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John of Phoenix
04-28-2009, 11:21 AM
How 'bout that!!



Specter To Switch Parties

By Chris Cillizza
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, according to sources informed of the decision.
Specter's decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next senator from Minnesota. (Former senator Norm Coleman is appealing Franken's victory in the state Supreme Court.)
Specter as a Democrat would also fundamentally alter the 2010 calculus in Pennsylvania, as he was expected to face a difficult primary challenge next year from former represenative Pat Toomey. The only announced Democrat in the race is former National Constitution Center head Joe Torsella, although several other candidates are looking at the race.


Irreconcilable differences it seems:

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.

More here - http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0409/Specter_switching_parties.html

Brian Palmer
04-28-2009, 11:28 AM
This should be interesting. Twoomey could get the nomination in 2010 for the Republicans to run against Specter, but he might have a hard time getting elected with Specter as a Democrat. He is well like by a lot of people around here, except by the right wing of the Republican party that backed Twoomey in the last primary.

Brian

jerryrichter
04-28-2009, 11:29 AM
As a Pennsylvania Democrat, I say "welcome Arlen, your should have been here long ago."

Yeadon
04-28-2009, 11:34 AM
Time to hook the chain up to the big left leaning bulldozer and pull Reagan's tent back into the mud.

Nothing personal, just politics.

Keith Wilson
04-28-2009, 11:35 AM
It seems likely Franken will be the senator from Minnesota. Coleman could keep going with appeals to federal court, but except among the die-hards, he's lost most popular support for continuing court fights.

The Republicans themselves are in the proceess of pulling down what little was left of Reagan's tent.

Tom Montgomery
04-28-2009, 12:15 PM
Consevative commentator Michael Barrone said on Fox News that, as things now stand, if Twoomey is the GOP nominee and Spectre is the Democratic nominee, Spectre will win in a walk.

He said the Republicans are losing ground in Pennslyvania.

George Jung
04-28-2009, 12:30 PM
They were talking about the demise of the Reps, back maybe 40 years ago, on the news this morning.

They won the Presidential elections four years later.

I'm concerned about a 'filibuster - proof' congress - tends to go to their heads when they know they can proceed without opposition. Some seem to feel they've been handed a mandate, 'political capitol that must be spent'. Sound familiar? There's a reason for checks and balances, and we're getting a bit out of whack. Watch for the correction - but how much damage before that happens?

huisjen
04-28-2009, 12:33 PM
This is the correction.

Dan

Tom Montgomery
04-28-2009, 12:34 PM
I don't think we are getting out of whack. I think the pendulum is swinging back toward center.

There is quite a mess, both foreign and domestic, to clean up. I am glad it is becoming more difficult for Mitch McConnell, John Bohnner, and the talk-show wing of the GOP to play their obstructionist games.

George Jung
04-28-2009, 12:43 PM
Sorry, boys, but when one party can push through any legislation, without worry of opposition, that is not a correction, and it's not 'balance'. The funny thing about perceived 'mandates', though - they generally over-shoot. That's when the pendulum comes swinging back.

huisjen
04-28-2009, 12:51 PM
And when one party can ignore legislation with a signing statement that says, "yes, but I don't care...", also without worry of opposition...?

No. This really is the correction.

Dan

Dave Gray
04-28-2009, 12:51 PM
They were talking about the demise of the Reps, back maybe 40 years ago, on the news this morning.

They won the Presidential elections four years later.

I'm concerned about a 'filibuster - proof' congress - tends to go to their heads when they know they can proceed without opposition. Some seem to feel they've been handed a mandate, 'political capitol that must be spent'. Sound familiar? There's a reason for checks and balances, and we're getting a bit out of whack. Watch for the correction - but how much damage before that happens?

I agree. The republicans were in this same situation not to long ago and ran roughshod over any and all opposition, to the point I mentally referred to congress as the Secretariat - a rubber stamp body. I think democrats are too fractious to allow this to happen and I certainly hope not.

Tom Montgomery
04-28-2009, 12:52 PM
We'll see, won't we? One thing is certain... the current Congress and Whitehouse represents the will of the majority of the American public and its rejection of the last eight years of GOP policy.

johnw
04-28-2009, 01:01 PM
Sorry, boys, but when one party can push through any legislation, without worry of opposition, that is not a correction, and it's not 'balance'. The funny thing about perceived 'mandates', though - they generally over-shoot. That's when the pendulum comes swinging back.

I think you're overlooking the fact that with the Democrats having a filibuster-proof majority, we'll still have divided government.

"I belong to no organized political party. I'm a Democrat."
--Will Rogers

Although the Republicans showed remarkable party discipline when they were in the majority, the Democrats never have. And as moderate Republicans join the Democrats, they move the party farther to the right.

I'm sure the Republicans will recover. What they need to do is show they are serious about governing. People are tired of ideology.

hokiefan
04-28-2009, 01:02 PM
And when one party can ignore legislation with a signing statement that says, "yes, but I don't care...", also without worry of opposition...?

