texan
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:13 pm

Just over the wires at CNN and NYTimes, Arlen Spector is going to change parties and become a Democrat, meaning the Dems will have a filibuster proof majority once Franken is sworn in (if I remember correctly).

Texan
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N328KF
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:43 pm

He's a RINO who was about to lose the Pennsylvania GOP primary. This is why he switched, and not through any ideological motivation.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
Klaus
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:48 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
He's a RINO who was about to lose the Pennsylvania GOP primary. This is why he switched, and not through any ideological motivation.

The question is how much programmatic substance the current Republican Party has really left beyond stomping their feet and yelling NO! at every possible opportunity. Is there really any actual constructive life with a perspective for the future left in it or is it little more than an ossified remnant of bygone ideological battles running on fumes (and delusions) with its future already behind it...?
 
redflyer
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:54 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
Is there really any actual constructive life with a perspective for the future left in it or is it little more than an ossified remnant of bygone ideological battles running on fumes (and delusions) with its future already behind it...?

There was a time just a few short years ago the same could have been said about the Democratic party. And we can see how "dead" they turned out to be.  Wink

The problem with predicting the demise of a political party is that the party in power, especially when they have such a large majority, will ALWAYS (without exception - history has never proven this wrong) stumble as a result of greed and hubris creeping into the ranks over time. And when that happens, the party out of power will suddenly find itself regaining strength and favor with the public.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
He's a RINO who was about to lose the Pennsylvania GOP primary. This is why he switched, and not through any ideological motivation.

And that is a perfect example of what power does to a person. They give up on their ideology and core beliefs and will do whatever it takes to retain their power.
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PHLBOS
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:04 pm



Quoting Texan (Thread starter):
Just over the wires

Pat,

You beat me to the punch posting-wise on this one. BTW it's Arlen Specter NOT Spector (as in Phil Spector).

Here's the story from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Senator Specter's home base:
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/break...ties__run_as_Democrat_in_2010.html

While I'm personally not surprised by him doing this, I'm somewhat disappointed. I was hoping for a GOP Primary slugfest.

One needs to keep in mind, that there is STILL a Democratic Primary contest that Specter needs to face and it's still very early in the game. To my knowledge, one-time head of the National Constitution Center, Joe Torcella's the only Dem to announce that he's running. IMHO, there could still be a primary bloodpath next year, only this time it will be on the Democrat side.

The Democrats would prefer to have someone who's been in their party longer occupying the seat rather than someone who just jumped ship; what's not to say that Specter may not jump back again.

From the above web-link:
With Specter's party switch, and the pending certification of Al Franken as the new Senator from Minnesota, the Democrats would have a filibuster-proof 61-seat majority in the US Senate.

Upshoot: Specter pulled a Jim Jefford's but only more-so.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
D L X
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:06 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
He's a RINO

What exactly is a Republican?

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 3):
They give up on their ideology and core beliefs and will do whatever it takes to retain their power.

OR, maybe he realizes that the GOP no longer adheres to his ideology. It has been coopted by factions that are in great conflict with his leanings, and that has been the case for some time now.
 
Klaus
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:06 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 3):
There was a time just a few short years ago the same could have been said about the Democratic party. And we can see how "dead" they turned out to be.

Of course. I wasn't trying to predict the GOP's imminent death or anything like that (in a two-party majority system their existence is pretty much guaranteed), just their total lack of imagination or political constructivity at this point. If you want to retain your members or functionaries, you should try to not let it come to this.

Apart from selfish motives which he most probably has as well, I could well imagine that he might be thoroughly fed up with unconditional blockade as the only reaction to a change in government in a severe crisis. At some point you cannot keep talking about patriotism without pause and at the same time try to derail any attempts to do something about the crisis your country is in. Beyond a certain point the two cannot be reconciled any more.
 
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Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:10 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 4):
The Democrats would prefer to have someone who's been in their party longer occupying the seat rather than someone who just jumped ship;

I think the Dems will be happy to have him and the party powers will support him in the primary, if for no other reason than to ensure they get their filibuster-proof majority.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 4):
what's not to say that Specter may not jump back again.

Who's to say the Republicans will take him back? I'm sure they would, though, if it will suit their political agenda at the time.
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
mbmbos
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RE: Arlen Spector Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:12 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 3):
They give up on their ideology and core beliefs and will do whatever it takes to retain their power.

I don't think you can say that about Arlen Specter. He's always been true to his ideology and core beliefs and I expect him to continue to do so.

He clearly wants to run for another term and is switching parties so that he can. It's not as if the Republican Party has demonstrated loyalty to him so I'm not sure he owes them anything.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Arlen Spector Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:15 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 7):
I think the Dems will be happy to have him and the party powers will support him in the primary, if for no other reason than to ensure they get their filibuster-proof majority.

With Specter's switch taking place NOW, the filibuster-proof majority (pending Franken's certification) will already EXIST a year before the primary.

