Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat





WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter told colleagues Tuesday that he switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, Sen. Harry Reid says.

The Specter party switch would give Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats if Al Franken holds his current lead in the disputed Minnesota Senate race.

"Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right," Specter said in a statement posted by his office on PoliticsPA.com.

"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."

Specter, a five-term Senate veteran, was greeted by a loud, sustained round of applause by dozens of constituents outside his Washington office shortly after the news broke.

"I don't have to say anything to them," a smiling Specter said. "They've said it to me." VideoWatch constituents cheer for Specter »

President Obama called Specter shortly after learning the news during his daily economic briefing in the Oval Office on Tuesday morning, according to a senior administration official.

"You have my full support, and we're thrilled to have you," Obama told Specter.

Jubilant Senate Democrats also welcomed the news.

"Sen. Specter and I have had a long dialogue about his place in an evolving Republican party," Senate Majority Leader Reid, D-Nevada, said in a written statement.

"We have not always agreed on every issue, but [he] has shown a willingness to work in a bipartisan manner, put people over party and do what is right for Pennsylvanians and all Americans."

Reid called Specter a "man of honor and integrity" who would be welcome in the Democratic caucus.

One key Senate Democrat warned that reaching the 60-vote mark would not automatically ensure a Democratic victory on every major issue.

"It's great news," North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad said. But it means "a lot less" than some people think.

"The Democratic caucus is not homogenous. [There is a] lot of disagreement in the Democratic caucus, so this idea that it's some great watershed event ... I don't think so."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele ripped Specter, calling him a Republican in name only who was out of step with the rest of the party because of his "left-wing voting record."

"Some in the Republican Party are happy about this. I am not," Steele said in a written statement. "Let's be honest --Sen. 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."

Steele said Republicans "look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don't do it first."

Specter was expected to face a very tough primary challenge in 2010 from former Rep. Pat Toomey, who nearly defeated Specter in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary in 2004. VideoWatch why Specter decided to switch »

A Quinnipiac University survey of registered Pennsylvania voters released last month showed Specter trailing the more conservative Toomey in a hypothetical primary matchup, 41 to 27 percent.

A separate Franklin & Marshall survey showed Specter leading Toomey 33 to 18 percent. Another 42 percent, however, were undecided.

More than half of the Republicans polled in the Franklin & Marshall survey said they would prefer to see someone new in the Senate.

Numerous Republicans are angry with Specter over his recent vote in support of President Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan.

Specter, one of only three GOP senators to vote for the measure, has been part of a dwindling group of GOP moderates from the northeastern part of the country.

The 79-year-old former Philadelphia district attorney won his first of five Senate terms in 1980. He has been a leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee for much of the past two decades, serving as its chairman from 2005 to 2007.

Specter served on the Warren Commission, which investigated the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. He has survived bouts with cancer three times, most recently undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease in 2005.

CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.



Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITI...ty.switch/index.html
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Original Post
quote:
Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter told colleagues Tuesday that he switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, Sen. Harry Reid says.


Wow! That's a shock. But to be honest, I have seen Spector in disagreement often times with other Republicans. And don't forget, he was very open with his criticism of Bush. I guess he can standby for a phalanx of hate and personal attacks from Rushbo and Sean Hannity.
I keep hearing people say that the Republican Party has moved to far too the right, but is that really true? It’s relative. How far left or right is dependent upon where the center is. What’s happening is that the “Center” has shifted left while the Right has remained static. Demographic changes (the browning of America), and a terribly perceived era of Republican Control has shifted the “Center” left. Colin Powell even said that the Republican Party has moved to far to the right. That’s BS. The nation has simply moved more to the left and people trying to stay in power are simply trying to jump on the bandwagon. As the nation moves left, it creates the impression that Republicans are moving more to the right….when they are not. It’s that the distance between the Center and the Right has increased due to the Center moving.
I think the mismanagement of the country by the Bush Administration really brought home the point that the Republican/Conservative agenda is, for the most part, selfish, self-promoting and self-serving. Under such a platform, the "haves" get more of what they already have and the "have nots" get less.