No. This really is the correction.

Dan

But right or wrong, it won't be the last correction.

Cheers,

Bobby

Bruce Hooke
04-28-2009, 01:09 PM
The Republicans will make a comeback, just as the Democrats are making a comeback now. I remember times when people were writing off the Democrats as destined for a long time out of power. It sure did seem like a long time, but in the grand scheme of things it really was not that long.

In the meantime, I am quite happy to see the country swinging back to a more liberal direction! Even in the Clinton years it often felt like we were fighting a "rear guard action," trying to slow the swing to the right that started with Reagan. Now it feels like we are making a real shift back to the left...for pretty much the first time in my life (at least since I became aware of political matters in about the late 70's). I hope the Democrats can stay in power long enough to do a good job of "solidifying" this shift, both in the legislative sense and in the public consciousness sense.

I am sorry to see the demise of the "New England Republicans." I did not always agree with them but I felt like most of them had a lot of integrity and even if I did not agree with them, I did not feel like their beliefs were trampling on mine.

boatbuddha
04-28-2009, 01:14 PM
Judicial nominees is where this will make the difference. As soon as Franken is seated look for a retirement from SCOTUS.

John of Phoenix
04-28-2009, 01:29 PM
Judicial nominees is where this will make the difference. As soon as Franken is seated look for a retirement from SCOTUS.
Where's Donn when I need to needle him? :D

johnw
04-28-2009, 01:34 PM
It used to be that a filibuster-proof majority was no big deal because filibusters were rare. Then after the 2006 elections, the number of filibusters per session nearly doubled. Our system was never designed to require a 60-vote majority to pass all major legislation. That's a product of the nature of the current form of the Republican party.

I'd say if a piece of legislation is really a bad idea, it still won't get through.

Bruce Hooke
04-28-2009, 02:18 PM
Judicial nominees is where this will make the difference. As soon as Franken is seated look for a retirement from SCOTUS.

However, I believe the justices on the Supreme Court who appear to be nearing retirement are all liberal-leaning justices whose replacement with other liberal-leaning justices will not really change the balance of the court. Yes, it will make it more likely that the balance will not shift more towards the conservative end any time soon, which in my opinion is a good thing.

boatbuddha
04-28-2009, 02:23 PM
However, I believe the justices on the Supreme Court who appear to be nearing retirement are all liberal-leaning justices whose replacement with other liberal-leaning justices will not really change the balance of the court. Yes, it will make it more likely that the balance will not shift more towards the conservative end any time soon, which in my opinion is a good thing.

Scalia is 73, Kennedy 72, and CJ Roberts has some kind of neurological problem. Anything can happen in the next two years, but yes the most logical retirements are Stephens, Ginsburg, or maybe Breyer.

Garrett Lowell
04-28-2009, 02:28 PM
I love this!
"When you are behind 20 points if you want to stay in politics you have to switch parties."

Switch parties or lose your primary? A man of principle and integrity. I mean "irreconcilable differences".

boatbuddha
04-28-2009, 02:33 PM
I love this!
"When you are behind 20 points if you want to stay in politics you have to switch parties."

Switch parties or lose your primary? A man of principle and integrity.

I'm sure you said the same thing about Joe Lieberman.

Garrett Lowell
04-28-2009, 02:36 PM
I did, actually. In both gentlemen, a definite case of Swine Flu.

boatbuddha
04-28-2009, 02:41 PM
I did, actually. In both gentlemen, a definite case of Swine Flu.

Then I am happily corrected. Norm is right, the GOP broken and they need to get themselves fixed fast.

oznabrag
04-28-2009, 02:49 PM
I agree... it's a foregone conclusion. The GOP is now a regional party of a handful of Southern states... and with the radical right wing base calling the shots, is likely to stay that way, for a while.

I don't think it will stay that way for long. We maht tawk funnih, but we ain' stoopid.:cool:

Garrett Lowell
04-28-2009, 02:52 PM
I think it's good, what's happening to the Reps. Sometimes you have to clean house, or have it cleaned, or what have you.

The last few years, though, we've seen more of this "switch parties 'cause I'm losing" activity, from both sides if I'm not mistaken. I don't like it. The only philosophical perspective involved is that of staying in power. Used to be, people would resign as a sign of their irreconcilable differences. But that's when intestinal fortitude was en vogue.

I, Rowboat
04-28-2009, 03:01 PM
Then I am happily corrected. Norm is right, the GOP broken and they need to get themselves fixed fast.

Oh, not too fast, though. I'd be OK if the GOP is broken for a long time.
Also, I think it's about time that the conservative christian wing form its own party. The corporate republicans have been taking the electoral base of the christian wing for granted for too long. It's time for them to take things to the next level and form an even crazier, even more out-of-touch third party, the kind that Michelle Bachman would feel at home in. Can I get a second on that?

