily difficult re-election challenge in his home state in 2010, having first to confront a challenge from his right in the Republican primary before pivoting to a general election campaign against a Democrat.
"I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate," he said in the statement.
"I don't have to say anything to them. They said it to me," Specter said, when asked in a Capitol corridor about abandoning the GOP.
[Another lie. He left the people of Pennsylvania to be a moderate that was unable to be depended on to stick to the ideological guns that he claimed to adhere to when he was elected.]A senior White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because no announcement has yet been made, said at 10:25 a.m. EDT Tuesday President Barack Obama was handed a note while in the Oval Office during his daily economic briefing. The note said: "Specter is announcing he is changing parties." At 10:32, Obama reached Specter by phone and told him "you have my full support" and that the Democratic Party is "thrilled to have you."
Of course the Democrats are thrilled to have him. As things stand right now, Al Franken -- (Tax-cheating pornographer, MN) will be seated in the Senate giving the Democrats exactly what they needed. Now there won't be any need for the Democrats to fall back on their reconciliation plans for upcoming votes. They'll have the votes they need to pass whatever the Hell they want, and the GOP can only muster up vocal opposition. They won't be able to stop anything. And as for Barry? Well, get ready for yet another president to travel to Pennsylvania to save this @$$-hat's job. Bush did it in 2004, which was a serious gripe we had with him because Specter was so disappointing in pushing Bush's judicial nominees through the Senate Judiciary Committee.
I wish I could say we're crying over this, but the only tears we have is for the death of liberty and democracy, not this @SShole jumping ship. Given the verbal beating he took on voting for the Pork-A-Palooza, we expected this decision to come down the pipe. We just expected it to come a little later, like after the 4 July recess the Congress always takes. We expected him to go home, make his decision, and come back with a tearful confession that he had done some soul-searching, and realized that he was more in line with Democrats than Republicans. At least then he could pull the wool over the voter's eyes. But this is clearly all about his reelection chances.
Lastly, he apparently had a recent meeting with GOP leaders in Congress, and had a meeting with Pat Toomey. The rumor is that the GOP leaders gave him a lukewarm response, and Toomey obviously gave Specter a piece of his mind. Specter saw the writing on the wall that his goose was cooked. He took the most politically-expedient route to save his butt. The honorable thing to do would be to resign his seat, and take his chances as a Democrat against Toomey. He was elected as a Republican, and now he's switching parties. If we were voters in Pennsylvania, we'd vote for Toomey out of spite. With this decision he's shown he cares little for the voters who elected and reelected him. They should show him the same respect.
Bye Arlen. Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.
ADDENDUM: Stop the weeping, folks. This isn't a big loss for us. (E-mailers have already said I'm being unkind to his departure, but I'm about to drop a bomb here to show his disingenuous nature.) Allahpundit snatched this tidbit from The Hill:
I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there. The United States very desperately needs a two-party system. That’s the basis of politics in America. I’m afraid we are becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party with so little representation of the northeast or in the middle Atlantic. I think as a governmental matter, it is very important to have a check and balance. That’s a very important principle in the operation of our government. In the constitution on Separation of powers.
Of course, only Specter would think that his "important role" in the GOP was being the resident pain-in-the-ass. Someone should remind Specter that he just joined that "one-party system." And for those who have lambasted Michael Steele for his early missteps, give the man credit where credit's due, folks:
Some in the Republican Party are happy about this. I am not. Let’s be honest-Senator Specter didn’t leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record. Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don’t do it first.
This is not a loss for us, at all. For those who stand by the "we need every vote we can get" meme, we agree, but Specter wasn't dependable to begin with. Thumping one's chest for doing the right thing, and expecting a pat on the back sounds utterly liberal to us. It sounds like the petulant kindergartner that wants a cookie for doing something they know damn well they were supposed to be doing. That's his opinion about his supposed stance on Card Check. He wanted a cookie for holding the line. But given a couple of Blue Dogs in the Senate that are considering a vote against it, his stance is irrelevant. If we can get Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, and maybe Kristen Gillibrand, it'll force the Democrats to move on their reconciliation plans. When voters see that heavy-handed tactic, the repercussions could be devastating in 2010.