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Say it isn’t so! (Updated 5X)

specter

Creepy Old Guy

BREAKING:

WASHINGTON – Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter announced Tuesday that he is switching parties, a move would give Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 seats if Al Franken is seated in the Minnesota race.

“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” the Pennsylvania senator said in a statement.

“I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,” Specter said, adding that the “change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans.”

More proof there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the parties.

We better get UHC outta this

I will update this story as more information is available.

__________________________________________________

UPDATE:

I guess it coulde be worse.  Specter is pro-choice (20% rating from NARAL), pro-LGBT rights (but against gay marriage) and he supports immigration reform that includes amnesty.  He got a 61% rating from the AFL-CIO

___________________________________________________

UPDATE II:

Arlen’s decision wasn’t exactly motivated by ideology or high moral purpose:

Because of the shrinking Republican vote in the state, Specter was seen as a dead man walking politically in the primary with polling showing him trailing Toomey by ten or more points. The bar for Specter to run as an independent was also extremely high due to the rules governing such a third party candidacy.

That left a Democratic candidacy as Specter’s best option if he wanted to remain in the Senate beyond 2010.

___________________________________________________

UPDATE III:

Ben Smith:

Vice President Joe Biden was, I’m told, deeply involved in the talks with Specter.

So now we know what Captain Gaffe-tastic has been up to.

___________________________________________________

UPDATE IV:

Specter’s full statement:

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

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.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania’s economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy’s statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.

There’s the answer on card check

___________________________________________________

UPDATE V:

Glenn Greenwald:

The idea that Specter is a “liberal” Republican or even a “moderate” reflects how far to the Right both the GOP and our overall political spectrum has shifted.

Consider Specter’s most significant votes over the last eight years, ones cast in favor of such definitive right-wing measures as: the war on Iraq, the Military Commissions Act, Patriot Act renewal, confirmation of virtually every controversial Bush appointee, retroactive telecom immunity, warrantless eavesdropping expansions, and Bush tax cuts (several times).  Time and again during the Bush era, Specter stood with Republicans on the most controversial and consequential issues.
[…]
Reports today suggest that Democratic officials promised Specter that the party establishment would support him, rather than a real Democrat, in a primary. If true, few events more vividly illustrate the complete lack of core beliefs of Democratic leaders, as well as the rapidly diminishing differences between the parties. Why would Democrats want a full-blooded Republican representing them in the blue state of Pennsylvania? Specter is highly likely to reprise the Joe Lieberman role for Democrats: a “Democrat” who leads the way in criticizing and blocking Democratic initiatives, forcing the party still further towards Republican policies.

Things that make you go hmmm?

201 Responses

  1. Specter is just doing this to keep his power. He was going to lose the primary.

    • Answer is TERM LIMITS!

      Stop the Senate and Congressional Country Clubs…bring back true representation. Biden’s 26+ years in the Senate is a prime example! Term Limits or BUST!

  2. “We better get UHC outta this.”
    That’s why I say keep faxing Pelosi and crew, fax everybody, twice, then fax ’em all again. Call, write and email everybody in politics and the media and try to head off the inevitable “the public doesn’t really want it” AstroTurf a-comin’.

  3. I’m really psyche.

    I know he’s going to be shredded by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity, but who gives a sh@t?

    • MABlue,

      I think you should take down the other post on this.

    • He’s always shredded by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity and the Family Research Council and all the keepers of the Republican Doctrine Inquisition.

    • Me too!

      The good part in addition to everything in Update II above: he was one of only FIVE Republicans and the ONLY male Republican Senator to vote in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act last year.

      And also, just in case Chris *Tingles* Matthews gets his hopes up again about running for US Senate in PA, the field just got more crowded – every bit helps!

  4. Holy sh*t!! I just got an e-mail about this. WTF?! I don’t know what to say.

    • Have you seen the Janet Tavakoli interview posted at Karl Denninger’s market ticker site? It’s very long, but very good. She’s got a true talent for explaining complex financial issues in very simple terms. (I’ve haven’t been keeping up with all the comments and posts, so I apologize if this has already been discussed.)

  5. Oh brother! From Politico:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/

    From Lisa Lerer, who just witness (sic) Specter push through a scrum as he emerged from the Senate chamber — in a cheerful, but typically mordant mood.

    “I don’t think Lee Harvey Oswald had this big a crowd trailing him,” he quipped.

  6. Now watch Ben Nelson switch to Republican.

    • I think it’s wrong for politicians to switch parties like that. It pissed me off when there were Democrats like Nelson doing it, so I’m not going to be a hypocrite now.