Lew Barrett
04-28-2009, 03:25 PM
Specter is Pennsylvania's longest serving senator. He has held five terms. I'm sure pragmatism has something to do with it, but not everything. He's always been a relatively moderate Republican.

We can expect Reps to vilify him now, but the simple fact is, if he chooses to stand for re-election again, he will do so on the record he brings to Pennsylvania. I'd have voted for Jackson if he were a Rep. or Dem. Doing so made good sense for Washington State. Is it that different in Pennsylvania?

ron ll
04-28-2009, 03:48 PM
I'd have voted for Jackson if he were a Rep. or Dem. Doing so made good sense for Washington State.

Wow. Haven't thought about ol' Scoopshovel Jackson in a while. But I agree, he was good for the state.

Everybody is excited about Specter possibly giving (us :D ) a filibuster proof situation. But won't he still basically vote the same regardless of which party he claims? Or am I misunderstanding how the filibuster proofing works?

johnw
04-28-2009, 04:02 PM
Wow. Haven't thought about ol' Scoopshovel Jackson in a while. But I agree, he was good for the state.

Everybody is excited about Specter possibly giving (us :D ) a filibuster proof situation. But won't he still basically vote the same regardless of which party he claims? Or am I misunderstanding how the filibuster proofing works?

Yup. sounds like he'll vote the same as he ever did, it's just that those are the votes of a conservative Democrat now. Used to be they were right for a moderate Republican.

At his press conference, he said he saw his polls on Friday and jumped parties on Tuesday. I'd say he's being honest about that.

Scoop Jackson spoke at my college graduation ceremony. I swear, when he opened his mouth, it was like dust came out. One of the most boring speakers ever. He used to say that people didn't vote for you because they agreed with you, they voted for you because they respected you.

Guess the Republicans don't respect Specter any more.

Canoeyawl
04-28-2009, 04:13 PM
I've always been amazed that they could convince anybody that Nixon was just a one time deal...

huisjen
04-28-2009, 04:48 PM
Wow. Norm, that was quite the delusional induhvidual. I'd be asking that fool about a woman's freedom to choose what to do with her own body, just to watch him stammer. Or about Shrub's wiretaps and freedom. Or about Shrub's fiscal recklessness and the origin of the deficit....

We went from Ike to Nixon (and caretaker Ford) to Reagan. That's a pretty major change. The Republican Party will rebuild, but I suspect that the change will be just as great before they really hold power again.

Dan

elf
04-28-2009, 04:57 PM
I agree... it's a foregone conclusion. The GOP is now a regional party of a handful of Southern states... and with the radical right wing base calling the shots, is likely to stay that way, for a while.

Ah. The irony of it all. Think Lincoln.

elf
04-28-2009, 05:02 PM
I'm concerned about a 'filibuster - proof' congres
I wouldn't worry. Even with Franken there would be no filibuster-proof majority in this Senate.

Ever heard of bluedog Democrats? There are a lot of them in this Congress. If they all, or even half of them switched to the party they are more in tune with, we'd have what we had during Clinton - logjam, stalemate.

The Republicans are hanging the concept of "filibuster-proof" over the heads of independents, trying to swing people over to their side.

Don't hold your breath for either party actually being filibuster proof. It isn't ever going to happen again. Not even if the noisy Republicans swing further to the right.


There are just too many people in the middle of the road, both in the Senate/House and in the country.

John of Phoenix
04-28-2009, 05:10 PM
With 200,000 PA voters leaving the republican party, I think Specter is just following his constituents to the other side of the aisle.
One has to wonder if the reds are going to chase any more of their moderates out of the party. They don't seem to be quick learners.

jbelow
04-28-2009, 05:16 PM
Good move! Time for the GOP to rebuild and define its' self as a party of conservatives. Specter was as a Democrat Lite or RINO.

John of Phoenix
04-28-2009, 05:20 PM
So if you're going to go the conservative route, what are you going to do when dubya and cheney want to help with the rebuild?

Tom Montgomery
04-28-2009, 05:28 PM
Good move! Time for the GOP to rebuild and define its' self as a party of conservatives.

Terrific! Not only will y'all be ideologically pure as the driven snow... you will also remain in the minority for the rest of our lifetimes.

Go for it!

elf
04-28-2009, 05:35 PM
When you get down to it, I'm not sure what they have to learn here. Listening to their commentary on all the current issues, it's clear they aren't thinking with a 21st C. perspective. They really seem mired in the 1950s at this point.

From the perspective of a progressive Democrat who was raised in the values of the '50s but has moved on into the 21st C without dallying with the more extreme noise of the 60s and 70s, I can see that the Republicans seem to want to return to the values of my childhood.

Many of us here didn't think it was all so bad back then, after all. We didn't publically know any gay people, but in private we had maiden aunts and uncles who were a little "strange". We didn't have babies out of wedlock, but we all whispered about the girl in the neighborhood who "had a ticket to ride". We didn't get abortions, either, but someone among us knew where to go when we needed a safe, albeit illegal one. We all went to church, did lots of stuff with Scouts, didn't have any friends who were some other color or hired the colored guy to be the janitor at the local high school.

