Tue 28 Apr 2009
The big news this morning is that Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. Huzzah! If Al Franken comes through in Minnesota, the Dems. will have a filibuster-proof majority. This is earth-shattering news for a Republican party that's already coming apart at the seams.
Here's how Specter describes his decision:
"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. Since [the stimulus package vote], 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."
And here's how Republicans responded. Michael Steele, the idiot at the helm of the Republicans ship said this:
"[Specter] didn’t leave the G.O.P. based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record. Republicans look forward to beating Senator Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don’t do it first."
John McCain, vying for the title of sorest-loser also said: "It’s pretty obvious the polls show him well behind his primary opponent." I don't doubt there's some truth to what the Republicans are saying. But this is the equivalent to responding to a witty, biting, true critique by saying 'I know you are but what am I!' or 'Your Mom!'. Steele, idiot that he is, basically just said what Specter himself said: Republicans are now the party of the extreme right. Specter is not an extreme right Republican, and because his ideology is so out of sync with the new (but old) Republican party, he also probably couldn't get re-elected. The two are one and the same.
I don't get it. Doesn't the GOP have a few extra bucks to hire a PR person to tell them when to shut up? How to respond to unfortunate events without sounding like a pissant 12-year old or throwing fuel on the fire? Honestly, an undergraduate intern would do fine.