Their image has been shattered by the ignorance of GWB, the decision to run Palin for VP and the completely irrational and radical ramblings of Limbaugh & his crew.

The grass looks greener on the Democratic side because ... even those that don't care much for helping somebody else need help themselves - whether they will admit it not.

The nation is indeed moving left. And the Repubs aren't moving at all. They're *loyalty* will keep them going down with the ship as it fills with water. Once they're swimming in shark-infested waters will be when they turn to each other and ask "What happened"??? Confused
There were many Republicans who did not agree with Bush…..but simply went along because they were against Democrats even more. There are people who will argue that Bush did not represent the core philosophy of Republicans, which is small government. The government expanded considerably under Bush. I really think that the big problem in America is the voters and their oft superficial view of things. In rejecting Bush, the Rejected Republican policies, but many of Bush’s policies, in effect, did not represent the core small government pillar of the GOP, and certainly not the Conservative Philosophy. So I am not sure that what was on demonstration, in Bush, as a microcosm of Conservatism or Republicans supposed principles.
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:
There were many Republicans who did not agree with Bush…..but simply went along because they were against Democrats even more. There are people who will argue that Bush did not represent the core philosophy of Republicans, which is small government. The government expanded considerably under Bush. I really think that the big problem in America is the voters and their oft superficial view of things. In rejecting Bush, the Rejected Republican policies, but many of Bush’s policies, in effect, did not represent the core small government pillar of the GOP, and certainly not the Conservative Philosophy. So I am not sure that what was on demonstration, in Bush, as a microcosm of Conservatism or Republicans supposed principles.


No .. Bush's philosophy was not that of core Republicans ... nor Conservatives. But that didn't really matter because in the end, he was a Republican ... and POTUS at that. Whatever his actual philosophy was (and personally, I think he was too stupid to really have one! ek) it was globally associated with Republican politics.

GeeDubya certainly wasn't as bad of a Repub/Conserv as we could have had ... but, then again, the now more moderate-thinking American population would probably never elect another Reagan in this day and time!! They couldn't even muster enough support for McCain & his Bimbo ... er .. I mean, running mate!! Eek

Part of the reasoning behind Obama's strategy that 4 years of McCain would equal the last 8 years of Bush was not about personality similarities ... it was strictly a Republican vs. Democrat comparison. And what happened is now history.

It's really sad, but hilarious, that NOBODY liked GeeDubya, really .... not Dems, not Repubs, not the Left, not the Right, nor the Center. He WAS the Representative for the Republican Party though ... right or wrong. And ultimately, he has given them a very, very bad name.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:
There were many Republicans who did not agree with Bush…..but simply went along because they were against Democrats even more. There are people who will argue that Bush did not represent the core philosophy of Republicans, which is small government. The government expanded considerably under Bush. I really think that the big problem in America is the voters and their oft superficial view of things. In rejecting Bush, the Rejected Republican policies, but many of Bush’s policies, in effect, did not represent the core small government pillar of the GOP, and certainly not the Conservative Philosophy. So I am not sure that what was on demonstration, in Bush, as a microcosm of Conservatism or Republicans supposed principles.


No .. Bush's philosophy was not that of core Republicans ... nor Conservatives. But that didn't really matter because in the end, he was a Republican ... and POTUS at that. Whatever his actual philosophy was (and personally, I think he was too stupid to really have one! ek) it was globally associated with Republican politics.

GeeDubya certainly wasn't as bad of a Repub/Conserv as we could have had ... but, then again, the now more moderate-thinking American population would probably never elect another Reagan in this day and time!! They couldn't even muster enough support for McCain & his Bimbo ... er .. I mean, running mate!! Eek

Part of the reasoning behind Obama's strategy that 4 years of McCain would equal the last 8 years of Bush was not about personality similarities ... it was strictly a Republican vs. Democrat comparison. And what happened is now history.