And we all bought in to the Russians-are-coming line.

Remember?

What's happened is that the most progressive wing of the Democrats has steadily been able to infect the language with truthfulness, so we no longer use slurs in public and our grandchildren are finally actually no longer thinking of gay people as "fags". So now we no longer actively teach our children in school that it's OK to think that way. And those same progressives have managed to use the basic Constitutional principals of non-discrimination and equal rights to legislate into existence a society which no longer publically approves of exploitation and bigotry.

I see the last 8 years as one of the last times that such habits of thought and behavior will distort the Constitution and our society. Spector's party switch is utterly emblematic of the change. The Dems have moved enough to the middle to accomodate centrist Republicans and Snowe and Spector and Collins are now comfortable with the middling blue of the bluedog Democrats.

If the Republican party attempts to undermine Snowe the way it's threatened to do with Spector, she will move over too. There will be a very comfortable place for her and Collins and Spector and, sort of sadly, some other Republicans who lost their seats in the last couple of elections.

I don't for a minute believe that the country is speeding towards the kind of progressive perspective I, Ian McColgin and Bruce Hooke hold. But the Republicans moving so far to the other side is leaving a lot of people like Cris Ross wondering whether they can still affiliate with the party of their lifetimes.

jbelow
04-28-2009, 05:36 PM
Absolutely... a GREAT idea... all 20% of the population who identify themselves as conservatives. Yeah, that'll really do it... the GOP will have a lock on the 2010 elections... I can see it now!!!!!

(Of course, if you actually believe that, I've got a little swampland in New Jersey I can let you have for short money....)

Norm , does the population know the difference between conseratives and liberals?

johnw
04-28-2009, 05:37 PM
From Mitch McConnell. I guess he doesn't remember Newt gingrich's plan to establish a 'permanent Republican majority', does he? :):)

Wow, he must have been really disturbed when all those Southern Democrats turned into Republicans. And I bet he fought like hell against the use of the reconciliation process to pass Bush's tax cuts. One party just running over the other.

Tom Montgomery
04-28-2009, 05:40 PM
...does the population know the difference between conservatives and liberals?Yes. And they are rejecting the talk-show wing of the GOP.

The American public has had enough of the utter GOP foreign snd domestic policy failures.

Tom Montgomery
04-28-2009, 05:44 PM
Mitch McConnell is one of my two senators. Believe me: his first concern is not the welfare of the people of the USA.

JimD
04-28-2009, 05:55 PM
I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

This is where the American system seems strange to me. Why have parties if the members aren't loyal to it?


Sorry, boys, but when one party can push through any legislation, without worry of opposition, that is not a correction, and it's not 'balance'.

Nevertheless, this is the case in Canada most of the time. The balance occurs when we vote da bums out next election if they push through too much unpopular legislation during their present term. Our system more resembles yours only when we have a minority government and the ruling party cannot count on its own membership having the numbers to pass law without compromise.

elf
04-28-2009, 06:02 PM
Why be loyal to a party if it's despicable?

Party names are just names. The philosophies are flexible.

Big Woody
04-28-2009, 06:25 PM
Yes. And they are rejecting the talk-show wing of the GOP.

I disagree. The right's talk show ratings are up. And the left can't keep a political talk show on the air for lack of ratings.

John McCain and "his party" was rejected by the people. We don't want a right wing talker who votes and spends like a lefty.

Ronald Reagan could have soundly beaten Obama or Hillary Clinton. The problem for the republicans was that they did not have a good candidate to choose from in the primary. The media will do their best to crucify any true conservative. Look at the bile they threw Sarah Palin's way. Joe Biden has a long and mediocre history from which to find things to ridicule, but the liberal media could have cared less about Obama's V.P. choice.

If you want to see a group the public is rejecting, it is the liberal media. If you don't believe me, then go buy stock in a newspaper or other left leaning news outlet and watch it continue tanking faster even than the rest of the stock market has. People now prefer to go online for their news and their online choices of news outlets reflect a more centered view.

ron ll
04-28-2009, 06:45 PM
Oh boy. Fresh meat. :D

Tom Montgomery
04-28-2009, 06:48 PM
It must be tough to be in a GOP whose ideology is so popular that the people of the USA elected a liberal president and gave both the House and Senate Democratic majorities.

Oh! Oh! Let me guess! You are NOT a Republican! You are a CONSERVATIVE! There are a lot of those here.

Bruce Hooke
04-28-2009, 06:52 PM
The media...

Politicians and others have a long history of blaming the media when things don't go the way they want them to...

johnw
04-28-2009, 07:09 PM
I disagree. The right's talk show ratings are up. And the left can't keep a political talk show on the air for lack of ratings.

John McCain and "his party" was rejected by the people. We don't want a right wing talker who votes and spends like a lefty.