Maintaining it beyond 2010 will be subject to other Senate contests as well as Pennsylvania.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
Mir
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RE: Arlen Spector Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:17 pm



Quoting Texan (Thread starter):
meaning the Dems will have a filibuster proof majority once Franken is sworn in

Spector is more liberal than the average Republican, but he's still conservative, and I wouldn't expect him to be a rubber stamp for whatever the Democrats want to push through. The filibuster will still be around, though it might get used a bit less.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
texan
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RE: Arlen Spector Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:19 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 4):
You beat me to the punch posting-wise on this one. BTW it's Arlen Specter NOT Spector (as in Phil Spector).

In my haste to celebrate, and while talking on the phone with a colleague whose last name is Spector, I transcribed my colleague's last name instead of the Senator's. My heartfelt apologies

As for his political ideologies, he has always been a centrist and a former member of the Democratic Party (back with Kennedy nearly 50 years ago). Republicans calling for his head over this would be, in my opinion, as crazy as Democrats calling for Phil Gramm's and Ben Nighthorse Campbell's heads back when they switched parties.

And, to agree with Senator Specter, the entire political landscape of this country has shifted far to the right. To use Molly Ivins's quote about Bill Clinton here, "[N]o one but a fool or a Republican ever took him for a liberal." Member of today's Democratic Party, yes. But today's Democrats are much more similar to Nixon and Eisenhower era Republicans than to liberals.

Texan

[Edited 2009-04-28 10:20:45]
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redflyer
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RE: Arlen Spector Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:23 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 5):
OR, maybe he realizes that the GOP no longer adheres to his ideology.

That is very possible. However, he's a professional politician having been involved in politics since the 1960's, and a U.S. Senator for almost 30 years. My bet is that he gave up on his idealogical principles long ago and this is just a move to preserve himself, political party be damned.

By the way, I read up on him as soon as I saw the news break. It appears he was originally a Democrat before running for public office. Apparently, he has no problems changing stripes to suit his needs.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
just their total lack of imagination or political constructivity at this point.

The reason they lack imagination and ability to engage in constructive dialogue is because they are desperate and have been marginalized by the Democrats. It takes real courage and leadership to engage in constructive dialogue, rather than in destructive politics, and that only goes to show that the Republicans are in fact wanting for a real leader.
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
mbmbos
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:23 pm

Quoting Texan (Reply 11):
My heartfelt apologies

Thank God your apologies were "heartfelt"!

 Smile

[Edited 2009-04-28 10:25:38]
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:25 pm



Quoting Texan (Reply 11):
But today's Democrats are much more similar to Nixon and Eisenhower era Republicans than to liberals.

Pat, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Most of (certainly not all) of today's Democrats are left of Truman and JFK.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
D L X
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:26 pm



Quoting MBMBOS (Reply 8):
It's not as if the Republican Party has demonstrated loyalty to him so I'm not sure he owes them anything.

This is the correct quote of the week.

Quoting Texan (Reply 11):
But today's Democrats are much more similar to Nixon and Eisenhower era Republicans than to liberals.

You guys are on a roll. Another very astute observation.

Look, the sheeple remaining in the republican party have become little more than empty words in the last 8 to 10 years: liberal = bad, tax and spend liberal, liberal elitist, leftist, socialist, communist, etc., and recently "not pro-American." Any word to make a democrat look bad. If the republican party thought as much about how to solve the country's problems as they did about what words demonize the democrats the most, it wouldn't be a dying party.
 
AGM100
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RE: Arlen Spector Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:26 pm

Good , better to have him actually in uniform for the team he is playing for. Better than suiting up for your team and playing the game for the other team.

Now we just need to replace about 30 other republicans and we will be much better off.
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
D L X
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:31 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 16):
Now we just need to replace about 30 other republicans and we will be much better off.

That's probably true, but not if you just slap a new name on the same old bs. If the Republican party changes, it will likely be for the better.
 
texan
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:40 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 14):
Pat, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Most of (certainly not all) of today's Democrats are left of Truman and JFK.

We'll just have to agree to disagree, then  Smile While there are a couple of actual liberals in Congress now, the majority are much further to the right than the party of decades ago. And there are also some nutcases (on both sides of the aisle) who make each side seem more extreme  Wink

Texan
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max550
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:52 pm

This is great news, I was going to have to switch parties to vote for him in the primary.
 
AGM100
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:01 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 17):
If the Republican party changes, it will likely be for the better.

Correct , although you will not agree with the type of republicans I would like to have. One thing that we should agree on is... we need people who stand for there values whatever side they are on. If you are a republican ... its low taxes , cut spending , and free-market. If your a democrat , its government regulation , and social welfare issues . We need both sides , what we don't need are politicians who weasel back and forth for political gain. I for one appreciate liberals and conservatives , as long as they show their colors and stand for there values.
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
D L X
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:12 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
Correct , although you will not agree with the type of republicans I would like to have.