It's really sad, but hilarious, that NOBODY liked GeeDubya, really .... not Dems, not Repubs, not the Left, not the Right, nor the Center. He WAS the Representative for the Republican Party though ... right or wrong. And ultimately, he has given them a very, very bad name.


I agree totally and that is my point exactly. When you are trying to make a better nation, you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The nation should have rejected a PERSON, as opposed to rejecting a philosophy or ideology. I have heard it said that the last 8 years were a demonstration that Republican policies and ideology is a failure. Well……that is not really true because Bush was not really manifesting Republican or Conservative core ideologies. We don’t know where the nation would have gone if there were a Republican who demonstrated core Republican principles the last 8 years. We also don’t know what fate the nation would have realized if a Democrat were in office the last 8 years. All we know and can know is what happened under Bush.

Obama is not straying too far from Bush in regards to economic or Military Policy. There are many Democrats who are upset with that too, and are against some of Obama’s policies. Democrats may endure the same fate as Republicans as Obama deviates from core principles of the Democratic Party or the failure to create enough distinction between his economic and military policy from Bush’s. The jury is still out on that one.
Arlen Spector is pulling a Joe Lieberman.

The only reason that he switched is that he wants to continue his job and lifestyle as a senator and he knows that the Republicans have little or no chance of winning across-the-board re-elections in 2012.

He said thst he tested the waters in Pennsylvania for Republican re-elections and the waters are well below freezing.

In his viewpoint, he will have the power of President Obama campaigning for him during the Pa. primaries in 2012. Let the sucking up and ass kissing begin.

And it does not help that the Repub Party continue to keep lodging their heads way up in their asses day in and day out. Many repubs are stepping aside & sliently retiring.

This is all about Specter's 29+ years of public service and his personal/family preservation. It's more about holding on to his future job security and his image than political philosophy.

Can he be fully trusted member for the Dems or will he be a Republican mole?

He already stated that he "will not be an automatic 60th vote". When Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is finally confirmed, the Dems will have the majority 60 votes (no Republican fillibuster) that they desperately wanted.

The Repug rats are running out of cheese and are desperately abandoning ship.

Dems, keep your eyes on this seasoned, very slick cat. munch
quote:
The only reason that he switched is that he wants to continue his job and lifestyle as a senator and he knows that the Republicans have little or no chance of winning across-the-board re-elections in 2012.

That's what I was thinking Cholly, that he wants to be on the winning team & now that is the Democrats. I'm sure he's still going to be doing favors for the same corprocrats, etc. etc. Nothing is going to change other than what he calls himself. LOL This is too funny.
quote:
Originally posted by Cholly:
Arlen Spector is pulling a Joe Lieberman.

The only reason that he switched is that he wants to continue his job and lifestyle as a senator and he knows that the Republicans have little or no chance of winning across-the-board re-elections in 2012.

He said thst he tested the waters in Pennsylvania for Republican re-elections and the waters are well below freezing.

In his viewpoint, he will have the power of President Obama campaigning for him during the Pa. primaries in 2012. Let the sucking up and ass kissing begin.

And it does not help that the Repub Party continue to keep lodging their heads way up in their asses day in and day out. Many repubs are stepping aside & sliently retiring.

This is all about Specter's 29+ years of public service and his personal/family preservation. It's more about holding on to his future job security and his image than political philosophy.

Can he be fully trusted member for the Dems or will he be a Republican mole?

He already stated that he "will not be an automatic 60th vote". When Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is finally confirmed, the Dems will have the majority 60 votes (no Republican fillibuster) that they desperately wanted.

The Repug rats are running out of cheese and are desperately abandoning ship.