Ronald Reagan could have soundly beaten Obama or Hillary Clinton. The problem for the republicans was that they did not have a good candidate to choose from in the primary. The media will do their best to crucify any true conservative. Look at the bile they threw Sarah Palin's way. Joe Biden has a long and mediocre history from which to find things to ridicule, but the liberal media could have cared less about Obama's V.P. choice.

If you want to see a group the public is rejecting, it is the liberal media. If you don't believe me, then go buy stock in a newspaper or other left leaning news outlet and watch it continue tanking faster even than the rest of the stock market has. People now prefer to go online for their news and their online choices of news outlets reflect a more centered view.


You can make a pretty good living as a talk show host if you appeal to 20% of the electorate. As a candidate, it doesn't work so well.

And keep in mind those ratings include people like Tom Montgomery and Norman Bernstein who listen to right wing talk radio regularly. Take a look at their posts and see if you can figure out whether McCain was too far to the left for them. Listening ain't voting.

Garret
04-28-2009, 07:18 PM
Coming from the land of Jim Jeffords (oh no! one of those leftist granola eating gonna have a gay wedding types ;-), I can toss out another possible reason for Specter's switch.

Jim Jeffords was one of the New England moderate republicans mentioned by another poster (like his former senator Linc Chaffee - a good man). Jim regularly won with 70+ percent of the vote of this very liberal state - largely because he was a man of integrity. OK - pro-choice helped him a lot too.

His comment when he left the Rep's was "I have not moved away from my party, my party has moved away from me".

I'll bet that Specter's reasoning was similar, with the added benefit of better odds for re-election.

Garrett Lowell
04-28-2009, 07:28 PM
Garret, I agree with all of that except for the part before "...with the added benefit of better odds for re-election. "

He could have made this move anytime within the last 12 years.

Garret
04-28-2009, 07:35 PM
Garret, I agree with all of that except for the part before "...with the added benefit of better odds for re-election. "

He could have made this move anytime within the last 12 years.

Hi Garrett -

Whatcha doing wasting T's? :D

I wasn't saying it was a reason - just that it didn't work against his decision...

Garrett Lowell
04-28-2009, 07:42 PM
I think the extra "t" means I was named after a small closet in the attic. :D

Mrleft8
04-28-2009, 07:47 PM
It's all very simple. Joe Leiberman is about to jump ship to the repubelickins because Obama talks to Arabs. Specter is just ranking Leiberman by jumping party before Joe brown nose does.....Makes him look better....

Garret
04-28-2009, 08:17 PM
I think the extra "t" means I was named after a small closet in the attic. :D

I thought that was my spelling - or as I explain to people - the place where a starving artist lives.

Garret
04-28-2009, 08:21 PM
It's all very simple. Joe Leiberman is about to jump ship to the repubelickins because Obama talks to Arabs.

What??? He talks to A-rabs? Next you'll tell me he shook hands with Chavez! What is the world coming to?

I never got what the Rep. objection to talking was. Ever read any Sun Tzu? "Know your enemy"? Duh....

But that last word pretty well sums up today's Rep's. Not that I've ever had an opinion of course.

elf
04-28-2009, 08:50 PM
Jim Jeffords comment when he left the Rep's was "I have not moved away from my party, my party has moved away from me".

I'll bet that Specter's reasoning was similar, with the added benefit of better odds for re-election.

And this is what Specter says:
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.

Big Woody
04-28-2009, 09:51 PM
In spite of many comments to the contrary Rasmussen reports today that Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_ballot/generic_congressional_ballot

We might have lost an election season, but rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Garret
04-28-2009, 10:44 PM
And this is what Specter says:

I sit corrected - thanks

James McMullen
04-28-2009, 10:59 PM
We might have lost an election season, but rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Yes. . . . but, The Great Pumpkin will only appear if you are truly sincere.

skuthorp
04-28-2009, 11:13 PM
Spectre? I thought you were talking about Phil!
The conservatives have queered there own pitch by their own excesses for the time being. But talk of their demise is premature. Good govt requires a good opposition, but I don't think the GOP (what does that stand for anyhow?) have the mindset for that yet and like our conservatived don't really believe that they lost yet.

Bruce Hooke
04-28-2009, 11:19 PM
GOP (what does that stand for anyhow?

"Grand Old Party"

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
04-29-2009, 01:54 AM
Spectre? I thought you were talking about Phil!



Phil's currently in jail and with hair like that he's probably switchin sides too.
Ya know what I mean....wink wink.



http://seancasio.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/phil_spector.jpg

huisjen
04-29-2009, 06:48 AM
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a81/kos102/2008/Campaign/cheney.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a81/kos102/2009/Other/Snowe.jpg

C'mon Olympia. You don't have to be one of 40. You could be one of 61.

Dan

elf
04-29-2009, 08:07 AM
The truth of the matter is that what we really need for truthfulness is for people like Feingold and Franken to break off into a Liberal party, and then a few Republicans would feel even more comfortable joining the Democrats, which should change their name to Centrist.

