My Photo

« Swine Flu: What We Should Do for One Another | Main | Memory Lane »

April 28, 2009

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515c2369e201156f63a309970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Congratulations Club For Growth!:

Comments

and the pH of the GOP goes up a little bit more. mmm... caustic.

Reading the linked item in the WashPost, it becomes clear that Specter really had no choice if he wanted a chance at holding his seat in the coming election. Just another step in the homogenization of the Republican party and the enlarging of the Democratic tent.

Of course, sixty Democrats is filibuster-proof only in theory. The difference now is that a Democrat rather than a Republican is likely to get final say on what changes are necessary to get a bill through. Specter might well be that Democrat, or maybe Ben Nelson. Or perhaps new contenders will emerge.

Not to mention that the snow may be thawing in Minnesota before Franken is seated.

A la Nelson from THE SIMPSONS:

"Ha-ha!"

:)

"and the pH of the GOP goes up a little bit more. mmm... caustic."
I feel obliged to point out that this would mean that the GOP is getting less acidic.
Which would make sense if you thought of Specter as partisan and caustic, but I don't think that's what you were trying to get at.

Trold: There are two sides to the pH scale. The Republican party is concentrating on their base.

I don't know if that was an intentional pun, but it's a pleasantly geeky one.

I feel obliged to point out that caustic is the opposite of acidic.

Specter will only feel pressured to move left if he faces a credible opponent in the Democratic primary, but at least he won't be paying much attention to pressure to move right anymore.

For the most part I’m cheered by this. Now we won’t have completely ridiculous pseudo filibusters on unimportant things, with people trying to get rid of the filibuster in general.

I have a weird other feeling that is hard to label. What do you call it when you see a group that you used to identify with, but currently loathe, fall further from grace? Especially when you can’t decide if you feel good about it? Am I glad that the group which soured me on the party is losing? Am I more sad that they (and no one really) haven’t been in touch with most of my political ideals for a long time?

Is it kind of like getting the final papers for a divorce and being sad for all the foolishness and lost time and waste? But also regretful that things didn’t turn out the way you had hoped at the beginning.

Hmm.

For the most part I’m cheered by this. Now we won’t have completely ridiculous pseudo filibusters on unimportant things, with people trying to get rid of the filibuster in general.

I'm happy about the switch, but I do not share your optimism. Specter has signaled that he'll still oppose EFCA, and I doubt the party change will alter the way he fundamentally approaches cloture. There's a reason "Spectered" and "Snowed" entered the blog lexicon as synonyms for making a lot of noise about your principles and then bailing on them when it matters.

Is it kind of like getting the final papers for a divorce and being sad for all the foolishness and lost time and waste? But also regretful that things didn’t turn out the way you had hoped at the beginning.

Having been through a particularly nasty divorce myself, I suspect you're on the right track.

Thanks for the correction hairshirthedonist. Apologies to Mr. Cleek.

For the most part I’m cheered by this. Now we won’t have completely ridiculous pseudo filibusters on unimportant things, with people trying to get rid of the filibuster in general.

Huh? Why do you think that Specter, let alone Nelson and other red state dems will give up on ridiculous filibusters? When dems are at 60 is precisely the time at which red state dem senators have the most power and leverage, and that power stems from their willingness to support filibusters.

And while I'd love to get rid of the filibuster in general, I don't see any indication that Specter or any other Senator wants to do so.

Thanks for the correction hairshirthedonist. Apologies to Mr. Cleek.

Your graciousness and lack of snark is curious and befuddling, sir. What, pray tell, are you up to? I can see that you're quite wily, indeed. Well played.

Is there any indication that Specter got concessions from the Democratic Party to not support a challenger in the primary? I would think that he is getting something for the switch, and if it is not a chairmanship, that would be the next thing on his list.

He doesn't seem to be that far right of Casey, though. I think he will fit in fine for Pennsylvania Democrats.

jrudkis, according to this atrio post, Specter was promised that Dems would not support any other candidate in the Dem primary.

He doesn't seem to be that far right of Casey, though. I think he will fit in fine for Pennsylvania Democrats.

According to this post by Matt Yglesias, political science says Specter will have to move significantly leftward to become the most conservative Dem in the Senate. Behold, the power of science!

i'm with jrudkis -- specter may be making noises about competing in the Democratic primary, but i wouldn't give the Democratic Party this kind of gift unless I had already arranged for something along those lines.

Yawn. Shrug.

Wow. Talk about putting getting re-elected above everything else. I’m not necessarily unhappy to see the GOP take the hit – but this is about nothing beyond him retaining his seat, and that makes me uncomfortable. The incumbent racket is bad enough as it is, so I certainly hope he gets spanked in the D primary.

In any case, now ya’ll get to enjoy that mavericky goodness. ;)

problem with Specter is that he'll likely be as much of a DINO as he was a RINO.