Dems, keep your eyes on this seasoned, very slick cat. munch


And I ain't mad at him for it, neither! Big Grin

I'm thinking that after he voted for that $800 billion stimulus package ... he wasn't none to welcome by his (previous) colleagues, anyway!! Eek

Yeah, he's trying to save his political skin ... but I can respect that he's got enough sense to know that the best way to do that is to get on the winning team!! Those other fools are standing there being the laughing stock of politics, and refusing to see it!

If, indeed, the President does know what he's doing and there is a recovery of any measurable means by the 2010 Congressional elections ... then the Repubs are going to get trounced (again) and probably never see it coming.

Politics is about appearances ... and the *appearance* of a 60-vote majority is better than not having it.

A wolf in sheep's clothing?? Nah, I don't think so. A sniveling turncoat trying to hold on to the only job he knows how to do through self-serving means? Yeah .. I'll take that. Smile
This was a total shock to me. I think we are going to see more of this in the near future because most of the real republicans are finally accepting the fact that they have sat back and let southern racist hatemonger take over their party, and the fact that that is about all that is left to the republican party.

(Though, I think this move or Specter is more a political strategy than a conversion left/democrat political philosophy).
fro I agree Cholly. I think he looked at the future of the republican party and sensed that it is the beginning of an end...of a system which presently cannot WORK anymore in this economy. Smart man. And watch....you gonna see many more republicans jumping out of the window to become Democrats. true form: COWARDS!

fro
I saw Rush Limbaugh's response: He said it's good that specter is leaving because this means he wasn't a real republican and needed to be weeded out. He also jokingly said somthing about taking mccain and his daughter with him...

which spurred lots of radio conversations about whether there's room for moderate republicans anymore since Limbaugh and the far right wing fringe are controlling the party and moderates aren't in right now. They're not even considered real republicans by the far right wing lunatics controlling the party right now...and that ain't michael steele...
quote:
They're not even considered real republicans by the far right wing lunatics


Yeah, they'll even say that about no-tax and spend G.W.Bush but they definitely kept voting for him with little or no reservations.
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

Obama is not straying too far from Bush in regards to economic or Military Policy. There are many Democrats who are upset with that too, and are against some of Obama’s policies. Democrats may endure the same fate as Republicans as Obama deviates from core principles of the Democratic Party or the failure to create enough distinction between his economic and military policy from Bush’s. The jury is still out on that one.


I'm not so sure we can critically or accurately judge what Obama's economic or military policies are considering he's only 3 months into his term and is having to first clean up a disastrous mess left by his predecessor ... which is a lot different than being able to simply put his own policy agenda in place.

Everything he's doing now is geared towards undoing the type of economic and military actions that he, himself, would have never created or even been a part of had he had a choice in the matter. But (neck deep) in it, he is. I think the only thing he can be judged on so far how well he's able to dig his way (our way) out of a damn near impossible hole ... once he's been given enough time to actually do it.
As a Pennsylvanian, and as an African American, I have never, ever, trusted Arlan Specter.

His agenda is never clear.

He is not trustworthy.

I am always reminded that:

He is the author of the 'silver bullet' in the Kennedy Assassination Investigation.

He challenged Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder when it would hurt him the most.

He never stands for African America...in public..., but

Mostly supports African America in private...after the 'fuss' is over.

Don't look to him for public support, nor to be and advocate for African American issues.

Until it is clear he cannot be 'hurt', or you don't need it.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

Obama is not straying too far from Bush in regards to economic or Military Policy. There are many Democrats who are upset with that too, and are against some of Obama’s policies. Democrats may endure the same fate as Republicans as Obama deviates from core principles of the Democratic Party or the failure to create enough distinction between his economic and military policy from Bush’s. The jury is still out on that one.


I'm not so sure we can critically or accurately judge what Obama's economic or military policies are considering he's only 3 months into his term and is having to first clean up a disastrous mess left by his predecessor ... which is a lot different than being able to simply put his own policy agenda in place.

