Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter

"I read that he was switching parties, but I was disappointed to learn he's still a Democrat." (Mark Hemingway)


  1. No kidding.

    NEWS FLASH!!!! Liberal becomes Democrat!Now we just need Snowe and Collins, and maybe Graham too, to follow suit. There's no reason to keep them now that they serve no use at all (at least before we could pretend they were necessary to keep the Dems from getting to 60, but with that option gone--time to clean house!).

    Hey, if the Republicans did that, I just might rejoin the party.

  2. For anybody who would be interested, below is my response to an email asking about the possibility that Rick Santorum would run against Specter in 2010.

    Santorum lost badly the last time he ran, and that loss was recent (2006). I doubt he'll run in 2010, and Republicans would doubt his chances at winning if he did run. They'll go with Toomey.

    I agree that the Democrats will have some reservations about Specter. He's a left-leaning moderate, but he's a moderate. And his party change makes him seem like an unreliable opportunist. He's not a good speaker. And he's old and has recently had major health problems.

    Pennsylvania has been leaning Democrat in recent years. We voted for Obama even after Obama made such negative comments about Pennsylvania voters. We voted for Casey over Santorum by a wide margin in 2006. We just reelected Murtha. Etc. I expect Toomey to lose, but I think he has a better chance against Specter than he would against most other Democrats.

  3. I think Specter's problem is a generational thing. He's a throwback to the nearly extinct Rockefeller Republicans. He's still stuck in that timewarp.

  4. I agree with Peter's sentiments for the most part, though I'd classify Specter as a left-leaning moderate. When a party is rebuilding itself in a context like the Republicans are in now, there's some value in cleaning house, as Peter put it. Most Republicans I've heard from so far are saying that Specter's party change is bad news overall. I consider it good news, though there are some bad elements to it. There are times when it's acceptable to work with liberals and moderates, but I think that the present context is one in which more of a focus on the party's conservative roots is appropriate. Obama's policies will do major damage to the country and the world over the long run. Not only should Republicans be more conservative because conservatism is correct, but they also should be more conservative because it makes more sense politically. Over the long run, drawing a sharp contrast with Obama and other liberals will put the Republicans in a better position to win.

  5. I agree that Toomey probably won't win in 2010, although a lot of that depends on how badly Obama and the now-you-can-no-longer-deny-the-Dems-run-it Congress mess up the country before then. Unfortunately for Toomey, I don't see the Dems as being able to inflict too much damage before 2010 just because, as McCain said (and I hate to acknowledge it, but reality is real) the fundamentals of the economy are still strong.

    I do think it's worth pointing out that right now none of Obama's floating plans, such as TARP II, the auto-bailouts, etc. are polling very high with the public. Even though O's popularity numbers are high, his policy numbers are in the tank.

    And also Congressional Republicans currently out poll Congressional Democrats on the popularity scale (that's as a lump sum of "How do you think Republicans in Congress are doing?" instead of "How do you think Conyers is doing?" for example). However, it's within the margin of error. Still, it means right now both parties are hated about equally.

    The country is pretty much 50/50 right now, and has been since about 1993 (Clinton was under 50% of the vote in both his wins, for instance). So really the only thing that will affect 2012 is GOTV.

    Unless there's another 9/11 or the jobless rate hits 15%. In which case, the Dems will loose big (and this would be true even if they weren't in control right now, since it's obvious to everyone that Reps are better at national security than Dems are).