Osborne Russell
04-29-2009, 08:45 AM
the talk-show wing of the GOP.

A useful term.

Osborne Russell
04-29-2009, 08:50 AM
This is where the American system seems strange to me. Why have parties if the members aren't loyal to it?


Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then?

-- Henry David Thoreau

JimD
04-29-2009, 09:02 AM
Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then?

-- Henry David Thoreau

I suppose I did not explain very clearly given the topic of this thread. We occassionally have politicians who switch parties, too. But our Prime Minister never has to worry about elected members in his party voting against his initiatives. Members of Parliament always vote for their party's tabled legislation. If they are unwilling to they either resign or switch parties, which rarely happens. So a PM whose party holds a majority of seats can theoretically pass any legislation he or she wants. Technically new laws can be blocked by our Senate but that also almost never happens. Our Senate (appointed) rubber stamps legislation passed by our House of Commons (elected). Whereas an American president cannot count on his own party supporting his position. Seems odd to our eyes.

JimD
04-29-2009, 09:18 AM
It's a liability of a political system with only two meaningful parties. Countries with many political parties have to form coalitions to get anything done... in the two party system, it's impossible for each and every legislator to ALWAYS support the party platform on every issue.

It's the reason why we have leadership positions called 'whips'.... to 'whip' the party members into line.

Norman, our MPs are pretty well permanently whipped. Voting against one's own party here is a greivous offence. But my main point is that even in countries like my own with several parties the biggest party often has a 'majority', meaning they out number all the smaller parties combined. That, combined with party loyalty means they can pass just about any damn law they want without any further need to be 'filibuster proof'. This must seem strange to Americans?

boatbuddha
04-29-2009, 09:38 AM
In spite of many comments to the contrary Rasmussen reports today that Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_ballot/generic_congressional_ballot

We might have lost an election season, but rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Outlier. Poll enough and you'll get these blips. Stick a fork in the GOP unless it gets in order, it's done.

JimD
04-29-2009, 10:00 AM
...There's a benefit, I think, to the American structure: when party control changes, it isn't quite as dramatic as it probably is in other countries .... I've been saying that the Republican party has been marginalized, but I don't mean to imply that they're toothless; just let one scandal of big controversy erupt in the Obama admin, and they'll be showing their fangs.

There really isn't much dramatic change here when control changes. The only two parties that have ever formed the federal government, the Libs and Conservatives, have both been around as long as we've been a country and their ideologies tend to be quite close and morph with the times. And like everywhere, the big, established bureaucracies have inertias of their own. I also have no doubt the GOP will rebound. About 20 years ago our Conservative Party was virtually anihilated and now they are in power again. Elections are all a numbers game and they simply have to go back to the drawing board and rework the numbers.

Lew Barrett
04-29-2009, 10:11 AM
"Grand Old Party"

It used to stand for that Bruce. Now it means: "Grumpy Old People."

TomF
04-29-2009, 10:18 AM
I'm never wild about people crossing the floor, whether in Canadian examples or those elsewhere. It always feels to be like opportunistic betrayal of the people who voted for them.

The ethical thing to do, in my opinion, is resign - seek the nomination of a party that fits you better - and run in a bye-election. Risky, but ethical.

t

Keith Wilson
04-29-2009, 10:18 AM
. . . until Obama, the last 4 decades have been dominated, more or less, by the GOPEh? Since 1969? Since 1980, possibly, but not that far back.

Politics in the US has historically been like a chess game - control the center, and you'll probably win. (Of course, what ideas constitute the center change over time, but the principle holds.) That changed briefly in the last 15 years or so because of Lee Atwater & Karl Roves's polarizing strategy, but that only works for a little while, and generates its own downfall. The Republicans haven't understood that yet; some seem really to think that if they're ideologically pure (extreme) enough, the American people will come around. It resembles what the left did in the 1970's, when they played a stupid game of "more radical than thou". They'll figure it out eventually.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-29-2009, 10:46 AM
The pendulum swings slowly; until Obama, the last 4 decades have been dominated, more or less, by the GOP.... and we might see a decade or two of Dem dominance now. Certainly, with the GOP's penchant for self destruction, they're not helping thier own cause. Consider this:

Quote:
LEARNING THE WRONG LESSONS.... Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine, arguably the Senate's least conservative Republican, has an op-ed (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/opinion/29snowe.html?ref=opinion) in the New York Times today, insisting that the GOP is making a terrible mistake by "fold our philosophical tent into an umbrella under which only a select few are worthy to stand." Noting the Republicans' shift to the right, Snowe added, "There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party."


Some of Snowe's fellow Republicans have come to a very different conclusion. Last night, for example, Fox News' Sean Hannity [I]lamented (http://mediamatters.org/countyfair/200904280052?show=1), "I think if anything, the Republican Party is moved to the left in recent years."

Last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina raised a similar concern. "I feel that Republicans are starting to get the message of the last two elections -- that the American people don't want a lukewarm agenda," DeMint said (http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/04/22/demint-says-obama-voters-have-buyers-remorse/). "They don't want a liberal light agenda."