FSM save us all from independent thinkers...

/75%_kidding

According to this post by Matt Yglesias, political science says Specter will have to move significantly leftward to become the most conservative Dem in the Senate. Behold, the power of science!

Is there a way to tell how many of the roll call votes were regarding things like Senate leadership, etc? It seems likely to me that the results are skewed by votes not directly related to policy...in other words, he should bump up in that listing just by caucusing as a Democrat and voting for democratic leadership and various procedures, without having to change policy votes.

I need a little help with this.

Why would PA Dims vote for Specter, who has just put in the last 30 gloriously successful ("Mr. Single Bullet") years stepping on, obstructing, marginalizing, and diminishing EVERYTHING a Democratic Party stands for?

Cant the PA Dims find somebody who is a REAL Democrat?

Welcome, Sen. Specter.

Union-backed, anti-gun, pro-choice, you make a fine Democrat.

KCinDC: Rep. Joe Sestak may not have the name recognition but he would make a good Democratic Senate candidate.

I like the way Bob L summed up today's Specter news: "Just another step in the homogenization of the Republican party and the enlarging of the Democratic tent."

When Sarah Palin is your party's most famous member, that speaks volumes for where the GOP is right now.

Palin notwithstanding, the Republican Party has become regionalized, strong in the South, soft in the Midwest and West, non-existent in the hugely populated Northeast and Rust Belt.

Perhaps today's news will motivate Joe Emerson to pay ObWi another visit and tell us all what thoughtless liberals we are in blue language.


"I feel obliged to point out that caustic is the opposite of acidic."

Why did I always learn in Chemistry class that basic is the opposite of acidic? Did I miss the memo?

I have a weird other feeling that is hard to label. What do you call it when you see a group that you used to identify with, but currently loathe, fall further from grace? Especially when you can’t decide if you feel good about it?

Come over to the light side of the force, Sebastian. :)

"I have a weird other feeling that is hard to label. What do you call it when you see a group that you used to identify with, but currently loathe, fall further from grace?"

Alienated.

Not only is Specter switching parties, but he's very thoughfully brought along a nice progressive gift to get the housewarming party started:

The Need to Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs

h/t commentor SGEW at Balloon-Juice

Caustic IS basic, just very much so. Like lye, for instance.

I wonder if all the moderate Republicans were being courted and had lots of offers with deals to switch, but suddenly saw their stock drop once Specter delivered 60.

I can just imagine Snowe trying to drive a hard bargain, and now being left out in the cold.

TLT: Excellent essay by Specter. No wonder he had to leave the GOP.

Regarding FISA, Specter slams The Evil One, saying: "Vice President Cheney went behind my back to persuade all of the other Republicans on the committee not to support the subpoena and to boycott the session I had called to discuss a possible private hearing."

Also, Specter knocks President Bush with this: "Further, I will reintroduce my legislation from 2006 and 2007 (the "Presidential Signing Statements Act") to prohibit courts from relying on, or deferring to, presidential signing statements when determining the meaning of any Act of Congress. These statements, sometimes issued when the president signs a bill into law, have too often been used to undermine congressional intent. Earlier versions of my legislation went nowhere because of the obvious impossibility of obtaining two-thirds majorities in each house to override an expected veto by President Bush. Nevertheless, in the new Congress, my legislation has a better chance of mustering a majority vote and being signed into law by President Obama."

jrudkis: "I can just imagine Snowe trying to drive a hard bargain, and now being left out in the cold."

Stranger things have happened, but it would shock me if Snowe or Collins had ever had the whisper of a hint of an idea of changing parties. For whatever weird reasons, the Republican Party in Maine isn't much like the national party at this point, but they sure aren't Democrats, either, and don't want to be. And as has been noted here on ObWi in the last few days, neither Snowe nor Collins is likely to face any viable opposition in the foreseeable future. They are hugely popular in Maine; re-electability is not an issue.

I wonder if all the moderate Republicans were being courted and had lots of offers with deals to switch, but suddenly saw their stock drop once Specter delivered 60.

Don't pop the champagne just yet. Cloture votes don't usually fall along strict party lines on the Dem side. Realistically the Dems need about 65 votes in hand to be realistically confident about being able to get cloture on anything non-trivial, because 2-4 defections from the Blue Dogs are pretty common. Specter's switch doesn't change that math much, although he may shift a little bit to the left per the argument in publius' top level post, compared with how he would have voted if still in the GOP.

I suspect the biggest impact of Specter's switch will be felt on votes re: judicial nominations and during the health-care debate.

Caustic IS basic, just very much so. Like lye, for instance.

Just what I was thinking. The Republican party will now concentrate even more on its base, by lying.