You don't know that. I voted for Obama not because I'm some flaming liberal, but because I believed that Obama could better run the country than the Republicans could and that Palin was a particularly bad choice for VP suggesting what kind of people McCain would hire to help him.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
If you are a republican ... its low taxes , cut spending , and free-market.

Those things are generally good things, with some exceptions. Kind of like autopilot - when the skies are clear and the machine is running smoothly, keep it engaged. The thing is, you shouldn't run on autopilot when you run into a problem. That's what Bush did, and that's why we have this mess now. Autopilot doesn't tell you that your plane is icing, nor does it deice the plane. Similarly, ideology does not solve problems. It might head off a problem, but once you're in it, you gotta deal with it. Stay the course is not a method for solving ANY problem.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
If your a democrat , its government regulation , and social welfare issues .

I agree with this too sometimes. Of course, too much of this can cause the problem, just like overflying a plane. Jimmy Carter learned that the hard way and collected an early retirement.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
I for one appreciate liberals and conservatives , as long as they show their colors and stand for there values.

Who are you, and what did you do with AGM?  Silly
 
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fxramper
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:20 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 12):
My bet is that he gave up on his idealogical principles long ago and this is just a move to preserve himself, political party be damned.

 checkmark 

See his voting record. This stunt, a la Little Joe, may or may not save his senate seat. As stated above, he isn't a yes vote for the Democrats. I guess this news trumps bird flu outbreak?  Yeah sure
 
Klaus
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:21 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 12):
The reason they lack imagination and ability to engage in constructive dialogue is because they are desperate and have been marginalized by the Democrats.

It could also be that they have marginalized themselves by moving ever more towards their outer fringe and getting away with that for too long to remember now how compromise actually works in the real world...

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 12):
It takes real courage and leadership to engage in constructive dialogue, rather than in destructive politics, and that only goes to show that the Republicans are in fact wanting for a real leader.

That looks like a very good observation to me.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 16):
Now we just need to replace about 30 other republicans and we will be much better off.

Sure. The only failure of the Republican Party is that it's not ideological enough!  rotfl 
 
AGM100
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:25 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 21):
Who are you, and what did you do with AGM?

As long as I know who they are ,,, I can make the choice. My appreciation is only for their clear position .. whichever side. But I will never vote for a hippie liberal democrat pinko commie ... Big grin
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
D L X
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:40 pm

Michael Steele is P I S S E D !!!

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...le-specter-fipped-the-bird-at-gop/



One thing is certain: this is going to be a VERY funny Saturday Night Live week.
 
mt99
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:50 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 25):
Michael Steele is P I S S E D !!!

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...le-specter-fipped-the-bird-at-gop/


Who cares about Michael Steel? Who is he anyways?

What does Rush Limbaugh think?
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aa757first
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:57 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
Apart from selfish motives which he most probably has as well, I could well imagine that he might be thoroughly fed up with unconditional blockade as the only reaction to a change in government in a severe crisis. At some point you cannot keep talking about patriotism without pause and at the same time try to derail any attempts to do something about the crisis your country is in. Beyond a certain point the two cannot be reconciled any more.

To be honest, I don't think much of it has to do with that. Specter (or "Specter the Defector") has never felt much allegiance to the Republican Party in terms of his voting record. He started by voting against Bork back in the 80s and hasn't really let up.

I'd be curious as to what the party did to keep him on-board. Specter, along with Snowe and Collins, were going to easily be the most powerful Republicans for the next four years.
 
Mir
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:28 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
One thing that we should agree on is... we need people who stand for there values whatever side they are on. If you are a republican ... its low taxes , cut spending , and free-market. If your a democrat , its government regulation , and social welfare issues. We need both sides, what we don't need are politicians who weasel back and forth for political gain. I for one appreciate liberals and conservatives , as long as they show their colors and stand for there values.

I see your point, but I think we need more people like Specter in government. Not in that they switch their party, but in that they may not necessarily align with their party on every single issue. Because if they did, then the electorate would only be offered a choice between two ideologies, which tend to be more extreme than what the center of the country (both moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans) would really want. One of the big dangers of a two party system is the tendency for things to become black and white issues, something that both parties tend to encourage because of the ability to energize their respective bases and thereby raise more money. But in reality, things aren't nearly that simple. Just because you align yourself with a certain party on most issues does not mean that you must align with them on all issues.

We don't need both sides, we need many sides.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
D L X
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:22 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 28):
We don't need both sides, we need many sides.

We need representatives to represent constituents, not parties. I'm all for the banning of political parties in toto.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:39 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 26):
Who cares about Michael Steel? Who is he anyways?

He recently became Chairman of the National GOP.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 26):
What does Rush Limbaugh think?

Ask and you shall receive...