Everything he's doing now is geared towards undoing the type of economic and military actions that he, himself, would have never created or even been a part of had he had a choice in the matter. But (neck deep) in it, he is. I think the only thing he can be judged on so far how well he's able to dig his way (our way) out of a damn near impossible hole ... once he's been given enough time to actually do it.


Well…..the policies of a new president are always THEIR policies. To be honest, there was a recession that Bush inherited when he first took office. After the Dot COM tech bubble benefitted the economy of the Clinton years the natural burst of the Bubble manifested during Bush’s first year. So one could make the same argument that Bush policies were not his own, but rather, policy that was geared towards reviving the economy from the phony tech bubble. The present is the creation and summation of past events. Therefore, president, when they take office, are always dealing with the ramifications of the past.


To say that Obama’s economic policies are cleaning up the mess of the Bush policy is laughable. That is like saying one is cleaning up a room someone else made dirty……by spreading MORE dirt. Also, you keep forgetting that Congress is a co-equal branch of the Government and that Democrats held the majority the last two years of Bush Presidency. You also have to note that nearly all Democrats were on board authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The Congress is as much to blame as is the executive branch, and it can be argued that they are more to blame because they write the laws and appropriates.


I remember before I had children, all the things I said I would not do, that I witnessed other parents do. It’s a lot different being a theoretical parent, before the fact, as opposed to being an actual parent. My point is that what one says what they will do when they are not in a situation they have never been is does not always match what they would actually do when they are in the situation. Its east to be an arm chair parent, when you don’t have any kids and never had any. It’s easy for people to criticize the behavior of people in the inner cities, living in poverty, when they themselves have never lived in such an environment or in poverty. Its east to sit back at home and criticize the performance of a professional athlete. When one has the luxury of no responsibility and hind sight, it’s easy to be a critic or say what you would do or what someone else should have done. That is true for the Presidency as well.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Politics is about appearances ... and the *appearance* of a 60-vote majority is better than not having it.

A wolf in sheep's clothing?? Nah, I don't think so. A sniveling turncoat trying to hold on to the only job he knows how to do through self-serving means? Yeah .. I'll take that. Smile

When I lived in PA, it was clear that Specter's base was not the Appalachian heart of the state that breed the like of Rick Santorum and Bud Shuster. He was always more of a moderate.

All things being equal, I trust him more than Joe "Sore Loser/Mr. Independent" Lieberman.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Politics is about appearances ... and the *appearance* of a 60-vote majority is better than not having it.

A wolf in sheep's clothing?? Nah, I don't think so. A sniveling turncoat trying to hold on to the only job he knows how to do through self-serving means? Yeah .. I'll take that. Smile

When I lived in PA, it was clear that Specter's base was not the Appalachian heart of the state that breed the like of Rick Santorum and Bud Shuster. He was always more of a moderate.

All things being equal, I trust him more than Joe "Sore Loser/Mr. Independent" Lieberman.


yeah

Specter's problem is that he is considered "too liberal" by his Republican base to get re-elected as a Republican.

The fact that a moderate like Specter is jumping ship reflects the fact that the Republican party continues to push rightward and is shrinking as a result of it.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Politics is about appearances ... and the *appearance* of a 60-vote majority is better than not having it.

A wolf in sheep's clothing?? Nah, I don't think so. A sniveling turncoat trying to hold on to the only job he knows how to do through self-serving means? Yeah .. I'll take that. Smile

When I lived in PA, it was clear that Specter's base was not the Appalachian heart of the state that breed the like of Rick Santorum and Bud Shuster. He was always more of a moderate.

All things being equal, I trust him more than Joe "Sore Loser/Mr. Independent" Lieberman.


I would put them all in the same basket.

These two are just more blatant.