      If you run for office from one party you should serve your term with that party.

      At least Lieberman switched during the election.

      • Lieberman switched to Independent.

      • Nelson didn’t do it. It was a joke. Or is there another Nelson I don’t know about?

      • I agree with you on this one, especially since many people still vote down the party line, even when they disagree with the candidate (a la Barry O). Realistically though Specter has been essentially voting as a Democrat for years. If he were going to switch I wish he would have at least gone the Lieberman route and declared himself an independent.

        The sad thing though is that is a transparent power play. Specter knew he would lose the primary and so in order to stay in power, he just switches sides to where he thinks he can win. How does that serve anyone but himself.

      • Is he switching NOW, or just planning to run as a Dem in 2010? Because I agree with mid-term switching. But I have no problem with changing parties between terms.

  7. Or Mary Landrieau.

  8. Who gives a crap? Both parties are sockpuppets for the same five zillionaires that run everything. The Dems have had a majority thus far, and we can see how fast they caved on everything they whined about for the past ten years. Watch them cave again. Choice? Who gives a shit — bitchez do what they’re told.

    • Totall agree. It’s all about the ruling class. Like Lieberman, Specter wants to stay in power.

      • Yeah. People REALLY NEED to stop paying attention to the label on someone’s lapel. “Democrat.” “Republican.” WHO EFFING CARES.

        As long as we keep getting distracted by that, we’re screwed. Although I feel the same way about elections, anymore. They’re just a puppet show for “the people” to all go into a booth someplace and mark a piece of paper that makes them feel important, but that goes right into the trash when you’re done with it. As long as they can get you to suck on your pacifier, you won’t scream your head off.

      • TERM LIMITS…and all the time counts (period), even if you jump around parties and putting on all the hats and buttons. When the time is up, YOUR OUT!

    • Janis, I think you are right on the money. There is no real difference between an R and a D. The labels are just to keep us divided against ourselves and to limit our thinking. (When there are only two possibilities, it keeps you out of that “gray” area where the truth is often found.) Likening the whole thing to a puppet show is pretty accurate, in my opinion.

      • It also keeps you from seeing who your real enemy is. You see two sockpuppets up there, and when you look under the curtain, it’s ONE GUY. Ignore the puppets; the one guy with both hands up their asses is the enemy.

      • Exactly. The old partisan approach, with its simplistic, dualistic thinking is very narrow:

        Us vs. Them
        Good vs. Evil
        Black vs. White
        Blue vs. Red

        It is not refined analysis–just knee-jerk generalizations, like rooting for your favorite team, or tribalism.

  9. Michelle “Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage” Malkin:

    Well, it appears that the head of the Turncoat Caucus is finally making it official. Arlen Specter, we have just 10 words for you:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  10. I have high hopes for card check and UHC.

    Say whatever you will be a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate helps. Republicans have taken the habit to sabotage everything Dems try, sometimes just for the hell of it.

    I still care about the Dem agenda and we have probably our greatest opportunity in many generations.

    • Apparently you haven’t paid close attention to the behavior of Harry Reid since 2006. Furthermore, the Dem agenda now includes illegal spying, and controlling speech on the internet.

    • Um, since when have Dems tried lately?

      • I keep hoping. Maybe now, without many excuses left they will muster some courage.

        At least for UHC. That is the big item.

        • You didn’t answer my question. WHEN HAVE THEY TRIED LATELY? Just vaguely moping and saying, “Well, you’re right but … ” doesn’t count.

          If you can’t name a single isntance where they’re tried, then what the hell do you owe them any allegiance for?

          And don’t just mumble hope-this and hope-that. Either answer the question or admit you can’t. I’m sick of this shit.

          • Just start with the stimulus. It was much bigger when it got out of the house but the Republican threatened with filibuster.

            The decent bill was watered down with some unnecessary tax cuts and reduction of the size.

            We ended up with the bill we have now with the help of 3 Republicans moderates (Specter, Collins, Snow). A bill that was enough to stop the bleeding but too small to stimulate the economy.

            I still believe they’ll go for a 2nd stimulus, or the administration will find ways around the Congress.

  11. What to expect from a guy who “CREATED” the lone bullet theory at the begining of his career working on the report about Kennedy assassination. That was his call of fame which launched him. Dems or Reps, same shit under the label.

  12. How much is that Senator in the window? (arf, arf)
    The one with the waggly tail?
    How much is that Senator in the window? (arf, arf)
    Oh, I do hope that Senator’s for sale!