From Rush's web-site:
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/dai...042809/content/01125106.guest.html

Some Exerpts (the latter 2 point to a flip-flop decision made by Sen. Specter regarding switching parties) Bold emphasis added on my part:

Okay, I have to explain everything, and I will explain it. Arlen Specter, it's not a big loss. Come on, folks. It's not a loss. The only reason Specter is doing this... Well, I can't say "the only." What is a politician's first job? A politician's first job is to get reelected. Specter knows he's going to have trouble even winning a primary. He's going to be running against Pat Toomey again. This is about Specter's political survival. He knows that he's more at home in the Democrat Party with the way he's been voting in recent years and the things that he's been saying. This is all about the fact that he faces a strong primary challenge. He wouldn't be changing parties if there were no Pat Toomey out there, if there weren't anybody challenging him on the Republican side. He doesn't want to lose his upcoming election.
...
This does not say anything bad about the Republican Party. That's why I tell you the media template is going to be and is, "Well, this just shows the Republican Party's no longer a national party. They can't have big-tent guy like Specter in there." Notice we never, ever hear about the giant, big tent that is the Democrat Party? Nooooo, we never hear about all the diversity of views that you can find in the Democrat Party. There are a bunch of pro-lifers in there, aren't there? Bunch of pro-life Democrat, a bunch of them, right? And they have a voice at the Democrat convention. It's a giant, giant myth. The effort here by the Drive-Bys is going to be to paint the Republican Party as finished. All right. It'll be interesting to watch Specter on card check, because he was the deciding vote. He was the guy who was going to vote against it.
...
It was just last March 17th in an interview with The Hill newspaper on Capitol Hill, that Arlen Specter said he absolutely would not switch parties. He said, "[Democrats] are trying very hard for the 60th vote. Got to give them credit for trying. But the answer is no. I'm not going to discuss private talks I had with other people who may or may not be considered influential. But since those three people are in the public domain, I think it is appropriative to respond to those questions. 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."
...
This is March 17th at The Hill, Specter flatly denying he's going to change parties. Now, something's happened, it's called polling data. It's got to be really dramatic, it's got to be something untenable for Senator Specter to switch parties here after just over a month ago, six weeks ago, saying, "Ain't no way. We need a two-party system. We need Republicans in the northeast. I'm going nowhere, no way Jose." Six weeks later, sayonara. Something happened. Trust me on this, folks, do not discount the notion. People are people, human beings are human beings, he wanted accolades for hanging tough on card check, and the polling data demonstrates it didn't help him much. I haven't seen any polling data, but the only reason you'd do a six-week change of heart 180 like this is if your fortunes look hopeless where you at present are, which was as a Republican.


The rest can be read in the web-link.
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FreequentFlier
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:54 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
The question is how much programmatic substance the current Republican Party has really left beyond stomping their feet and yelling NO! at every possible opportunity. Is there really any actual constructive life with a perspective for the future left in it or is it little more than an ossified remnant of bygone ideological battles running on fumes (and delusions) with its future already behind it...?

Klaus, I'm quite frankly thrilled that Specter is switching parties. In times of uncertainty, a certain level of clarity is key. Specter and the Dems deserve each other. One would expect an honorable politician (there are not too many these days) would have certain core beliefs and principles that they would believe in and adhere too. For Republicans, this is generally but not limited to: limited government, low taxes, a belief in federalism and constitutional republicanism (small r) with significant checks and balances to minimize centralization of power and its inevitable subsequent abuses. Notice Specter decided to switch parties when a primary poll came out showing he was down by over 20 points to another Republican. Instead of trying to make the case for why he was right for the job, Specter switched parties thinking it would be easier for him to win the Democratic primary (I'm not so sure). Apparently, the news is that Specter switched parties once the President told him he would campaign for him. Arlen Specter isn't looking out for his constituents. Arlen Specter is looking out for Arlen Specter.

Which is a shame since the man is nearly 80 years old and this President's trillion dollar budget deficits will have a much greater impact on his grandchildren than on him. But it serves the point: The Democrats and Arlen Specter deserve each other, and no more so than now.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
It could also be that they have marginalized themselves by moving ever more towards their outer fringe and getting away with that for too long to remember now how compromise actually works in the real world...

Sorry Klaus, but there is nothing fringey about opposing this:

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 330 File size: 25kb


Since Specter is likely to have voted for the President's budgets which will result in deficits at least as big, if not bigger than the ones above, I'm extremely glad the PRINCIPLED opposition will not be tarred by some of its members approving of this bankrupting of America.

Klaus, does it ever occur to you why, despite the talking-head inside-the-Beltway media keep telling us that the Republicans need to "moderate" themselves (which is a nice way of saying do what liberals say), that groups like the Tea Party protests have formed?

It's because they're way ahead of the curve. Just as the Republicans let Washington corrupt them only to see their 55-45 majority turn into a 40-60 minority in four short years, the Democrats can share the same fate is they're not careful.

There's nothing moderate about annual trillion dollar deficits, and there's nothing fringey about opposing them. I have no interest in ensuring inside-the-Beltway types stay in the good graces of the cocktail circuit. When one party is interested more in power for power's sake, and seeks to impose its will, even at the expense of the nation's potential bankruptcy, then let them carry the legacy that those decisions will bear.