This is a surprisingly common sentiment in conservative circles. They're absolutely convinced that the only reason Republican numbers have fallen off in recent years is that the GOP hasn't been nearly conservative enough. It's why many were delighted yesterday by Arlen Specter's announcement -- the departure of moderates makes it easier for the Republican Party to coalesce around a common conservative agenda which, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, they think Americans are anxious to embrace.
_________________





Very a propos. Just the same thing happened, twice, in Britain - the Labour Party moved left when out of power allowing Thatcher three terms, and the Conswervative Party moved right when put out of power by Blair, giving him three terms. The Conservatives have finally acknowledged their mistake, and swung back to the centre, under Cameron. They will get back into power next year.

The cause appears to be the same in all three cases - capture of the party by activists, rather than by sitting elected representatives, and the belief held by those activists that people are not voting for the party because it is not being sufficiently "true to its principles". This belief is always mistaken, but activists nearly always hold it.

TomF
04-29-2009, 10:49 AM
...So, if you want to fault him for jumping parties, just remember that there's more to the story.There always is. In Canadian politics, people typically cross the floor to shore up a shaky Government majority ... and often get rewarded with a Cabinet position or some other perk. Often there are "back stories" of longstanding dissent with the party they've left ... or with some of the attitudes of the Party leaders ... etc.

And sometimes, as here, the electorate has likely been voting for the candidate in spite of their party affiliation, rather than because of it. The candidate's personal qualities generated the votes ...

It always makes me angry. Ethically, you resign ... and run as the candidate of the party that fits better. Especially in cases like Specter's, where the voters would almost certainly have preferred voting for him as a Dem, this should have been a no-brainer. Would have enhanced his integrity, rather than compromised it.

John of Phoenix
04-29-2009, 01:11 PM
Some comments from a guy who ought to know. "Ideological purity." Hmmm, has an ominous ring to it.

LINCOLN D. CHAFEE
Republican senator (R.I.) from 1999 to 2006; fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies
In 1964, at the Republican National Convention, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, I was an 11-year-old watching the full-throated booing of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller by the Goldwater delegates. It was memorable in its fervency. No matter that Goldwater would carry only six states later that year in a historic Democratic landslide; the message was one of ideological purity. Now, 45 years later, we are watching the same celebration of ideological purity at the cost of winning elections.

After the '06 Senate losses -- of myself in Rhode Island, Mike DeWine in Ohio, Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Conrad Burns in Montana, George Allen in Virginia and Jim Talent in Missouri -- put the Republicans in the minority, there was no introspection or strategy change to stop the hemorrhaging. Indeed, in '08, it was another debacle: Sununu in New Hampshire, Smith in Oregon, Dole in North Carolina, Stevens in Alaska, Coleman in Minnesota.

After the election, it was reported that some Republicans were happy to be free of the "wobbly-kneed Republicans." Happy in their 41-seat minority! I assume that Sen. Specter told the right-wing fundraising juggernaut, "If you fund my primary opponent, I'll switch parties." The likely response? "Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

That attitude signals the demise of the Republican Party as a viable national party. The ramifications of the collapse are especially acute in states such as Rhode Island, where presently there is no alternative to the Democratic Party. Everybody here agrees that that is not good for a healthy democracy.

johnw
04-29-2009, 01:23 PM
It used to stand for that Bruce. Now it means: "Grumpy Old People."


Ouch!

Please note the background in the last pannel.

http://www.salon.com/comics/tomo/2008/06/10/tomo/story.jpg

huisjen
04-29-2009, 01:38 PM
In a sense, maybe it's true that the Grumpy Old People haven't been conservative enough. Americans didn't want money sent hand over fist to rebuild a country we broke and therefore had to pay for. Americans didn't want wiretaps (and still dont...). Americans don't want government poking it's nose into our bedrooms, and telling us who can and can't marry whom. We're very conservative when it comes to protecting our rights.

Dan

Phillip Allen
04-29-2009, 03:54 PM
It just occured to me that this proves what I've been saying for years...there is no difference between parties and it's all about power and manipulating the voters...what a cold blooded bunch of Shyesters(sp)

johnw
04-29-2009, 04:33 PM
It just occured to me that this proves what I've been saying for years...there is no difference between parties and it's all about power and manipulating the voters...what a cold blooded bunch of Shyesters(sp)

That's pretty much to opposite of what Specter said. He said the Republican party has moved so far to the right that he can no longer be a part of it. How do you reconcile that with there being no difference between the parties?

Frank Wentzel
04-29-2009, 04:35 PM
I have followed Specter ever since he was the District Attourney for the City of Philadephia. I consider myself a liberal (though not necessarily a democrat) but I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for Arlen Specter. I can see the logic of his move. Why lose a seat in the Senate, in which he has done an admirable job, because of affiliation with a party that has lost its connection with its constituents. He has chosen to follow his constituents who elected him and whom he serves, rather than a political party which is currently serving only its own ends.