  13. I put a new ECON thread up … if you’re interested.

  14. Allahpundit:

    Three quick thoughts. One: Does this mean he’s going to reverse himself on Card Check? I’m guessing yes. Two: Does this mean the Democrats will drop their threat to nuke the filibuster on health care? Hard to say since Blue Dogs like Ben Nelson could defect and deprive them of the 60th vote. Third: Will a lefty challenger jump into the Democratic primary now and challenge Specter as, irony of ironies, a DINO?

  15. It seems that some people on this thread don’t want the Dems to have a 60+ majority. I do. I don’t want them to have ANY excuses.

    • I’ll agree with that.

      I don’t expect success, I expect they’ll have no excuse for their failure.

    • BB:

      Great minds think alike. I just posted a similar comment.

    • BB — I agree. I want the Obamacrats to get 100% fault for them fng up our party. But this really really bothers me!

      http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=96301

      Sunstein also has argued in his prolific literary works that the Internet is anti-democratic because of the way users can filter out information of their own choosing.

      “A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government,” he wrote. “Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not be rejected in freedom’s name.”

      & why would we even need this office? “White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs”

      Here, I believed all along that the Republicans would try to limit free speech on the internet; the only place where we really have access to alternative voices anymore. Boy, did I have that wrong!

      • “A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government,” he wrote. “Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not be rejected in freedom’s name.”

        What kind of insane Orwellian double-speak is that?! Too much freedom might create problems???

  16. A little reminder about who Specter is … another sexist for the New Dem / Obamacrat Party:

    SEN. SPECTER:
    Well, that says, quote — this is not too bad, I can read it — “Thomas liked to discuss specific sex acts and frequency of sex,” closed quote. Now are you saying in response to my question as to why you didn’t tell the FBI about the size of his private parts and his sexual prowess and Long John Silver that that information was comprehended within the statement, quote, “Thomas liked to discuss specific sex acts and frequency of sex”?

    MS. HILL:
    I am not saying that that information was included in that. I don’t know that it was. I don’t believe that I even mentioned the latter information to the FBI agent. And I could only respond again that at the time of the investigation I tried to cooperate as fully as I could to recall information that — to answer the questions that they asked.

    SEN. SPECTER:
    Professor Hill, you said that you took it to mean that Judge Thomas wanted to have sex with you, but in fact he never did ask you to have sex, correct?

    MS. HILL:
    No, he did not ask me to have sex. He did continually pressure me to go out with him, continually, and he would not accept my explanation as one as — being valid.

    SEN. SPECTER:
    So that when you said you took it to mean we ought to have sex that that was an inference that you drew?

    MS. HILL:
    Yes, yes.

    Specter then went on to one of his many other avenues of attack.

  17. This just proves the validity of PUMA–what a bunch of self-interested sell-outs. He’s 20 points behind Toomey, and SUDDENLY he has an overwhelming change of heart. I don’t suppose they promised him money for his next election or anything? In March he denied that he would change parties, because “our system needs checks and balances.” March. He must have had an epiphany at Easter.

    What a bunch of losers.

  18. What I don’t understand is why it took Spector so long to do this? And it would be a kick if Collins and Snowe changed teams, too. I would love to see the Republican Party confined to the South and outliers like Idaho and Utah and watch as these states become less and less relevant.
    None of which means that we don’t monitor the Democrats and hold their feet to the fire as best as we “nobodies” can.

  19. Apologies, of course it’s Specter, not Spector. Although for a while there, he looked pretty ghostly.

  20. From Flopping Aces:

    I always try to look for a silver lining on a cloud. I try to see both sides of the coin, and to be positive. That’s a lot harder today, BUT it is not impossible!

    Senator Specter is switching from a Republican to a Democrat, and this gives the Democratic Party absolute power in Washington DC. They now have full control of the White House and both Houses of Congress as well as a filibuster-proof majority. That means they can pass and do anything they want, and no one can stop them except themselves.

    Therein lies the silver lining.

    It’s been 100 days for President Obama
    It’s been well over 2 YEARS for the Democratic Congress

    While tomorrow is day 100, Thursday is day1 in a completely new respect:
    THERE CAN BE NO MORE EXCUSES

    Nothing washes, nothing is credible, no scapegoating can work. Democrats have absolute power, and while-yes, some things take time to fix-not everything does. As such, on Thursday, President Obama, the Democratic Party, the House Democrats, and the Senate Democrats (complete with their favorite tool of the day, Sen. Specter) will have either accomplished SOMETHING significant, or they will have failed.