Not a single Republican will vote for the President's disastrous budget (i'd be surprised even if the two ladies from Maine did even). You can have your filibuster proof majority and this budget busting bill. You can also OWN its legacy.

It's all yours now. OWN it.
 
mt99
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:57 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 30):

He recently became Chairman of the National GOP.



Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 31):
Not a single Republican will vote for the President's disastrous budget (i'd be surprised even if the two ladies from Maine did even). You can have your filibuster proof majority and this budget busting bill. You can also OWN its legacy.

It's all yours now. OWN it.

Wrong. The majority does. Long live democracy!
Step into my office, baby
 
Superfly
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:36 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 7):
I think the Dems will be happy to have him and the party powers will support him in the primary, if for no other reason than to ensure they get their filibuster-proof majority.

Good for Senator Arlen Specter and the people of the state of Pennsylvania.  bigthumbsup 
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Yellowstone
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:37 am

Limbaugh's comment, which is surprisingly reasonable if wrong in its claim that Specter's decision says nothing bad about the Republicans, brings up the issue of card check and the Employee Free Choice Act. Interestingly, Specter has said that, despite his party change, he will still vote against EFCA, which was one of the main things the Dems had hoped he would break with the GOP on. However, I think that the real test of Specter's positions as a Democrat will come next year during the Democratic primary. If the progressive wing of the party can run a strong candidate, that should pull Specter more into the Democratic mainstream, as he tries to attract Democratic primary voters.

Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 31):
Notice Specter decided to switch parties when a primary poll came out showing he was down by over 20 points to another Republican. Instead of trying to make the case for why he was right for the job, Specter switched parties thinking it would be easier for him to win the Democratic primary (I'm not so sure).

Here's the thing, though. Polling data was showing that Specter would lose the GOP primary to Toomey. However, the data also showed that Toomey would lose dramatically to pretty much anyone the Democrats put on the ballot. Specter, on the other hand, if he were to win the GOP primary, was predicted to have a fairly easy time winning the general election. So even though Specter's positions no longer fit well with the Pennsylvania GOP, they still fit well with the views of the Pennsylvania electorate as a whole--and that's what matters.
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DocLightning
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:43 am

I'm just mystified. That's all. Very mystified.
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D L X
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:44 am



Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 34):
So even though Specter's positions no longer fit well with the Pennsylvania GOP, they still fit well with the views of the Pennsylvania electorate as a whole--and that's what matters.

Right. The idea that Spector isn't "right for the job" as FreEquentflier says is simply false. If "right for the job" means representing Pennsylvanians best, it's atually kind of amazing he hasn't switched years ago.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:04 am



Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):

He's a RINO who was about to lose the Pennsylvania GOP primary.

And he'll probably be the next Democratic Senator from PA. The GOP, right now, is seen as a loser in much of the nation, and Specter isn't welcome in today's far-right GOP. I wouldn't be surprised if Chuck Hagel, Olympia Snowe and a few others follow suit. If they do, the Dems will have a huge majority.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 3):
The problem with predicting the demise of a political party is that the party in power, especially when they have such a large majority, will ALWAYS (without exception - history has never proven this wrong) stumble as a result of greed and hubris creeping into the ranks over time. And when that happens, the party out of power will suddenly find itself regaining strength and favor with the public.

Exactly. It's sad that this has to happen almost every time, but it is, in many ways, an unwritten check and balance of our system. Which is why, despite the fact I cannot stand the GOP as a whole, it is important for the nation that it be a viable, vigerous party. One party-rule is never a good thing.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 3):
They give up on their ideology and core beliefs and will do whatever it takes to retain their power.

Actually, like Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Phil Gramm, and others, they haven't changed their ideology at all. But party ideologies change all the time. Thurmond and Helms (and, to a lesser extent, Gramm) left the Democratic Party because it went from the party of the South to the Party of Civil Rights, and they were more beholden to the Democrats of the Confederacy than the Dems of Harry Truman. In this case, wtih Specter, the GOP, once a more centrist, but still conservative party, in the days of Ike and Nixon, has not headed to the right of even Ronald Reagan. That wasn't the ideology that Arlen Specter adhered to. And he is closer to where the Dems are today than where the GOP has gone.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 16):
Now we just need to replace about 30 other republicans and we will be much better off.

You want the GOP to weed out the entire center-right section of the party, AGM? If that trend continues, which Specter may have started, the GOP will become a fringe party, not a national player. You have to have a fairly broad spectrum within your party, or else you can never win those independent voters-at least not as often. A Dem party that goes from the far left, with the likes of Nancy Pelosi, all the way to the center-right like Arlen Specter, is a broader, stronger, and much more viable party than a GOP that simply holds only the far right.
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Falcon84
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:23 pm

Rush Limbaugh is now calling for John McCain to leave the party. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina is under fire for not being conservataive enough. GOP Chairmain Steele is threatening to come after Specter if he wins the Senate seat back.

