NEWS FLASH: Arlen Specter To Become Democrat

From WaPo:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter’s decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next Senator from Minnesota. (Former Sen. Norm Coleman is appealing Franken’s victory in the state Supreme Court.)

“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” said Specter in a statement. “I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.”

He added: “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

Wow. I am speechless.  I am without speech.

MORE: Specter’s full statement here. [via]

Posted by Kevin K. on 04/28/09 at 11:09 AM • Permalink

Categories: NewsPoliticsNutters

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Wow indeed. I had to check the calendar to make sure this isn’t April 1. Okay Collins and Snowe—your turn!

Wow indeed. I had to check the calendar to make sure this isn’t April 1. Okay Collins and Snowe—your turn!

Kos is predicting that, too.

Woohoo! I’m pretty shocked too. 60 seats is huge from a psychological standpoint. Probably won’t make much practical difference as long as we’ve got asshats like Bayh, Nelson, et al.

Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats.

Rush just took credit for this, claiming it was entirely a result of “Operation Chaos.”

This is going to be a lot of fun.

I’m just loving every minute of this!  I’m sure the Republicans are fuming!  Yes! Payback sure is a mother.  Stay tuned.  Sure there will be more “drama,” to follow.

Wow.  The Repubs are now officially a sinking ship.

Not sure how this makes sense. I know Specter was facing a tough primary challenge, but this move doesn’t really guarantee him anything. He’s still lined up against EFCA, so that practically kills him with PA labor groups.

Even if he does somehow win, his use in the Senate is somewhat limited. He would join Lieberman in the DINO corner of the Senate dining room.

He’s still lined up against EFCA,

Yes, and yesterday he was a committed Republican.

Who knows what’s on the table here? This is problem not the only surprise in the works.

Specter is (obviously) an old hand, so now I’m concerned about what promises or concessions he was able to get from the PA Dem leadership in exchange for the switch. This is going to get interesting.

Even if he does somehow win, his use in the Senate is somewhat limited. He would join Lieberman in the DINO corner of the Senate dining room.

I think it helps from the point of view that every single thing that can be filibustered is apparently going to be filibustered.  Important nominations? Ah, who cares?  And as the leadership was too weak to make them read from the phone book, just saying they were going to filibuster was enough.  Now, assuming Franken is ever seated, we still have a filibuster proof majority.  That works for me.

Don’t get me started on Reid. We could have 70 seats and he’d still try and negotiate.

My dad always says your leadership shouldn’t come from a swing state.  I am not a fan of Reid. 

I would have had them up there reading take out menus and the phone book instead of just meekly saying, “um, okay, you want to filibuster?  We give in.”

Beltway Pundit:

This is a disaster for the Democrats, who will find themselves ever more divided amongst themselves.

This is great news for the Republicans, as they are more unified than ever.

Can Obama’s presidency survive this blow?

Kev, via Think Progress, here’s a great photo of Obama on the phone with Phil, errr, Arlen.

Funny, my mind’s eye still sees Obama on the trail, more Oval office photos please. Senator-Specter/

Comment by HumboldtBlue on 04/28/09 at 12:48 PM

Gah. Now I’m not sure I want to be a Democrat. But given this is Arlen Spooky Specter we’re talking about, I’ll believe it after he 1) Runs as a Democrat and 2) Is sworn in as a Democrat.

I wonder how Ted Kennedy feels about this?

Man, on the one hand I’m pleased—I mean, it’s pretty clearly good news, right?  But on the other—recently Specter has served as a reminder to me that Republicans don’t necessarily need to be uniformly hateful, deluded jackasses ... and now that generalization is one notch closer to absolute truth.  Sort of a shame.

I’ll believe it when he learns to say, “Democratic.”

I try not to join parties whose proper name I can’t stand pronouncing.

...and right on cue, Joe the Weasel chimes in:

“I enthusiastically welcome my good friend Arlen Specter into the Democratic caucus. It will be very good to have the company of yet another independent minded Democrat in the caucus!

“I have always admired Arlen as a man of deep principle who has been a bridge builder to get things done in the Senate. Arlen understands that we get things accomplished when we listen to the vital center of American politics. I know that Arlen will continue to make a major contribution to the Senate and the nation as an effective independent leader and problem solver.”

Oh Fuck Off And Die, Joe.

“See? I was with you guys all along! Can I keep my chairmanship? Please?”

Oh Fuck Off And Die, Joe.

Now would be good. When is that mofo up for reelection?

That would be 2012, Betty.

Limbaugh says we can have Specter, and we should take McCain and his daughter too.

Throw in Collins and Snowe and you got yourself a deal, Porky.

Ya know, remember, this is Specter we’re talking about ... st-turned-democrat

Comment by HumboldtBlue on 04/28/09 at 03:54 PM

Specter knows how the game should be played.  He has been around since the old “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” way of getting legislation passed.  The new Republican party marches in lockstep and refuses to vote for anything proposed by a Democrat.

My conclusion is Specter will be an asset for us as he will give us needed votes on things we want in exchange for getting needed votes on things he wants.  Win-win.

One more thing.  Michael Steele not only didn’t help them win the NY-20 seat as he promised but now they’ve lost a Senate seat by defection.

They won’t learn anything from this though.  Snowe up next and Collins on deck.

Throw this in the archive and feel free to berate me when I’m wrong:

In 2012, the GOP will fail to get a presidential candidate on the ballots of all fifty states.

In 2016, the presidential election will be between a progressive and moderate.  My pick?  Gavin Newsom (Governor CA - Progressive) vs Evan Bayh (Senator IN - Moderate)

April 28th, 2009 is the day that the country permanently moved center left.

Pumalicious!—I don’t quite see things getting so extreme, but there is clearly room for a “Republican but not batshit crazy” party for people like Specter, Collins, Snowe, and the conserva-Dems.  I think that once the RNC gets rid of Michael Steele, we’ll see the Republicans take on this role.

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