    So while NBC, Kos, HuffPo, and Obama fans everywhere might look misty-eyed at The One on Wednesday with spin and claims of “Best President Ever” the reality is that on Thursday morning he will have accomplished absolutely nothing after Democrats spent $12000000000000.00 and have absolute power.

    Truth Commission to look into torture? Bring it on because if they don’t, only Democrats can be blamed now.

    Stop the Iranian nuclear program? They better, and they better do it soon because Israel’s not gonna wait forever, Iran’s not even slowing down, and there’s no one else to blame now.

    6-7million Americans without jobs? Better get them jobs soon because there’s no one to blame for it now.

  21. If Specter is the Dem nominee he’ll get support because “The Republicans are worse”

  22. If “Snarlin” Arlen was having a crisis of conscience it sure didn’t bother him when Bush was in the White House and the Republicans were in the majority. And now he decides to become a Democrat? What a phony.

    And I am one of those here that didn’t want to see a veto proof majority. It makes those in power think they can do anything they want. We saw what it did to the Republicans, do we want to see that happen with the Democrats too?

    I don’t want to see either party have all the power. EVER. But then I’m no longer a Democrat and as an Independent I don’t trust any of the buzzards.

  23. What explains the anger towards Specter here?

    • Ma Blue, the way he treated Anita Hill is a big one for me! See my post up further on the blog.

    • MABlue, what I have noticed from many of your posts is that you are partisan. For you, if it’s Dem = good. If it’s Republican = bad/evil. Many of us do not feel that way, or have that kind of an absolutist view.

      Note: THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE REPUBLICANS.

      This disgusts me because all it shows about Specter is that he only cares about his own career–not about either party’s policies. He’s a sell-out and that is repugnant no matter which party or representative is doing it.

      • p.s. the emblem at the upper left corner of the home page says: Democrats For Principle Before Party. That’s our motto.

        This move by Specter is the antithesis of that–he obviously has no principles and will sell himself to the highest bidder.

      • fif;

        You bet I’m a proud partisan, not proud of this Democratic Party but proud about what Democrats stand for, especially the Progressive Caucus.

        As I’ve said here before, it’s not the individual Republican that is bad but it’s what the Party as institution stands for and the kind of items the have been pushing through the last couple of years.

        We’re paying the price of the last couple of years of Republicanism and it ain’t pretty.

        • & the Dems controlled Congress from 2006 on…

          I prefer to focus on individual policy arguments and individual representatives. The parties have proven to be nothing but a collection of self-serving individuals IMO.

        • Well, we all have our favorite sockpuppet. Just don’t forget whose hand is up both puppets’ asses.

    • Specter has been a GOP sleazeball for years.

      He didn’t become a saint by switching parties.

  24. Most of the bloggers on RD have never experienced and lived in a one party nation. Those who have would not wish it upon their worst enemy. It invites abuses of power the likes of which we have not seen here yet.

  25. Power corrupts.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • ditto to what fif said!

      Let’s also look to the take-over of our party by the Obamacrats as a huge example of that! Even those who speak-truth-to-power have been effectively silenced — like Sen. Feingold and the anti-war groups!

  26. Actually the single-bullet theory was almost certainly correct. But I still don’t care to see Specter in the Democratic party.

    • You mean the “magic-bullet” theory.

      That theory was popular until the Zapruder film turned up.

    • Let’s hear your explanation of how that bullet went through flesh and bone of two people, turned the corner a couple of times and emerged pristine on a hospital stretcher.

  27. To all those who complain about the checks-and-balance or the lack thereof: Have you noticed any lately?

    One party tries its agenda and the other sabotages everything.

    The Republican Party ruled DC for the better part of the last 15 yrs and they screwed up, wherefore they got thrown out.

    If Dems are as bad as many here seem to think, they’ll pay the price too. At least I want them to try “our” agenda and not pray for some pseudo check-and-balance to get things right.

    • If they try “our” agenda I’ll be happy as a pig in shit.

      I’ll be shocked and surprised too.

      • A brother can hope can’t he?

        • We don’t smoke hopium around here

          • I can’t help it.

            UHC won’t let me completely give up on Dems. They are still the only conduit we have to achieve it, especially with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

            Let see how they deal with it instead of beating up on Specter because he ruined some “checks-and-balance”.

        • Well, the first thing I want to hear from this NEW Democrat is that he supports Universal Health Care and is thrilled about a single payer plan with options and is open to the plan being medicare (offers transportability and will knock off those people yelling ‘socialism’, cuz the seniors will bit them).

