Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Ok, so the big news of the day is the defection of Arlen Specter from Republican to Dem. The news media, Email alerts and even the world of Twitter went wild this afternoon with the shocking news.

Actually it wasn't so shocking. Arlen's votes and opinions, moderate by default, made running Democrats against him very difficult and very expensive. His independent philosophy onn most national issues kept the electorate
in Pennsylvania very comfortable with him as Senator.

So what does this mean? Well, this isn't the first place you've heard about the switch. What do you think? Are more moderate Republicans going to follow his lead?

I hate to pick on the party as a monolithic throwback to the days before the civil rights movement simply because I have republican friends and family. It's tough to have the normal dinner table conversation when the leaders of the Republican party are, well, who they are.

Most agree, that the Democratic majority doesn't really know what his new "D" label will mean to the movement on healthcare, energy, education and fixing this struggling economy. My thoughts...

Arlen Specter will vote like Arlen Specter. With hardly a kind word for either of the two party leaders, his switch to Dem has more to say about how mad he is about the small tent platform that he and his former comrades were forced to embrace. Just look to their leadership to see where the Republican Party is going.

The two party system provides a "checks & balances" to the workings of government, so it worries me that one group dominates the conversation. But at the same time, I smile at the thought that the years of angry conservative rhetoric has finally cornered itself into such a small corner. As if the American public have gotten past the bedroom issues of diviciveness and see that we are all one American family.

I understand Olympia Snowe of Maine is scheduling a private meeting with Prez Obama. Is it something her electorate said?


Anonymous said...

Lets not forget that Arlen was instrumental in ushering in Clarence Thomas to the Supremes. Making Anita Hill look like an opportunist and dismissing her accusations was Arlen's job on the review committee.
Not all is happy with the Specter switch!

Anonymous said...

Specter has voted and acted more like a blue-dog Democrat in recent years. Sen. Bob Casey even says he has had alot of great successes by working as a team with Specter. Pennsylvania voters are just lucky to have these two serving them in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Specter voted NO on the budget today. Specter is voting how he feels and not with any party affiliation I think you have a point Mike that he will be as independent as he always has been.
As far as the Republican small tent concept, it's no different here in Ulster County.

Anonymous said...

Author Gore Vidal--one of the first gay authors that made any money in this country by the way--said long ago we only have "two wings of the same party." It was true then and it is true now. That is the party of "money"--doesn't matter what label you put on either one.
Look in the Daily Freeman in the library on Microfiche and you will see that during the campaign season of 1960, Vidal, who was running for Congress from Dutchess County(unsucessfully), Paul Newman and JoAnn Woodward, and maybe someone related to me was at Hasbrouck Park in Kingston.
It is too bad that in politics--like in medicine---lost truth gets buried only sometimes to re-emerge.
Specter's independence has something to do with the stereotypical Philadelphia attorney;however, this man Specter was born in Texas, which speaks more of his independent bent than anything else.
The Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill drama was still won in favor of a black person. Any other interpretation is sheer hysteria.
What this will do however is foster the Obama agenda--whatever that may entail--for some period of time. I would like to know what Obama plans to do for Agriculture, as he is from a state that actually still has agriculture in this country. So far nothing....