/// Frank ///

Osborne Russell
04-29-2009, 04:37 PM
Whereas an American president cannot count on his own party supporting his position. Seems odd to our eyes.

Americans treasure independence, or the appearance of it anyway.

Osborne Russell
04-29-2009, 04:42 PM
The cause appears to be the same in all three cases - capture of the party by activists, rather than by sitting elected representatives, and the belief held by those activists that people are not voting for the party because it is not being sufficiently "true to its principles". This belief is always mistaken, but activists nearly always hold it.

Hold your nose & vote. This was said at least as early as Abraham Lincoln. Some said he sold out the abolitionists with his moderation. Others said he was bought & paid for by the abolitionists and and so allowed the country to slide into war. During his second term, during the war, slavery was abolished by constitutional amendment.

Osborne Russell
04-29-2009, 04:45 PM
It just occured to me that this proves what I've been saying for years...there is no difference between parties and it's all about power and manipulating the voters...what a cold blooded bunch of Shyesters(sp)

At any rate it saves you the trouble of differentiating them.

Phillip Allen
04-29-2009, 05:25 PM
I wonder if the money spent by the RNC to get him elected when he must have known what he would do should b e called a campaign donation to the DNC? (or, perhaps, theft by deception)

Phillip Allen
04-29-2009, 05:27 PM
That's pretty much to opposite of what Specter said. He said the Republican party has moved so far to the right that he can no longer be a part of it. How do you reconcile that with there being no difference between the parties?


easy...were his lips moving?

Garret
04-29-2009, 06:31 PM
Some comments from a guy who ought to know. "Ideological purity." Hmmm, has an ominous ring to it.

I went to school with Linc. Very bright, thoughtful - just plain good guy. Even though I tend towards the other side of the aisle, I was disappointed when he lost.

I would definitely listen to him - particularly on this subject. IIRC, because of his centrist views, he got very little support from the RNC. Not conservative enough I 'spose. Too bad - it's not only the Rep's loss, but ours.

johnw
04-29-2009, 06:46 PM
easy...were his lips moving?

A cliche is something people say instead of thinking. Try harder.

Phillip Allen
04-29-2009, 07:01 PM
"prove it!" can be heard on playgrounds...I don't need to prove it to you...I believe your request is disingeneous anyway...or do you believe one party is honest and the other is not?

I went through this with my cousin when we were kids...proof was not what he wanted...convincing was what he wanted and that's not my job..he simply denied all proofs till I felt defeated...no more...you're on your own

Garret
04-29-2009, 07:08 PM
"prove it!" can be heard on playgrounds...I don't need to prove it to you...I believe your request is disingeneous anyway...or do you believe one party is honest and the other is not?

I went through this with my cousin when we were kids...proof was not what he wanted...convincing was what he wanted and that's not my job..he simply denied all proofs till I felt defeated...no more...you're on your own

Hi -

To whom was this post directed? No quote, so it's hard to tell.

Thanks

johnw
04-29-2009, 07:09 PM
"prove it!" can be heard on playgrounds...I don't need to prove it to you...I believe your request is disingeneous anyway...or do you believe one party is honest and the other is not?

I went through this with my cousin when we were kids...proof was not what he wanted...convincing was what he wanted and that's not my job..he simply denied all proofs till I felt defeated...no more...you're on your own

Prove what? You're getting incoherent.

It's pretty obvious there's a difference between the parties. It isn't honesty, either. One is chasing off moderates and wants only the purest of conservatives in it. The other is accepting moderates, with the understanding that they won't always vote with the party. That's a pretty big difference.

You want to make an assertion, then get defensive when anyone questions it, fine. Just don't expect people to give your posts any credence unless you're willing to give them a reason to.

oznabrag
04-29-2009, 07:10 PM
Hi Garret. It looks like Phillip and JohnW are having a little dustup.

Garret
04-29-2009, 07:12 PM
Hi Garret. It looks like Phillip and JohnW are having a little dustup.

Thanks - more fun to watch than be in the middle of :D

Edit - a sterling example of good grammar, eh?

Phillip Allen
04-29-2009, 07:21 PM
I'm done and it looks like John is as well...

JimD
04-29-2009, 08:05 PM
Americans treasure independence, or the appearance of it anyway.

If you really treasured independence so much you'd have a lot more Independents and a lot fewer Dems and Reps.

johnw
04-30-2009, 12:51 AM
If you really treasured independence so much you'd have a lot more Independents and a lot fewer Dems and Reps.

Aren't independents the fastest growing political group?

Oh, and it's perfectly legitimate to use a preposition to end a sentence with. It's latin where that's bad grammar.

Chris Coose
04-30-2009, 05:03 AM
Good move! Time for the GOP to rebuild and define its' self as a party of conservatives. Specter was as a Democrat Lite or RINO.

I sure hope them crazy Maine republicans put nut job neo****birds up against Snowe and Collins in their primaries.