Specter is just a little more 'mealy mouthed'.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

Obama is not straying too far from Bush in regards to economic or Military Policy. There are many Democrats who are upset with that too, and are against some of Obama’s policies. Democrats may endure the same fate as Republicans as Obama deviates from core principles of the Democratic Party or the failure to create enough distinction between his economic and military policy from Bush’s. The jury is still out on that one.


I'm not so sure we can critically or accurately judge what Obama's economic or military policies are considering he's only 3 months into his term and is having to first clean up a disastrous mess left by his predecessor ... which is a lot different than being able to simply put his own policy agenda in place.

Everything he's doing now is geared towards undoing the type of economic and military actions that he, himself, would have never created or even been a part of had he had a choice in the matter. But (neck deep) in it, he is. I think the only thing he can be judged on so far how well he's able to dig his way (our way) out of a damn near impossible hole ... once he's been given enough time to actually do it.


Well…..the policies of a new president are always THEIR policies. To be honest, there was a recession that Bush inherited when he first took office. After the Dot COM tech bubble benefitted the economy of the Clinton years the natural burst of the Bubble manifested during Bush’s first year. So one could make the same argument that Bush policies were not his own, but rather, policy that was geared towards reviving the economy from the phony tech bubble. The present is the creation and summation of past events. Therefore, president, when they take office, are always dealing with the ramifications of the past.


To say that Obama’s economic policies are cleaning up the mess of the Bush policy is laughable. That is like saying one is cleaning up a room someone else made dirty……by spreading MORE dirt. Also, you keep forgetting that Congress is a co-equal branch of the Government and that Democrats held the majority the last two years of Bush Presidency. You also have to note that nearly all Democrats were on board authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The Congress is as much to blame as is the executive branch, and it can be argued that they are more to blame because they write the laws and appropriates.


I remember before I had children, all the things I said I would not do, that I witnessed other parents do. It’s a lot different being a theoretical parent, before the fact, as opposed to being an actual parent. My point is that what one says what they will do when they are not in a situation they have never been is does not always match what they would actually do when they are in the situation. Its east to be an arm chair parent, when you don’t have any kids and never had any. It’s easy for people to criticize the behavior of people in the inner cities, living in poverty, when they themselves have never lived in such an environment or in poverty. Its east to sit back at home and criticize the performance of a professional athlete. When one has the luxury of no responsibility and hind sight, it’s easy to be a critic or say what you would do or what someone else should have done. That is true for the Presidency as well.


So Noah...what about those who do exactly what they said they would do once they are actually placed in that situation? Some people do just that in order to maintain their credibility even if that first statement is not even their most preferred choice one the situation arises. One does not have to own a car in order to drive one well...and one does not have to have children in order to know about effective child-raising and development approaches. Ever witnessed people without kids take over other people's kids and do a better job than the real parent was doing? I see it all the time...it is like crossing street at the light...you don't have to actually get your azz knocked off by a car to know that the schit hurts....
Specter's defection to Democrats roils Republicans

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
Wed Apr 29, 9:16 am ET



WASHINGTON – Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter is a Democrat again following a decades-long turn among Republicans, a defection that has the GOP warning about the perils of unchecked power only a few years after it controlled both the White House and Congress.

"The threat to the country presented ... by this defection really relates to the issue of whether or not in the United States or America our people want the majority party to have whatever it wants without restraint, without a check or balance," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday after Specter made his startling switch.

President Barack Obama welcomed Specter to the White House on Wednesday to celebrate his decision, which Obama said "reflects an independence that has been the hallmark of Arlen Specter's career since the days he arrived in Washington."

The move left Democrats with 59 votes in the Senate, and hoping that Al Franken can finally win a marathon recount in Minnesota and become their 60th. That's the number needed to overcome any Republican filibuster aimed at blocking President Barack Obama's ambitious agenda.

Even at their high point during President George W. Bush's presidency, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, they were well shy of 60 seats in the Senate.

