Arlen Specter joins the Democrats

With Specter’s defection, and Franken likely to be seated any day, the Democrats now have 60 Senators, a fillibuster-proof majority. Here are some reactions from around the web.

It is a sing of the GOP that a centrist candidate switches parties. It is a sign of their ideological idiocy that they allowed Pat Toomey to run against Specter, driving him from the party. Very bad strategy.

This ought to keep Joe Biden critics quiet for a while also, he just delivered them a Senate seat.

3 thoughts on “Arlen Specter joins the Democrats”

  1. Two things here. If you read fivethirtyeight.com, he has a good blog entry on this. I won’t steal his thunder, but he logically thinks that Specter moving is only really a push for the Democrats — a little bit of good, but a little bit of bad too.

    On the GOP — I agree with Muttrox, the GOP is digging its own grave. It’s amazing just how regionalized they now are. There are a couple of basic strategies — recruit candidates that might not tow the party line but that have a chance to win (e.g. Tester in Montana, Webb in VA), or recruit candidates that only appeal to the fringe of the base, and have them lose elections (e.g. Schundler for governor in NJ, Toomey in PA). And the Limbaughs of the world want more of it — they want to dump McCain, the senators from Maine, anyone who participated in the Gang of 14, etc. Amazing. As a Democrat, I’ll be happy to take those seats!

  2. 538’s perspective is always good. But they have gradually started adding their own unfounded opinions on top of the numbers. Not that those opinions are always wrong, but they are just opinions like mine and yours, much more open for argument that the straight statistical posts they specialize in. For example, “If he goes from voting with the Democrats 40 percent of the time to 60 percent of the time, that is not so terrific for them” is completely wrong. In any year there are hundreds of votes, and probably only ten that matter. If Specter changes votes on only two or three key votes it will make a huge difference. In addition, it greatly reduces the ability of other Republicans to position themselves as key votes that must be appeased.

    GOP: Webb is a great example. He is much more like Ron Paul than anything else. He seems to not care a bit about national politics. He’s one of my favorite Senators.

    Limbaugh and Rove are idiots for this strategy. The ideological purges are just sad.

  3. Webb is great. I recall writing in a posting on Muttroxia how he would have been an appealing VP choice for Obama. You’re right — he just doesn’t take crap from anyone, and will speak his mind even if it’s not the conventional thinking, or the party line, or whatever. Sort of like McCain, circa late 90s — war veteran, national security credentials, respect of both sides of the aisle, independent streak, etc. Amazing how McCain morphed for the presidential campaign…

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