28 April 2009

Specter Switches Parties

This is obviously the big news of the day, which is that Arlen Specter is changing parties, and becoming a Democrat.

The immediate effect is that Coleman-Franken goes on for another year, because now when Franken gets seated,* the Dems have the votes necessary for cloture.

If you read his official statement, he does not say that he is becoming a Democrat, just that he will be running in the Democratic primary, which is a less than sterling endorsement of the party, though his statement that, "The Republican Party has moved far to the right," is no endorsement of them either.

Personally, it's nice having a 60th vote for cloture, whenever the damn Minnesota recount is done,* but fundamentally, I see this as being all about Arlen Specter.

He squeaked out a primary victory in 2004 against wingnut Pat Toomey, and realized that, with moderates increasingly changing party affiliations to independent or Democrat, he had no chance of winning.

As a final thought on him: Quoth the Atrios, who was quoting Harry Reid, "Arlen Specter's with us except when we need him."

He'll be a weasel, and will remain so.

I expect this to continue, particularly with regard to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) labor legislation, which he says he will continue to oppose, despite sponsoring it a few years back.

*Please, just make it stop.....This recount is going on forever!!
Why yes, that little self-destructing man will continue to be a part of my Minnesota recount coverage.


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