Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, has announced today that he will be officially switching parties and joining the Democrats in the senate. Specter has basically been a Democrat for years but is worried about being primaried by an actual Republican in 2010.
The news from Breitbart:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, a move intended to boost his chances of winning re-election next year that will also push Democrats closer to a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.
“I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,” Specter said in a statement posted on a Web site devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office. Several Senate officials said a formal announcement could come later in the day or Wednesday.
Specter, 79 and in his fifth term, is one of a handful of Republican moderates remaining in Congress in a party now dominated by conservatives. Several officials said the White House as well as leaders in both parties had been involved in discussions leading to his move.
With Specter, Democrats would have 59 Senate seats. Al Franken is ahead in a marathon recount in Minnesota, and if he ultimately wins his race against Republican Norm Coleman, he would become the party’s 60th vote. That is the number needed to overcome a filibuster.
Specter faced an extraordinarily difficult re-election challenge in his home state in 2010, having first to confront a challenge from his right in the Republican primary before pivoting to a general election campaign against a Democrat.
“I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate,” he said in the statement.
“I don’t have to say anything to them. They said it to me,” Specter said, when asked in a Capitol corridor about abandoning the GOP.
This is the Pennsylvania Republican Party trying to hold Specter accountable for his liberal positions and specter simply refusing to answer to the people of his own party, or what used to be his party.
Fox News report:
This announcement, of course, comes just days after Specter adamantly said he would not switch parties:
In a March 17th interview with The Hill, Specter said he absolutely would not switch parties:
“[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.”
Way to stick to your unequivocal statements Senator Specter, I’m sure the people of Pennsylvania will appreciate meaning what you say and saying what you mean, unless it’s inconvenient a month later.
Of course, as mentioned, this will give way to a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the senate meaning socialized health care, increased taxes and anti-business policies are forthcoming thanks to Arlen Specter.
In fact, one wonders if Specter might get axed anyway come 2010 considering he’s one of those ancient politicians who is incapable of making a living outside of Washington.
That is the game awful politicians like Specter play. When the people attempt to hold you accountable, you just screw them and switch parties to avoid it. Specter is the epitome of weaselly politicians who care only for their own self-interests, not those of the people who pay their salaries. \
The expected chorus of voices whining about the GOP becoming “too conservative” has begun singing, Politico reports:
Two leading Republican moderates say Sen. Arlen Specter’s decision to become a Democrat highlights the hostility moderates feel from an increasingly conservative GOP.
“You haven’t certainly heard warm encouraging words about how [the GOP] views moderates,” said Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate.
Snowe said the party’s message has been, “Either you’re with us or you’re against us.”
Her frustration was shared by Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who slammed right-wing interest groups for pushing moderates out of the party.
So let me get this straight. Snowe and Graham are angry that the Republicans are becoming “too conservative” when the party just got done losing with Senator John McCain as the Presidential nominee? So to win elections, do they suggest that we should run a Democrat as our nominee?
In fact, principle be damned! Why don’t we dissolve the Republican Party and all become Democrats, that way the liberal Republicans won’t feel offended by people with principle.
Furthermore, don’t any of these politicians remember what the Democrats did to Joe Lieberman in Connecticut? They ran Lieberman out of the party using the primary system to Ned Lamont! How quickly we forget and how pathetic it is to watch liberal Republicans clamor on about the party being “too ideological” and then embracing the Democrats who have chastised people like Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman because they’re not terribly liberal.
Newsflash to liberal Republicans: The media use you as tools to bash the Republican Party!