        • What a brother can’t do without getting it thrown in his face is lie to himself. You want to tell yourself that rocks fall up, that’s fine. You say it out loud near me, and I’m taking issue.

          • MABlue wrote: Let see how they deal with it instead of beating up on Specter because he ruined some “checks-and-balance”.

            “Some checks and balance”???? Like it’s ok if we just an little bit compromise on the rule of law and inconvenient stuff like that (if it’s the service of our agenda). Can’t you see the difference? Slamming Specter for his blatantly self-serving actions does not = being Republican or not supporting Dem values. You are conflating several arguments here.

          • fif:

            Huh????

          • Janis:

            What am I lying to myself about? What are you taking issue with?

          • MABlue, you are the msot clueless commenter I’ve ever seen here. WHAT HAVE THE DEMOCRATS DONE TO MAKE YOU THINK THEY ARE WORTH TRUSTING OR BELIEVE ING?
            Answer it. Don’t mope and sigh and say “I just keep on a-hopin.” Answer the goddamned question.

            You have gotten this handed to you a thousand times — what, do you have some sort of situational retinal detachment syndrome that prevents you from processing the zillions of comments in which you are nailed on this repeatedly or what?

          • I’m clueless because I’m not mad Specter left the Republican party and gave the Dems a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

            If that’s clueless I don’t envy the “smart”.

    • You keep ignoring the fact that Dems controlled Congress from 2006 on, courtesy of “impeachment is off the table, I knew about the torture and supported it, but am now lying about it” Pelosi.”

      And let’s not forget Barney Frank & Chris Dodd and their contribution to the Fannie/Freddie debacle that is at the core of the economic meltdown.

      I am a liberal, always have been, but I do not see the majority of these people supporting anyone but their own interests. THAT is the whole point of the formation of this group:

      WHERE ARE THE PRINCIPLED LEADERS?!

      • Barney Frank & Chris Dodd
        ….
        Do not mention those two, in the same sentence, I may become to upset to blog. Oh, the pain and suffering that those two have done. If only those lifers would let someone else run…our government was never meant to be a house of lords. TERM LIMITS…or BUST!

    • What makes you think their agenda is “our” agenda? I certainly didn’t want FISA or a whole host of crap foisted on me by democrats and republicans alike.

  28. I find this fascinating. I’ve been an Independent for 10 years or more, and it is interesting how the political parties even when in a position of weakness will push moderates out. I didn’t like Specter’s stimulus vote, but tossing him overboard doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for R’s. Similarly Lieberman was not allowed to differ with D’s on foreign policy; glad I’m an Independent.

    • Ironically it’s often because it’s the moderates that are vunerable to primary challenges.

      Hard left and right politicians usually have the solid support of their base.

      • Absolutely, and it looks like that’s why he switched. Yet the party with very little power just shot themselves in the foot.

        • Why shouldn’t they? Their brand is ruined; now that they all pulled on their donkey costumes, the same old shit’s going to go down either way.

  29. The Republicans in power damn near bankrupt the country and now the Democrats in power are on a spending spree that makes the spendthrift Republicans look like pikers.

    I want many things to come to pass. Both in government and in my private life. But I don’t want them if it gets us deeper and deeper in debt.

    Spector will make that all the more likely. And yes, yes, Republicans have suddenly discovered their “fiscal” gene now that the voters have slapped them around.

    And checks and balances are always a good thing IMO. But partisanship, from the left or the right never wants them when their party is in power, only when it’s the other guys. Sorry, I want checks and balances all the time.

    • I agree with you. One party rule (which is essentially what we have anyway) is disastrous. What I find laughable is that the Democratic Party has controlled congress since 2006 and therefore have controlled the levers of legislative power, and yet they still blame everything on the republicans. What is the goal here? Governance or retention of political power?

      • The goal is passing a Republican agenda while not taking responsibility for gutting the safety net, war, torture, and illegal spying.

        • Those aren’t the Democrats I knew

        • The goal is inded passing the same agenda that has been pushed since FDR died. It’s been labelled Republican for a long time now that people seem to think it’s permanently associated with them.

          But evidently, if you take a turd and slap a “Democratic agenda” sticker on it, in the eyes of some folks (and I don’t NEED to name names at this point, do I?), it instantly turns into a hot fudge sundae.

  30. The idea of the Democrats gaining a “filibuster-proof” majority by adding guys like Specter doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Doing it by electing more guys like Feingold would.

    • That’d be nice. I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

      • When it comes down to it I don’t care what kind of people they are or what their motives are, as long as they pass the right kind of legislation.

        I’m not holding my breath on that.