That was what you meant, right, publius?

tril - this is why i love comment threads -- specter and acidity. what more could you want

you know that nausea you get when listening to GOP press releases ? that's the fatty tissues in your brain turning to soap, having been exposed to the caustic lye of movement conservatism.

I see the acidic/basic discussion has largely covered the bases, but there is one more: a higher pH means more negative ions and less positivity, also a reasonable metaphor for the R's ...

And as the base gets stronger and stronger, conductivity increases. The ability to pass around the negativity increases.

Holy Guacamole, Batman!

I was busy all morning and didn't go on-line until, oh, 20 minutes ago. I saw an announcement about Specter's party switch in my email, and thought it was a joke - because people have been talking/joking about the possibility ever since it was clear Toomey would clean his clock in the GOP Primary.

Then I go to dkos, just to catch up on the news, and Holy Hell He Really Did It!!

Not sure yet how much of a gain this is for the Dems, because Specter didn't get the nickname Haggis for nothing.

If he switches on EFCA, though, that makes the switch worth it. Yeah, I know he says he won't, but he has a long pro-labor record, and the whole reason he wasn't supporting EFCA in the first place was to placate PA's wingnutty primary voters. If getting through the GOP primary is no longer a factor, then maybe the unions can gently remind him of the long and beautiful friendship they had and change his vote again.

Other than that, I'm of course totally gleeful about the switch, as another indicator of the GOP's slide into irrelevancy. It doesn't bother me one whit that Specter, insofar as he has any principles, has moderate ones. We have a lot of former moderate GOPs in the Democratic Party, and I expect - when the GOP finally dies good and dead as a national Party - that what replaces it will be a schism in the Democratic Party between the moderate Blue Dogs and the more liberal wing.

The new opposition Party will be less right-wing than the GOP, and certainly less completely insane. I grok that to be a good thing.

Negativity? OH, no! (I've got my ion you.)

In retaliation for that last, let me point out that HSH (Hair Shirt Hedonist) is more commonly written as H2S.

Union-backed, anti-gun, pro-choice, you make a fine Democrat.

Not union-backed anymore. Unless he flip-flops again on EFCA, expect stiff, union-backed opposition to Specter in the Democratic primary.

As for the notion that this solves the filibuster problem: nonsense. They've just added to the rightwing of their caucus that has been at least as responsible for interfering their ability to get anything done as the GOP has been.

Yeah, what Ben said. Does he even have a chance in a Democratic primary with the unions being not just lukewarm on him, but actually against him? Does Rendell have enough power to tell the unions to shut up and let Arlen win?

OT:

Sebelius confirmed as HHS Secretary. On a 65-31 vote.

9th Circuit rebukes overly broad invocation of state secrets. Sends Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan back to trial, directing that state secrets must be invoked on an item by item basis rather than wholesale.

Dang, today was a good day.

"Does Rendell have enough power to tell the unions to shut up and let Arlen win?"

You'd be foolish to bet against Rendell in Pennsylvania.

An overview of the Specter switch here.

If he switches on EFCA, though, that makes the switch worth it. Yeah, I know he says he won't, but he has a long pro-labor record, and the whole reason he wasn't supporting EFCA in the first place was to placate PA's wingnutty primary voters.

I am not sure where the votes are on EFCA but do we actually need his vote or do we just need his vote on cloture? Anyone have any idea of what the vote count looks like right now?

Symbolically, Specter switching parties is a Big Deal.

In actual practice, I doubt it'll make any difference. He's still likely to be as wishy-washy and attention-seeking as he was as a "moderate" Republican, and just as likely to water down anything useful just to keep his "moderate" credibility.

Like I said, symbolically, it's big, but as a practical matter and dealing with legislation? Probably not. He'll probably end up as useless and obstructionist as the worst of the "Blue Dogs".

Brent, I don't know the nose count, but Webb recently came out against cloture on EFCA, and as I recall Lincoln came out against EFCA some time ago, although I don't recall her position on cloture. So, even if the Dems seated Franken, and Specter switched, and the more doubtful remaining Dems didn't oppose cloture on EFCA (Nelson, Pryor, Landrieux, etcetera), the Dems would still need to pick up both Snowe and Collins (or any other two R's, but those are the most moderate remaining) to get a vote on EFCA.

Mind you, Specter specifically ruled out a switch on EFCA cloture, so to get his vote for it the bill would have to change sufficiently as to make the entire preceding paragraph meaningless.

Shorter answer: so far as I can tell getting 50 or more votes for EFCA is entirely plausible, but cloture Will Not Happen.

A postscript: it does seem likely that the Dems are getting something for this, beyond the mere egg on Republican faces; otherwise, why not have Rendell or (conceivably) Sestak crush Specter in the Dem primary? For the purpose of the 2010 pick-up, the Dems don't much care whether the Dem nominee faces a Toomey who's beaten Specter or a Toomey who hasn't had to.

