In a written statement released before his public announcement Specter tried to spin his party change as an ideological move based upon his personal stance on issues and his discovery about the way his constituency believes and as such can best ,”serve,” his state as a Democrat. He also tried to allude to this in his public announcement. All of which is a load of political crap, putting it bluntly.
The truth of the matter is that Specter has angered Republicans for many years and the only reason that he won the Pennsylvania GOP primary in 2004 was because many in leadership positions in the Senate and President Bush stuck their necks out to support Specter against Pat Toomey because of Specter’s seniority in the Senate. Toomey nearly won in spite of the support.
Toomey has already announced that he is running again in 2010 and polls show that he is maintaining a 20 point lead over Specter. He has also canvased state GOP money and found that he would not be able to raise the funds to run for re-election. Additionally Michael Steele has announced that the RNC would not back Specter with funding.
So this has nothing to do with ideology, or personal beliefs but re-election and re-election only. Specter has seen the handwriting on the wall and knows that he cannot win re-election as a Republican because he would be defeated in the state primary. So he cut a deal with Senate Democrats and the DNC who have promised support if he runs as a Democrat and this and this alone is why he changed parties.
Concerning his vote, nothing will change because Specter votes to the left about 75% of the time. But now that he will be caucusing with the Democrats the pressure to support all of the Democrat agenda will be greater and most likely his 75% will become 90 – 100 %.
As far as the state of Pennsylvania is concerned I believe that Specter has sealed his fate in his hopes for re-election. His turn coat move has disappointed and angered many voters in the state and in 2010 Specter will feel the backlash. Which means that most likely his seat will once again be GOP after the votes are counted and the people of Pennsylvania boot Benedict Specter out on his betraying butt.
Unfortunately in the short term Specter’s defection virtually gives the Democrats a filibuster proof majority as Specter becomes number 59 with the Minnesota battle between Republican Norm Coleman and joke Al Franken still in the courts with Franken holding a slim lead. But without the Minnesota seat, Joe Lieberman who votes about 85% of the time with Democrats even as an Independent gives the 60 votes.
So for the foreseeable future Republicans have little voice in the Senate and I am sure Harry Reid will take full advantage of this. But even with the majority many Democrats from more conservative states will be thorns in Reids side along with Republicans. So a filibuster proof number may not be the icing that Reid thinks it is on his liberal cake.
Specter also publicly lied about his intention just over a month ago on March 17th when he was asked why he did not change parties after siding with Democrats on the Stimulus Bill. Specter said he had no intention of changing parties because he believed that checks and balances were necessary in the Legislative Branch. So much for ideology and truth.
Specter has been a thorn in the GOP for years and he now embarks on the twilight of his career kissing the hand of the liberals in whom he has sided with more times than not. Personally I have always thought that the person who concocted the ,”single bullet theory,” while serving as legal council for then Representative Gerald Ford during the Warren Commission investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy was a few bricks short of a load. Today Specter lost all the bricks and any chance for re-election in 2010. Good Riddance !
Ken Taylor http://theliberalslies.blogspot.com