But they brought the Senate to the brink of a crisis in 2005, when their leadership claimed the rules permitted them to confirm conservative judicial appointees by simple majority after they failed repeatedly to muster the strength needed to overcome Democratic filibusters.

A bipartisan group of senators eventually intervened to defuse the crisis. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada was Democratic leader at the time, and McConnell was the second-ranking Republican in the Senate.

Specter was a Democrat until 1965, when he ran successfully on the Republican ticket for district attorney in Philadelphia. His switch Tuesday triggered something of a debate among Republicans, who lost not only the White House in 2008 but fell deeper into the minority in both the House and Senate.

Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, one of a few remaining GOP moderates in the Senate, called Specter's decision another sign that the Republican Party needs to move toward the center.

"Ultimately, we're heading to having the smallest political tent in history, the way events have been unfolding," she said. "If the Republican Party fully intends to become a majority party in the future, it must move from the far right back toward the middle."

Countering, McConnell said Republicans have a broad party. "We have not done very well in the Northeast the last couple of years. We haven't done as well any places as we would like to have done in the last couple of years," he said.

"We intend to be competitive on a nationwide basis. I do not accept that we are going to be a regional party. And we're working very hard to compete throughout the country," he said.

Democrats, savoring Specter's switch as they celebrated Obama's first 100 days in office, couldn't resist taunting their rivals.

"I welcome Sen. Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus," Reid, the majority leader, said in a statement.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, head of the Democratic campaign committee, called the development "proof positive that the Republican Party is so out of touch with Americans that they're losing one of its most prominent leaders."

Specter told a news conference he did not intend to become an "automatic 60th vote" for Democrats trying to approve Obama's agenda of health care, energy and education by year's end. As evidence, he reaffirmed his opposition to legislation making it easier for workers to form unions, a bill that is a top priority for organized labor and backed by the White House and Democratic leadership in Congress.

No less an authority than Reid has attested to Specter's independence.

Specter "is always with us when we don't need him," Reid wrote in his 2008 autobiography, describing efforts to find Republicans willing to vote against the Iraq war.

Yet Specter cast one of only three Republican votes for the president's economic stimulus bill earlier this year, noting he concluded that without the legislation, the country ran the risk of an even deeper economic downturn than the one it is enduring.

At his news conference, Specter grew animated as he blamed conservatives for helping deliver control of the Senate to Democrats in 2006, a result he said made it impossible to confirm numerous judicial appointees of Bush.

"They don't make any bones about their willingness to lose the general election if they can purify the party. I don't understand it, but that's what they said," he added.

The five-term senator repeatedly cast his switch as a decision of principle. But he also said his own pollster had told him his chances of winning a Republican primary in Pennsylvania next year were bleak.

Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., said that in a private meeting with Republicans, Specter "gave a purely political explanation. ... He said: 'I've looked at the polls. I can't win as a Republican, I can't win as an independent. The only way I have a shot is to be a Democrat.'"

As recently as late winter, Specter was asked by a reporter why he had not taken Democrats up on past offers to switch parties.

"Because I am a Republican," he said.

___

Associated Press writer Julie Davis contributed to this report.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

Obama is not straying too far from Bush in regards to economic or Military Policy. There are many Democrats who are upset with that too, and are against some of Obama’s policies. Democrats may endure the same fate as Republicans as Obama deviates from core principles of the Democratic Party or the failure to create enough distinction between his economic and military policy from Bush’s. The jury is still out on that one.


I'm not so sure we can critically or accurately judge what Obama's economic or military policies are considering he's only 3 months into his term and is having to first clean up a disastrous mess left by his predecessor ... which is a lot different than being able to simply put his own policy agenda in place.

Everything he's doing now is geared towards undoing the type of economic and military actions that he, himself, would have never created or even been a part of had he had a choice in the matter. But (neck deep) in it, he is. I think the only thing he can be judged on so far how well he's able to dig his way (our way) out of a damn near impossible hole ... once he's been given enough time to actually do it.