Sounds like a convoluted, and, at time, panicky GOP here to me. While the Johnny-Come-Lately Republicans, who have taken the party further to the right, try to brush this off, it's clearly shaking the very foundations of the GOP, at a time when the GOP is already doing some soul-searching about it's future, and at a time when the American people clearly don't think they have what it takes to govern.

So Republicans, what IS the future of the party? Does this purge of those not considered conservative enough continue? Does the party become simply a conservative monolity, with support only in the Deep South and the Upper Midwest? If they do that, they marginalize themselves, and make themselves more of a regional party, not a true national one.

Meanwhile, as I said, the Dem base is growing, with the inclusion of Specter, and, possibly, other center-right politicians who simply feel the party has left them.

Some of our conservative friends on here may not think this a big deal, but it's a move that will re-define the GOP, and it doesn't have good immediate consequences for the party.
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Venus6971
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:18 pm

What this means that there will be no debate anymore, no comprimise, tryanny of the majority. Instead of legislation that was brought about by comprimise and debate we will get a idealogical dictates forced on the US people. The checks and balances written into the Constitution will be overidden by party politics. Hell the GOP might as well not even show up to congress because they have absolutely no way to stop any legislation good or bad. The American people voted for this and they get what they deserve. So if the countries economy tanks, we have a massive terror attack, the flu gets out of hand it soley belongs to the Dems. The GOP has been neutered.
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texan
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:21 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 38):
So Republicans, what IS the future of the party?

But can we not ask the same question about the Democratic Party? With the country's shift to the right and the acceptance by Democrats of more traditionally conservative individuals, does that not shift the Democratic Party further to the right as well in the future? Just a discussion point.

Texan
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FreequentFlier
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:23 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 32):

Wrong. The majority does. Long live democracy!

You seem to be missing the p

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 38):
Rush Limbaugh is now calling for John McCain to leave the party. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina is under fire for not being conservataive enough. GOP Chairmain Steele is threatening to come after Specter if he wins the Senate seat back.

Sounds like a convoluted, and, at time, panicky GOP here to me. While the Johnny-Come-Lately Republicans, who have taken the party further to the right, try to brush this off, it's clearly shaking the very foundations of the GOP, at a time when the GOP is already doing some soul-searching about it's future, and at a time when the American people clearly don't think they have what it takes to govern.

So Republicans, what IS the future of the party? Does this purge of those not considered conservative enough continue? Does the party become simply a conservative monolity, with support only in the Deep South and the Upper Midwest? If they do that, they marginalize themselves, and make themselves more of a regional party, not a true national one.

Meanwhile, as I said, the Dem base is growing, with the inclusion of Specter, and, possibly, other center-right politicians who simply feel the party has left them.

Some of our conservative friends on here may not think this a big deal, but it's a move that will re-define the GOP, and it doesn't have good immediate consequences for the party.

Falcon, feel free to brag, I'm not in the slightest bit concerned. As the Republicans learned in 2004, you can lose majorities rather quickly. Likewise, there is nothing moderate about annual trillion dollar deficits as the Dems propose. And there is nothing radical about opposing them.

With Specter gone, the trillion dollar deficits are your party's upcoming legacy. OWN them. Be proud of them. They're all yours now.

Any member of the Republicans who wishes to support the President's budget (and the trillion dollar deficits they entail every single year) is more than welcome to leave the Republican Party. Or perhaps they can offer some twisted, convoluted about how trillion dollar deficits are good for America.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 pm



Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 41):
Any member of the Republicans who wishes to support the President's budget (and the trillion dollar deficits they entail every single year) is more than welcome to leave the Republican Party.

Where was such talk when Bush and the GOP majorities were running up huge deficits, FF? They sound so noble now, but your party has spent us into oblivion over the last 3 GOP presidencies.

Now, suddenly, there's this desire to be fiscally responsible? Seeing that GOP fiscal irresponsibility is a large reason why we're in the mess tha we're in right now, is hypocricy at it's finest.

And I also find it astounding that, after 3 months, you've already assigned a legacy to President Obama. It makes for dramatic words, but it's pretty hollow, seeing he still has somewhere betweeen 4 and 8 years left to define his legacy.

What would you have said, after 3 months, had someone tried to assign a legacy to George W. Bush? This is not meant as a put-down in any way to Mr. Bush, either? You would have seen it as silly-especially since, after 3 months, we were still months shy of 9/11, which changed the whole way in which Mr. Bush governed.

In other words, you cannot assign a legacy to any president after 3 months. It's naive to think you can do so. So such words, 3 months into a presidency, are absolutely meaningless.

Come back in 2012, or, if Mr. Obama does have a 2nd term, in 2016, and then you can start talking about "legacies". After 3 months? That's just naive.
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FreequentFlier
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:10 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 42):

Where was such talk when Bush and the GOP majorities were running up huge deficits, FF? They sound so noble now, but your party has spent us into oblivion over the last 3 GOP presidencies.

