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28 April 2009



YAAAAAAAAYYYYY! 59 and counting!!!

Derrick from Philly

Kinda' saw it coming a while ago. Well, congressman Patrick Murphy, and other young Democrats, will have to wait 7 more years to try for the Senate. That's ok.

Andrew Holleran

Before we get all excited...I want to see where Arlen Specter will stand our gay issues. And health care. And the stuff that is supposed to be important to Democarts and progressives.

If he supported ENDA and hate crimes before, will he support them, now?

The 60 number means nothing. There were Democratic senators who did not support the stimulus and voted for right wing homophobic judges like Southwick. (Helloooo Dianne Feinstein!) As Rod said, if you're a Democrat voting with the Republicans on a union bill, and we have a Democratic president, the point is .... ?

'Cuz people are dreaming if they think the Democrats will ever stand together as a voting block like GOP...


exactly what we need.

a "democrat" from an industrial state that does not support the right of employees to form a union.

color me unimpressed


@ Andrew and TB:

""Specter is decent on LGBT issues. The Pennsylvania senator has a 70 percent rating (PDF) from the Human Rights Campaign for the 110th Congress. Specter was one of the original Senate co-sponsors of ENDA and co-sponsors the hate crimes bill."

That is good. 70% ain't the best number, but he supports ENDA and hate crimes bill. Those are our two most important pieces of legislation right now.


he just switching sides cause he had no chance of winning re-election as a Republican.

alicia banks

as obama has proven that political parties are merely distinctions without differences,
this switch is really just an insult to my intellgence...

it makes me wonder what we are being distracted from...and why



I've always liked Arlen Specter. I grew to respect him when he treated Anita Hill with so much compassion and respect during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings


>>> I grew to respect him when he treated Anita Hill with so much compassion and respect during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings

Surely you're joking. Arlen Specter was the Republican hit man on the Judiciary Committee. Specter was the worse interrogator of Hill.

Wiki: "Specter raised the ire of many Democrats who had supported him for years with his aggressive questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, claiming Professor Hill had committed "flat-out perjury" in her testimony."

Answers.com: "Republican legislator Arlen Specter went so far as to imply that Hill had fantasized the whole scenario; others suggested that she was acting out of jealousy because Thomas had failed to provide her the attentions she secretly
desired from him."


Specter is a decent man. He is good on LGBt issues and great on choice. He did NOT support the Clinton impeachment. He opposed Bush on torture and some other things, but supported the war and many Bush policies. The Hill hearings were long ago and I'm not going to hold that against him but please DO NOT rewrite history and romanticize Arlen Specter.

And yes, being a "Democrat" and not supporting labor legislation that can protect jobs and families in this economy .. seriously, what are we so excited about? If Snowe or Collins support EFCA, then the "60" Democrats means nothing. We would have 60 "Democrats" and can only count on 50 to push "Democratic" causes. The ten others (including Lieberman and Specter) are sometimey ...

Shane Moseley

sorry but no, Specter was a complete a-hole to Anita Hill.

there are other things i like about him, like opposing Clinton's impeachment and being against marriage amendment. if he were to be reelect probably be his last term and hopefully we could move him on efca and other progressive legislation.


Well, while not a fan of Specter on nay level, at least he is doing what he feels is best, since we all know the GOP has no room for a moderate, you have to be a right wing fanatic or get to stepping.

The GOP really is going to be a regional party, of the Deep South, and, sadly, if you are black, poor, gay or anything not white and Christian, you will have no representation. But, he is hardly a given Democratic vote.


to all of you who thought i was going "yaaaay!" way too soon, you guys were right. sometimes i get excited over the slightest shifts. he's still arlen specter. i wasn't crazy about his politics when i lived in the state and i'm sure he's just gotten older and not much else has changed. thanks for talking me down.


I'm with Luther and Carlos. Specter increases the Democratic caucus. And hopefully he can be a vote against cloture when we need him (but remember he helped us on cloture and the stimulus already). But he is/was very pro war person and voted for GWB's war budget many times. Well, hell, Obama and Clinton voted for the war a few times, too.

But imho very important he's against the Employee Free Choice act so the old man is also anti worker, pro CEO. On top of this the only reason he switched was not out of his ideals but because he knew he would not win a primary and he wants to keep his job.

I like the fact that he is pro LGBT rights.

But honestly...what do we get here? Specter is not supporting all of Obama's appointments. Will he flip on health care or EFCA? Don't just assume because he is a "Democrat" he will automatically vote for everything we want.

But greater Dem numbers is a good thing.

Shane Moseley

@ ROD and P:

Specter voted for EFCA in the last Congress. I believe that given a reasonable period of time, he will switch back.

Crass opportunism? Absolutely.
Is he doing anything to win? You bet.

These are politicians, not priests.

Josh Flagg

What TB said.

Color me impressed that this is NOT about Specter rejecting the GOP's ideology. IT IS about closing off the possibility that he gets primaried.

I mean, doesn't Joe Lieberman caucus with the Democrats? That's been such a boon for us, hasn't it?

I think there's no question that this is a huge and stinging slap in the face and a major defeat for the GOP - I would just like it to have practical advantages for us, and that remains to be seen.

Speaking of Lieberman, anyone want to guess that he tries to take the sting out of this and officially crosses the aisle?


Big whoop.

All that's going on is that Specter is sick of his own party sniping at him. Switching parties means no more leash tightening from the GOP leadership in the Senate, no serious primary challenge next year, and the likelihood of significant committee chairmanships in the next Congress. It's a win for nobody but himself. He's going to vote the same way he always has. If Reid isn't going to crack down on the Nelsons, Landrieu, and (especially) Joe Lieberman, he isn't going to do it to Specter. The number of Senators in the caucus means nothing if they don't vote as a bloc.

Actually, I think it's a bad thing. The possibility of getting a good Democrat elected to that seat next year is now all but gone.

Oh and welcome home Freeleo!
Take your shoes off and relax, lol


"In what has been described as a "seismic shift" and a reflection on the right-ward march of the Republican Party...

It sounds to me as if this is also a reflection of the right-ward march of the Democratic Party. It also reinforces that march, just as the presence of all the blue dogs does.

We could all celebrate if the Republican Party disappeared, but only if that meant the Democratic Party split into two. And then all we'd be is back right where we were before Reagan time.


okay. I guess you guys are right, but it seemed like he was a lot more kind than Orin Hatch.

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