Wow. Just... wow.
Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday he would switch to the Democratic party, presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters as they try to advance the Obama administration’s new agenda.The rapidly shrinking conservative rump is in full denial mode.
In a statement issued about noon as the Capitol was digesting the stunning turn of events, Mr. Specter said he had concluded that his party had moved too far to the right, a fact demonstrated by the migration of 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans to the Democratic Party.
“I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,” Mr. Specter said, acknowledging that his decision was certain to disappoint colleagues and supporters.
If Al Franken prevails in his ongoing court case in Minnesota and Mr. Specter begins caucusing with Democrats, Democrats would have 60 votes and the ability to deny Republicans the chance to stall legislation. Mr. Specter was one of only three Republicans to support President Obama’s economic recovery legislation.
The news shocked Senate Republicans, who had been hanging on to their ability to block legislation by a thread. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, called an emergency meeting of party leaders who had no forewarning of Mr. Specter’s plans.
Gover Norquist is babbling about EFCA and silver linings.
Rush Limbaugh says this is actually a good thing for the Republican Party. It means the GOP is closer to achieving its dream of running all the liberals out of town on a rail. Yeah, good luck winning all those Independents back who thought that the party was too extreme with Specter in it.
And at the American Spectator they're hangning their hopes on Specter's statement that he won't be an automatic filibuster-breaking 60th vote.
But here's the thing: Specter has to win a Democratic Party primary next year. He simply does not have the luxury of being seen as some opportunistic DINO scumbag. He has to start developing some progressive street cred. The only way to do that is to support Obama's progressive agenda far more often than he opposes it.
Sorry, Repubs. There is no - repeat, NO - positive spin to put on this. Your world just caved in on itself.
As I write this, CNN and MSNBC are All Arlen, All the Time!!!!
A Fox "News" announcer just said that today's top news stories are:
- Swine Flu
- The Air Force One Flyover
- The War
So far, nothing about the death of GOP obstructionism in the U.S. Senate.