    • Specter chose to join us.

      At least with a filibuster-proof majority, we won’t have some item from the “democratic” wing of the party torpedoed by people who take their marching orders from some radio host.

      • Who will the people who torpedo it be taking their marching orders from?

        • Let’s wait and see.

          If the saboteurs come out of the Dems ranks, then they shall be punished by their constituents.

          It still better than being happy about Republican ability to sabotage whatever they Dems put out.

          • My Congressman (Dennis Cardoza) is a blue-dog DINO that ran unopposed in the primary AND the general last year.

            Who’s gonna punish him?

      • No, we will have a gasbag political junkie cut from the same cloth as Lieberman… showing a little leg on hot topics …might just vote against the Repubs, ya’ know(only now it will be against the Dems) just to grab the media spotlight.

        Then, just as predictably as Lucy snatching away the football from Charlie Brown each fall, Specter votes party line anyway…torture, warrentless wiretapping..whatever. I don’t remember the details, just the fracking same pattern, time after time.

        His is the personality of an authoritarian bully, a former prosecutor after all, and he loves the limelight, as he demonstrated ad nauseum in the Clarence Thomas fiasco.

        Be careful what you wish for. This gift horse has a mouth full of self important rhetoric and not much else.

        And, has he not been treated for a brain tumor? Does this mean if he gets elected as a Dem but has to resign from office for health reasons that the PA Gov has to appoint a Dem replacement? If so, that is the ONLY positive I can see coming from this.

      • Don’t assume we’re all Dems here MABlue. Many of us are Independents, since the New Dem Party doesn’t seem to be interested in things like voter’s rights and civil liberties.

        • I don’t assume anything. I’m speaking for myself only.

          I know that many here are disaffected Dems but I don’t think they outright reject what Dems normally stand for, even if they are no longer affiliated with the Party as institution.
          Ok I just wrote about myself.

    • here, here myiq! Indeed, Feingold is one of the few!

  31. Toomey’s on CNN right now being the right wing hack he is

    • Apparently we need those. The checks-and-balance thing, you know.

      Maybe we need to recap what Republican did when they had the majority, starting with impeachment.

      • Apparently, the time since 2006 and the election of 2008 had no effect on your mindset. I almost feel sorry for you. Oh well cheer away, the D’s are in charge and the flowers will bloom all year round in future.

        • I don’t remember saying that.

          How large has their majority and who had the White House, still the biggest bully pulpit.

          I don’t want to make excuses for them but the idea that having Republican sabotage everything Liberals care about is beyond me.

          • apparently, you don’t understand how politics work … it’s the Congress that holds the real power because of the appropriations … even if the POTUS vetoes, he still has to get his $.

          • I think I understand how politics work.

            Let’s say our understandings differ. Does it mean I’m wrong?

          • You keep lumping everyone into these broad categories: all Dems do this, all Republicans do that. This group was formed because we saw with great clarity what a fallacy that is. Many Dems behaved exactly like the Republicans, and one of the was elected President. Now, you think that will all magically change because they have MORE power?!

  32. Check out the updates above

  33. The update V from Glenn Greenwald is interesting: Is anyone seriously looking for purity these days.

    Take those votes he cited (and I know they are dreadful for a paleo-liberal like me) and match them to some major Dems. It’s gonna be ugly.

    I wonder how even Hillary Clinton would fare.

    • I’ll rah-rah for Specter when he casts a critical vote for something I want.

      • I don’t even rah-rah him.

        I cherish the opportunity of seeing Congressional Republicans and their loudest voices on the airwaves being (censured) for now.

        I don’t know how long it’s gonna last, a reason to enjoy it even more.

        • Who gives a crap if they’re being censured if they just passed the baton on to the people who are being fellated, who are happy to carry it exactly where the original assholes wanted it? Jesus, is this rocket science or sumpin?

        • Why would you even want their voices “censured”. In the marketplace of ideas the crazy voices usually drown themselves out. Once you take away rights, its nearly impossible to get them back!

          • people, such as person above there, who advocate stifling ANY speech, do not deserve to have their voices heard or read either

            ignore MABLUE

  34. Are we still making funny of W2’s teleprompter gaffe or is it old news?

    I just saw it.

    • Most TV talking heads will glance at their director and make some gesture when the TP is too fast or too slow.

      Bill Clinton would just solo and nobody but his aides could tell.

      • aahh, the good ole days — I used to love listening to Clinton taking on the naysayers! It was like listening to a Brit debate but with a southern drawl 😉

      • Oh, the sheer pleasure of listening to such an intelligent mind — with a heart in the right spot. You had to remind me.