Well…..the policies of a new president are always THEIR policies. To be honest, there was a recession that Bush inherited when he first took office. After the Dot COM tech bubble benefitted the economy of the Clinton years the natural burst of the Bubble manifested during Bush’s first year. So one could make the same argument that Bush policies were not his own, but rather, policy that was geared towards reviving the economy from the phony tech bubble. The present is the creation and summation of past events. Therefore, president, when they take office, are always dealing with the ramifications of the past.


To say that Obama’s economic policies are cleaning up the mess of the Bush policy is laughable. That is like saying one is cleaning up a room someone else made dirty……by spreading MORE dirt. Also, you keep forgetting that Congress is a co-equal branch of the Government and that Democrats held the majority the last two years of Bush Presidency. You also have to note that nearly all Democrats were on board authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The Congress is as much to blame as is the executive branch, and it can be argued that they are more to blame because they write the laws and appropriates.


I remember before I had children, all the things I said I would not do, that I witnessed other parents do. It’s a lot different being a theoretical parent, before the fact, as opposed to being an actual parent. My point is that what one says what they will do when they are not in a situation they have never been is does not always match what they would actually do when they are in the situation. Its east to be an arm chair parent, when you don’t have any kids and never had any. It’s easy for people to criticize the behavior of people in the inner cities, living in poverty, when they themselves have never lived in such an environment or in poverty. Its east to sit back at home and criticize the performance of a professional athlete. When one has the luxury of no responsibility and hind sight, it’s easy to be a critic or say what you would do or what someone else should have done. That is true for the Presidency as well.


So Noah...what about those who do exactly what they said they would do once they are actually placed in that situation? Some people do just that in order to maintain their credibility even if that first statement is not even their most preferred choice one the situation arises. One does not have to own a car in order to drive one well...and one does not have to have children in order to know about effective child-raising and development approaches. Ever witnessed people without kids take over other people's kids and do a better job than the real parent was doing? I see it all the time...it is like crossing street at the light...you don't have to actually get your azz knocked off by a car to know that the schit hurts....


Well…..one does not have to own a car to drive one well……but they have to have DRIVEN A CAR in order to be able to drive a car well. In regards to parenting, you have to gear the parenting to the individual child, as an effective approach for one child may not work on another. There is not a one size fits all in regards for parenting, other than loving, providing, nurturing and the like. Things change. For example, Obama said that he would accept public financing if McCain did. Then once he learned that it would be a disadvantage to his goal of being elected to do that………he changed his mind. When you are outside the game, being theoretical, you have nothing to lose from your theories. However, when you are in the game….that is the test of your true character or convictions.
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Originally posted by HonestBrother:
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Originally posted by kresge:
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Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Politics is about appearances ... and the *appearance* of a 60-vote majority is better than not having it.

A wolf in sheep's clothing?? Nah, I don't think so. A sniveling turncoat trying to hold on to the only job he knows how to do through self-serving means? Yeah .. I'll take that. Smile

When I lived in PA, it was clear that Specter's base was not the Appalachian heart of the state that breed the like of Rick Santorum and Bud Shuster. He was always more of a moderate.

All things being equal, I trust him more than Joe "Sore Loser/Mr. Independent" Lieberman.


yeah

Specter's problem is that he is considered "too liberal" by his Republican base to get re-elected as a Republican.

The fact that a moderate like Specter is jumping ship reflects the fact that the Republican party continues to push rightward and is shrinking as a result of it.


I like how the Young Turks break down the situation and show how the Republicans celebrating this move are being silly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...f3Ec&feature=channel

I think maybe some Americans are waking up because we're now seeing some of the end results of far-right conservativism and corporatism. People were happy to jump on board back in the Reagan Era because the right was promising trickle-down wealth and a consumerist orgy as a cure to the recession of the 70s. Now we're seeing the final result of that philosophy and the rightward push is waning.

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