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Specter leaves Republicans: Are Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins next?

(excerpt from) The Guardian UK
Specter haunts the Republicans

By Michael Tomasky at his Guardian UK blog

Arlen Specter’s shock decision to switch parties is a sign of how Republicans have abandoned America’s moderate voters

We call lots of things bombshells, but Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter’s decision to leave the Republican party and become a Democrat really truly is one.

Specter’s switcheroo means that, once Al Franken of Minnesota is seated, as he will be eventually, the Democrats will have in effect a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate…

Two other Hill-centric thoughts. First, he adds one more senator to the group of Democratic moderates, strengthening that contingent. And he will, because of the drama attached to his switch, be symbolically far more important than, say, Ben Nelson of Nebraska…

Second, I bet I’m not the only one who’s wondering how Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are taking this news. The two Maine GOP senators are now more isolated inside their increasingly rightwing and increasingly regional caucus. Are they – especially Snowe, who’s really more liberal than even a couple of the Senate’s Democrats – now asking themselves why they’re still Republicans? You bet they are. It wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world to see one or both of them follow…


Thanks to Elizabeth Benjamin for the story. She has an excellent daily political blog at the NY Daily News, and a daily round-up that happens in the afternoon or evening.

One Response

  1. Kimberly comments:

    I thought the story was so important, I should leave it alone on the post. But, wanted to share my thoughts…

    Wow! I have been thinking what might happen with the Obamamania in the world. The Democrats for several years gathering energy (and compromising values) to finally have their party win. How will the political landscape change if America just rejects Bush-ism, torture, ultra-right wing thinking?

    I have been thinking maybe the Republicans could collapse, and we could be left with a new two party system, like: The Democrats and the Green Party; or the Democrats and the New, Nader Independent Party; or the Democrats and the People’s Party for Peace. Maybe it could happen, that the Republican Party could be the one to fail. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

    Also, Specter switching reminds me of the time when Jefford switched in 2001. Jeffords changed from Republican to independent, but caucuses with the Democrats, which gave the Democrats majority status. But, the Democrats blew it by campaigning way to the right in 2002. The Democrat leadership never really take a win and run with it. Their maneuvers expose that they are utterly incompetent, or really don’t want to take a ride to the left or towards peace.

    In this instance, too, we see the Democrats as incompetent losers, who can’t even grab a win as a win, with the Minnesota race. Republicans have no shame, and a vicious sense of entitlement. The Republican leadership is crass and manipulative to tie up the Franken/Coleman race so that the Democrats don’t get that vote in the Senate. But, the Democrats are incompetent and/or accomplice-pushovers for letting it drag on this long.

    One last point, in doing the research for Jeffords name, I found a snarky but interesting article that points out that Spectre attacked Jeffords in 2001 over his switch. Article is here:

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