    • I’m shocked he knew where he was on the teleprompter promp. Ever notice that the more he supports something the less strong that message seems with all that side to side motion, a constant NO.

  35. If Spectre caucuses with the Dem’s, does his senority kick in for committee assignments and stuff? Does he get to chair committees now?

    • I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that was part of the deal

      • It will be tough to get him a committee chair, especially because he has been a stable in the Judiciary. I don’t see any major Dem relinquishing his chairmanship.

        I think he’ll get a lot of help in his reelection, probably there won’t be any primary challenge.

        • If he gets to keep his seniority then he’ll get a committee chair.

          IIRC he’s # 12 in seniority in the Senate.

          • The seniority doesn’t automatically give you a committee chair. He could get one but not one of the prime committee.

            Keep in mind that most Dems who are chairing those committees now have been in the wilderness for too long. In addition, a Chairman spot in the Senate is Reaaaaaly good.

  36. Over in the Kool-aid Kingdom the sippy-kup kidz are crowing that the Republicans are “irrelevant”

    Boy, are they in for a shock.

    • The Repubs are in donkey jackets.

      • Indeed

        • They won’t care, though. Just like almsot every single liberal friend I know, it turns out that the whole time they were whining about the Republican crimes for the past ten years, they were just whining that their side hadn’t done it first.

          Now, they’re side IS doing it, so all’s right with the world. Sort of like the guy who complains that “chicks” all “dig” guys with fancy cars. He’s not complaining about the poisoned state of gender relations today, he’s just whining because he drives a crappy car. Give him the keys to a Porsche, and he’ll be an even bigger asshole.

          • + 100. It turns out a lot of them were motivated more by jealousy than principles.

          • Yup, that’s what I mean by power. It’s that sense of intoxication, and it causes people to compromise their principles if they don’t have it and want it, or if they have it and feel invincible.

      • Love it — a new variation on the Sheep in Wolves clothing Bible verse?

  37. To me this says actually Dems in PA don’t matter….and since Bob Casey is one, I guess that’s right. It’s a smart move for Spectrer . The GOP would throw him out anyway , and the Dems will give him stuff for doing it. I’m not so sure a Dem filibuster-proof majority is the dream boat we imagine. I expect when they get it, you cam kiss SS goodbye

    • oops….. that somehow posted early. The typos are worse than usual

      Everyone says we’ll get health care if what passes for Dems today get a filibuster-proof majority. I wish I thought that.

  38. I’m sure he’s just switching to stay in the Senate. I’m glad that the Dems will be filibuster-proof, if only so that it’s clear what they are and aren’t willing to stand up for. I don’t really care much about how conservative or moderate or what an ass Specter is.

    But do we really think that he’d be switching sides if we had some serious FDR liberals running things? I think this is just another sign of the fact that both parties are treading the same middle-right ground.

  39. Here’s an item from Politico. I don’t think I need to add a thing.

    It was only a matter of time before the CDC discovered an outbreak of Michele Bachmann quotes.

    Bachmann, speaking on Pajamas TV, noted: “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”

    The 1976 swine flu scare happened on Gerald Ford’s watch.

    • lol! Just like the notion Carter had the inflation problem…..then how come I can remember the red WIN buttons from Ford’s time? ( whip inflation now )

  40. Update to “Plane gate” from yesterday:

    Drudge (yeah, I know) says reporters want to know who was on Air Force None when it buzzed NYC

    Was it loaded with Obama campaign donors??

    • Interesting. You mean like that sub that killed the Japanese students that was full of Bush’s Enron donors? Sounds entirely likely

    • So, you are saying Drudge has hinted that it was an Obama approved flyover? With his donors or supporters no less? Would that not be use of government funds for a private use and abuse in this case, not to mention the trauma on the people of New York.

      • That would explain why a photoshop wasn’t good enough.

      • If the press goes with this story , then I’d say it’s a way to take out a bunch of Dem donors. Bush’s donors debacle at sea was hushed up until years later . The fact that the press is even asking who was on it is significant .

      • gov’t funds for a private use? My oh my, am I surprised.

    • Well yeah …. and that flyby the Goldman Sachs Tower … whadja think?

  41. If true, few events more vividly illustrate the complete lack of core beliefs of Democratic leaders, as well as the rapidly diminishing differences between the parties. Why would Democrats want a full-blooded Republican representing them in the blue state of Pennsylvania?

    Glad someone finally noticed it.