Now, suddenly, there's this desire to be fiscally responsible? Seeing that GOP fiscal irresponsibility is a large reason why we're in the mess tha we're in right now, is hypocricy at it's finest.

 talktothehand   talktothehand   talktothehand 

Again, stop.

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 330 File size: 25kb


First of all, there WAS such talk about the deficits Bush was ringing up. It was conservatives who were outraged most about Bridges to Nowhere and other various pork projects. It was conservatives who started organizations to detail wasteful spending. The reason there is now a Google type index for government agencies detailing where various earmark projects go is because of conservative insistence upon it.

Also, in the diagram above, you'll notice the deficit went up to $400 billion plus and then started falling in each successive year. That was because of conservative insistence on it. Just because you were too busy scouring the Daily Kos or other left-wing blogs to realize that there was such resistance to deficits, doesn't mean there was no such resistance. You're entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts, yadda yadda.

And besides, the $400 billion dollar deficit (a disgrace under Bush) was the highest during his Presidency. As the chart above shows, this year's deficit will be roughly five times that and will be consistently over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS beyond that into 2019.

Don't even dare lecture me about fiscal irresponsibility. Your party is now actively encouraging it, to degrees unseen, unheard, and unthought of before.

Those charts (as evidenced by the GDP report that came out today) assume unrealistic and rosy budget projections, so the deficits will actually be much larger. But make no mistake about it, with 60 votes in the Senate, they are entirely your party's legacy. Learn to love them. Learn to live them. OWN them.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:20 pm



Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 43):
It was conservatives who were outraged most about Bridges to Nowhere and other various pork projects.

Time for you to stop. There was not conservative "outrage" between 2001 and 2006, when the GOP controlled the government. They spent like drunken sailors, on their own various pork projects, including huge tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

You seem to be going under the premise that only Democrats spend on pork. The truth is Dems have their own pet projects, and the GOP spends money on their own when they're in charge of things. The constituencies may be different, but the pork spending is no less rampant among either side.

And I don't put much stock in projections, FF. Too much can happen too fast to change the landscape. I imagine CBO/WH projections on 9/10/01 looked much different on the morning of 9/12/01. My point is that projections are simply guesses, nothing else.

Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 43):
Don't even dare lecture me about fiscal irresponsibility.

You personally? Never. My wife and I are fighting our own fight restoring fiscal responsibility to our household, so I cannot do so to anyone on a personal basis. But to say I can't do so to the Republican Party? C'mon! Ronald Reagan TRIPLED our national debt, and yet Republicans revere him as some fiscal moderate. He was not. The Bush's increased those debts dramatically as well. So that's why I say, to castigate Obama is simply hypocritical on an ideological plane. The GOP hasn't been fiscally responsible since the days of Richard Nixon. It's like crying wolf after all the sheep have been taken.
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Ken777
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:53 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 3):
And that is a perfect example of what power does to a person. They give up on their ideology and core beliefs and will do whatever it takes to retain their power.

Politicians do like to get re-elected, but the Republican Party is the side that has changed over the past 40 years, not Specter. Today's Republican Party is one that Ike wouldn't recognize. No reason why Specter has a difficult time being accepted within the party, but not his state.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 7):
Who's to say the Republicans will take him back? I'm sure they would, though, if it will suit their political agenda at the time.

Republicans these days don't want anyone running who isn't far right. They would even reject old Republicans like Ike.

Quoting D L X (Reply 15):
liberal =

Ain't that the truth! I'm a moderate (meaning I try to listen to both sides and make up my own mind) and it drives my conservative friends nuts.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
If you are a republican ... its low taxes , cut spending , and free-market. If your a democrat , its government regulation , and social welfare issues .

Lowering taxes are great when it's JFK dropping the top tax rate from the Republicans' 90% to 75%. Sadly taxes can reach a point where there isn't enough for basic needs - like maintaining the Interstate highway system. We've cut spending there even though Reagan brought in a 5¢ a gallon tax to increase maintenance funds.

Or the significant taxes to pay for air traffic control upgrades that haven't happened. Or the free market approach to oversight and regulations in the mortgage industry and finance sector.

Democrats will hopefully bring regulations and oversight into the financial sector that could have avoided the current problems. They hopefully will clean up the home mortgage mess and prosecute those that played games, changing documents so a janitor on minimum wage could get a $500,000 mortgage.

And hopefully they will make some significant progress in cleaning up the huge mess in medical care and medical insurance.

Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 31):
I'm extremely glad the PRINCIPLED opposition will not be tarred by some of its members approving of this bankrupting of America.

And I think that the PRINCIPLED opposition is very relieved that Obama does not want to waste time and resources investigating and prosecuting those that possibly carried out illegal activities related to "torture". That might have been a huge embarrassment for their "PRINCIPLES".

Or Cheney handing out the largest NO BID contract in history to his old company (how much stock DOES he own in that company anyway?) saying they were the only ones that could do the job.

Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 31):
When one party is interested more in power for power's sake, and seeks to impose its will, even at the expense of the nation's potential bankruptcy, then let them carry the legacy that those decisions will bear.

Like the Bush/Cheney legacy of turning a surplus into a year after year deficit? Conservatives own that one.

Or the "WMD joke" that caused this country to go to war with Iraq, resulting in around 40,000 KIA and WIA? And resulting in a new commitment for this country to care for war veterans for another 60 years or so? Bush & Cheney & Rumsfeld clearly own that one, but it's only considered to cost $3+ Trillion long term.

Or a medical system that is a disaster, with millions dropping insurance because they can't afford the massive increases that were thrown at us under the Bush years? Another Bush FUBAR and he owns it.

As far as a party interested in power for power's sake it's seemed to me that , when it came to corruption, it was the Republican's that were interested in Power and the Democrat's that were interested in Money and Sex.

Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 31):
You can also OWN its legacy.

The Obama Administration will own the job of cleaning up after the 8 years of Bush & Cheney. Far more time and money will be directed at cleaning up the mess left to them than working on new ideas.
 
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:35 pm



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 39):

Please, cut the melodramatic act. While I think it is good to have a mutli-party system with many different points of view being represented, the romantic view that some people have about the constitution is misplaced.

1. "filibuster" was not even a political term when the founding fathers were around. It did not come around until the middle of the 19th century, and once it did, it was used MAYBE twice a decade to try and block civil rights legislation, such as the Fugitive Slave Law or later the Civil Rights Act. It was seen as a last resort, and even un-gentlemanly to use it. Today, we act as though if there is no filibuster the world will end.

2. The judicial branch had almost no real power written into the constitution. Yes, it was designed to figure out the constitutionality of laws, but not until Marbury v. Madison in 1803 did the judicial branch of the US government gain any real power to do anything.

One of the problems of democracy, as demonstrated by the rise of Hitler, is that like any form of government, it can collapse on itself. Its part of the risk of government in general. Read any ancient author (Cicero, Plato, Aristotle) and it becomes pretty clear that everything eventually turns into tyranny given enough time.
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FreequentFlier
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:52 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 47):
It was Harry Truman who said "The buck stops here", but he was a Democrat. Bush & Cheney certainly won't take responsibility - just like they didn't take on the responsibility of proper oversight.



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 47):
Will pass on the 8 minutes of video

*slaps forehead*

Ok Ken, if you're not going to bother engaging in debate, I'm not sure what you're doing in the political forums. The video I linked CLEARLY showed it was the Democrats on the Oversight panel that were fully opposed to any regulation of subprime mortgage lenders. It's all their in the video and the names and faces clearly distinguished for you. Bush is certainly responsible for some of the crisis, but he cannot be held responsible for trying regulate something that the Democrats blocked. It's really all there in the video Ken.

If instead, you want to dig your hand in the sand, then I suppose you're voting for the right party.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 47):
Could that be because the Democrats I vote for are closer to the middle?

There's nothing "in the middle" about nationalizing industries, undoing welfare reform, forcing (by government mandate) doctors to perform abortions even if they are morally opposed to them, and saddling future generations with trillions in debt every year Ken.
 
redflyer
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:46 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 45):
Politicians do like to get re-elected, but the Republican Party is the side that has changed over the past 40 years, not Specter.

You know, I've never really bought into that line. The problem with the Republicans is that their beliefs and ideology have not changed but, rather, their conduct has. In other words, in recent years they were able to talk the talk, but were unable to walk the walk. They just simply lost their way and became corrupted by power, much as the Democrats had before them when they were in power prior to 1994. And to now make matters worse, they have no effective leader, so they've been marginalized.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 45):
Today's Republican Party is one that Ike wouldn't recognize.

That's very true. But then the same could be said about the Democrats: Today's Democratic Party is one that LBJ would not recognize.


By the way, and back on topic with regards to Specter, there seems to be a lot of grumbling among some senior Dems in PA who don't believe he's worthy of being elected as a Democrat. How ironic would that be if he changed parties just to better his chances of getting reelected, only to lose the election because he can't garner enough Democratic support?
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usair320
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RE: Arlen Specter Switching To Dems!

Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:49 pm

As a PA resident and registered republican, I was planning to vote for Specter in the primary. I disagree with many of his votes on spending, but I like his socially moderate positions. I will not vote for Toomey if he becomes the nominee because he is way outside of mainstream PA. I'm hoping there is a draft Tom Ridge (or even Bill Scranton) movement because he could give Specter a run for his money, but if Toomey is the nominee I may just vote for Specter as a Democrat. Toomey has financed too many idealougues against moderate candidates in moderate states as head of the Club for Growth (victims include Gilchrest, and to an extent Chafee) only to have the idealogue get trounced. What we see when that happens is we replace a reasonable centrist with a Left Wing Liberal. I have too much against him for me to cast a ballot for him. The party's in deep trouble, and until Michael Steele stops calling moderate Republicans "Left-Wingers" we'll only marginalize (And I may jump ship).

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