The most obvious quid-pro-quo, the bill where the Dems could really find it useful to have an extra reliable Senator is health care, so today's news could be very good news on the health care front.

Assuming WT's headcount is correct, Snarlin' Arlen has a free "yes" vote on EFCA cloture.

Why the hell wouldn't he take it?

Why the hell wouldn't he take it?
Having switched parties - and for that matter having switched his positions on a large number of issues over the years - Specter presumably will want to avoid too much of a reputation for self-serving inconstancy. A topic on which he has already switched once, and recently, and with a high profile, is an especially good place to make a stand on unswerving principle.

This is especially true because it's a meaningless stand on unswerving principle: Specter's vote for cloture might endear him to the unions, but it would make Specter look weak and craven, and more importantly it wouldn't get cloture past the 60 vote mark. So in a sense I'd argue the exact opposite, that Specter gets a "free" no vote - although he will still have to prove his worth to his new Democratic constituents.

As I've already said, the most obvious issue where Specter could try to prove his worth to his new Democratic constituents is on health care.

Warren Terra, that's something I haven't see. I think lost in all the sweet, sweet schadenfreude is the fact that if Toomey won the primary as polls suggest, a more liberal Democrat than Specter will be would have crushed Toomey like a bug in the general. This is not such a great deal for Dems.

TLTABQ: "Dang, today was a good day."

Aren't you required, by various grammatical conventions, to preface that with "didn't even have to use my a.k."?

So, let me get this straight: the Republican brand is so unpopular that a powerful Senator is leaving it so the voters won't boot him out...yet because the Democrats need a solid 60 votes for anything and everything of substance, they don't dare tell said Senator to toe the party line on at least half the big issues...and Sebastian is glad that this will preserve the filibuster?

Seems like yet another reason to ditch the filibuster.

The Dems have once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They should have politely refused Specter's offer, leaked it to show how weak the GOP is, and trounced him in November -- unless he was willing to make real changes.

That the GOP has swung so far to the right that even Spector can't keep compromising himself enough to win a primary, is sad. That the Democrats have swung so far to the right that they are perfectly consistent with a Reagan Republican, is tragic.

Specter is going to be personally vilified by his former party. He will be facing the potential of a primary challenge. He thus has every reason in the world to swing to the left and very little reason to stick to the right.

The Maine senators might well end up considering a switch largely because you can get your priorities addressed in the majority more easily than in the minority. And don't underestimate the degree to which the crazies in the GOP are making life uncomfortable for the relatively sane who remain. There is a sorting process unfolding here, and the logic is pretty similar to what occurred for conservative democrats in the south.

I like Crafty's point, but I don't know if Obama and the Dems have the luxury of waiting two years. Also, it seems it was less an offer and more a relentless wooing (reports are that Biden had 14 extended phone and personal meetings with Specter)

I also like the point that this is a victory for Hilary because if she had not contested PA, which had so many registered Republicans switch party registration, Specter might not have felt as much pressure to change.

I also agree with the last point about where the Dems are, but the left side of the party has always been marginalized for any number of reasons, so I think it was unavoidable.

"9th Circuit rebukes overly broad invocation of state secrets."

California uber alles.

Well done.

Warren: I have a hard time imagining Specter worrying too much about a reputation for inconstancy. He generally manages to come up with some halfassed rationalization about how the thing he now supports is in no way the same thing he previously opposed with all his heart and soul; he may even convince himself. I really wouldn't be surprised if he finds a way to do the same with EFCA; in his mind, or at least in his speech, it won't be a switch at all.

I grew up in PA & can't remember a time when Arlen Specter, R, was not Senator. That, and his distinctive-but-never-really-memorable personality, make it hard for me to keep him in mental focus or express an opinion about him; he's like Hershey's chocolate, unsatisfactory and unavoidable.

9th Circuit ruling against govt on state secrets:

russell: California uber alles.

In this case, actually, Arizona:

bmaz: this is a wonderful panel (they are all from Arizona and I have known all of them)

He thus has every reason in the world to swing to the left and very little reason to stick to the right.

Actually he has no reason whatsoever to swing to the left. Especially if the Democrats have agreed to make sure he's unchallenged in their primary.

"Specter knocks President Bush with this: "Further, I will reintroduce my legislation from 2006 and 2007 (the "Presidential Signing Statements Act") to prohibit courts from relying on, or deferring to, presidential signing statements when determining the meaning of any Act of Congress"

BRAVO - but this does not go far enough. To my mind, Bush's signing statements are a violation of his oath to protect and defend the Constitution...and should have triggered his immediate impeachment.

This hideous sham should have been crushed when it first emerged...but, *NOW* would be good....

Now if we could just get Harry Reid to switch to the Dems.

What?

Really??!!

Oh. Never mind then.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


  • visitors since 3/2/2004

October 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Blog powered by Typepad

QuantCast