  42. OT, but from Politico …
    Ahmadinejad adopts Obama’s campaign slogan

    From the Guardian:

    Obama’s signature campaign slogan, Yes We Can, has been replicated by the Iranian president in a promotional video issued for Iran’s presidential poll on 12 June, when Ahmadinejad is seeking reelection.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0409/Yes_We_Can_Farsi_edition.html?showal

  43. From a comment at Ace of Spades:

    In fact, I think this whole Spector thing was in the can for the past few weeks, with Obama’s people waiting for the right moment when they needed to alter the news cycle.

    and, voila, the fact that Obama just put actual terror into the hearts of millions of NYC residents is under the rug, and the news is all “the GOP is doomed, all moderates are leaving”

    Naw, they wouldn’t do that, would they?

    • I just read at talkleft that this is one of Obama’s most important achievements. Am I the only one that thinks this guy might return to the GOP when the time is right? He is only doing this for political survival. Why did it take him so long to leave the Republican party? I just don’t see him staying with the Democrats for long. He is bound to leave them after they have decided to throw away their own for this new democrat.

      • You know of any prominent politician who ever returned?

        Ronald Reagan? Richard Shelby? Phil Gramm? Ben Nighthorse Campbell?

        I think they know they’ll not be welcomed.

      • I’ll bet $50 he returns as a Repub after he wins as a Dem and stages a fraud fight with the Dems in congress.

        • I’ll take you up on that. I dont’ think he’s going back unless/until the Republican brand is redeemed and stops being the political equivalent of a hot dog stand at a bar mizvah.

  44. He will keep the Dem label on his lapel for as long as it’s useful to him. Right now, the Republican brand is so demolished and stinky that NO ONE will brand themselves as Republican. Like that diet candy I remember from when I was a kid called “Ayds.” That shit went off the shelves fast, didn’t it?

    But the product didn’t go away. 20th Century Fox rebranded itself as “Fox” moving up on the millenium. Now, the oligarchs have pulled off their “Republican” labels after they sucked the life out of that party and have just pulled on a new logo and brand.

    He will stay with the Dems for as long as it takes for that brand to be demolished, which should be abother thirty years or so, upon which point the oligarchs will reattach themselves to the Republican brand, now redeemed and penitent, and start the whole sad tango over again.

    Meanwhile, we’ll be kept running from one to the other, not realizing we’re running from one to one. We live in a ONE PARTY country, people.

    • well said….however I don’t think it will take 30 years . I think the turn around will be faster….but it’s as you say, we bounce from one to the other thinking we are going somewhere.

      • And we’re dumb enough to CELEBRATE when the leech attaches itself to what we think of as our side. We celebrate it. Christ on a trampoline.

        • I love you Janis. You are 100% correct, he is NO prize. Specter claims the GOP changed but it is the same party that Specter joined when it was advantageous to his career back when Reagan was in.

          • Specter’s definitely a leech, but there’s a bigger leech — the five media oligarchs that control the entire nation and most of the world’s media and as a consequence, control most of what over a billion human beings see, hear, and think.

            THAT leech sucked the Republican party drier than a piece of beef jerky. Now, it’s attached itself to the Dems. And some Dems are happy about this.

            Hey, someone left spicy beef jerky in the kitchen. I forgot about that … Mmmm …

            *wanders off to the kitchen*

  45. Enjoy your gift Democrats we were sick of his RINO dung invested politics anyway…He is all yours.

  46. Greenwald writes: Reports today suggest that Democratic officials promised Specter that the party establishment would support him, rather than a real Democrat, in a primary. If true, few events more vividly illustrate the complete lack of core beliefs of Democratic leaders, as well as the rapidly diminishing differences between the parties.

    Bingo–that’s what I was trying to say.

    • Fif, I agree, that was a good Greenwald piece.

      I agree with BB and myiq and others who say that this is good insofar as it will mean: no more excuses. But I’m thinking the weasel agenda will be laid bare. I’m not holding my breath for UHC. Not that breath-holding would be covered by my insurance plan.

      Here’s a quote from Greenwald that caught my eye: “it is mystifying why [Democrats] would want to build their majority by embracing politicians who reject most of their ostensible views.”

      Stress on “ostensible.” I mean, Democrats in the executive and legislative branches don’t believe in a lot of the things I do, based on their deeds. Sometimes they give lip service, but at the end of the day, what do they do? And what don’t they do? So, why not embrace politicians who reject most of their ostensible views? They’re not in the game to support those “views.”

      Greenwald’s latest post sums it up: “Major defeat for Bush/Obama position on secrecy.” That’s where we are — fighting against that kind of conduct.

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