Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Speaking of Defection

Senator Alrlen Specter, who never fails to make me think of Casper the Friendly Ghost, nor rankle the sensibilities of his died-in-the-wool, red state Republican colleagues, has rocked the Washington establishment with news that he is defecting to the evil Deceptocrats, giving the opposition a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats, including Minnesota's Al Franken.  The Republicanoids are livid.  Here's party chairman Michael Steele calling for blood:

Let's be honest: Senator Specter didn't leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record. Republicans look forward to beating Senator Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don't do it first.
This means nothing less than Arlen Specter is unprincipled.  The alternative is that the Republican party has drifted outside of the mainstream.  So, to be very clear, according to the official party line, Arlen Specter has no principles because running on his record as a Republican would have placed him out of favor with primary voters in his state.  Rather than switch parties, Mr. Steele seems to suggest, the principled thing would have been to abandon his true policy positions strictly out of party fealty. Well.

Joe Lieberman defected from the Democratic party in 2006 to run as an Independent against a well-funded challenger from within his own party who made hay over the Connecticuit Senator's unswerving support for the war in Iraq.  Democrats were calling for blood.  If Joe Lieberman was able to secure re-election with suppport from the radioactive George W Bush, then Arlen Specter is certainly able to do it with the blessing of Barack Obama, as reports of White House support followed (but did not facilitate) the Senator's announcement.

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