Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Breaking News

Posted by MEC on April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter has switched parties.

Let’s all send thank-you cards to Pat Toomey and Mitch McConnell. And especially to Karl Rove.

(Unfortunately, this probably means the RNC will continue funneling money to Norm Coleman for appeals to federal courts, the Supreme Court, and probably the International Court in The Hague to keep the Democrats from having a 60-vote caucus.)

Specter said in his announcement that he won’t change his latest position on the Employee Free Choice Act. I’m skeptical about that. If he’s going to run as a Democrat, he’ll need support from the unions, and that means voting in the unions’ interest. Maybe he thinks the Democratic Party will be so grateful that they’ll stop any primary challenge. If so, he’s got another think coming. The Democratic Party doesn’t control the progressive grassroots, and that’s exactly where a challenge would come from.

[Updates] In Daily Kos, wheelimus points out that we don’t need Specter to vote for EFCA. We just need him to vote for cloture, and I suspect it would be easy to persuade him to do that.

Also, I like David Waldman’s suggestion that the Democrats tell the Republicans they won’t renegotiate Specter’s committee seats until Norm Coleman concedes.

11 Responses to “Breaking News”

  1. Charles II said

    The GOP should shift its efforts to threatening Snowe and Collins.

  2. MEC said

    Yes, Charles, and in particular they should threaten to withhold RNC funds from their re-election campaigns.

  3. Kathy said

    Its been strange observing Specter’s comments vs. his actual votes. He often appears to know the difference between right & wrong, but was heavily pressured to vote “wrong” aka Republican.

    Perhaps with less pressure & intimidation Senator Specter will start voting his conscience. Well, maybe. He might. He could if he wanted to.

  4. Charles II said

    It was interesting how closely Chris Matthews’s comments on Olbermann about Specter tracked the Club for Growth. With spittle literally flowing down to his chin, he was bitterly vituperative, calling Specter a man of no principles and saying that he polled to reach his decision.

    Did Matthews say the same thing about Alabama’s Richard Shelby or Colorado’s Ben Campbell, when they left the Dems? And how would he characterize Linc Chafee, who is running as an Independent? Would he call him a man of no principles?

    Somehow, I don’t think so.

  5. Charles: Bingo. When Specter cited the 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans who switched to being Democrats last year, he was being refreshingly honest.

  6. omen said

    It was interesting how closely Chris Matthews comments on Olbermann about Specter tracked the Club for Growth. With spittle literally flowing down to his chin, he was bitterly vituperative, calling Specter a man of no principles and saying that he polled to reach his decision.

    matthews makes money giving speeches to corporate trade groups. sounds like he shares interests with club for greed.

  7. omen said

    via raw story:

    Matthews has given speeches to at least ten major conservative trade associations since 2001. The report’s author, Dave Johnson, who blogs at Seeing The Forest and is also a fellow at the progressive Commonweal Institute, could find no records indicating that Matthews has spoken before any Democratic-leaning organizations. The report is not a product of the Commonweal Institute.

    “Why is Matthews speaking at so many events with Republican-associated trade organizations?” Johnson asks. “What is NBC policy on speaking engagements and why does NBC keep it hidden? Are these trade associations paying Matthews to purchase influence?”

    […]

    Matthews is listed at a speaking bureau known to command hefty fees. While it can’t be proven whether Matthews has taken money from the groups, speaking fees are a regular practice for large trade organizations who invite big-name media stars to speak to their memberships. Such fees typically run in the five-figure range, and occasionally exceed $50,000 per engagement.

  8. Charles II said

    That’s fascinating, Omen.

    Matthews has dined out for so long on having been an aide to Tip O’Neill that people think of him as a Democrat. Indeed, the Pennsylvania Dems were recruiting him to run against Specter. But he certainly acts like a corporatist.

  9. MEC said

    Specter is a man of no principles. But you have a good point, that Matthews criticizes only the Republican who became a Democrat, not the reverse.

    What did Matthews have to say about Lieberman inventing his very own political party rather than accept the will of Connecticut Democratic voters?

  10. Doran said

    While we hand out kudos to Republicans for helping to build a Democratic majority in Congress, don’t forget to include Rep. Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn. They both have screwed up big-time in the past few days.

    Sessions failed in his role as Chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee to get a Republican [Tedisco] elected in New York State.

    Cornyn was so far out of touch that he reportedly did not know that Specter was contemplating a change in party affiliation.

    Here is what the Lone Star Project [lonestarproject.net] had to say, in part, about these two guys:

    Terrible Week for Texas Republicans

    Cornyn and Sessions flunk early tests as campaign chairs

    A few days ago, National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) Chairman Sessions was dealt a serious blow when the Republican candidate for a special election in New York conceded defeat even after the NRCC invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Republican leaning seat. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) may have trumped Sessions today, as he lost a member of the Republican caucus when Arlen Specter left the Republican Party. Cornyn, who had recently endorsed Specter for the 2010 election, will likely be stuck trying to unseat the incumbent Democratic Specter with an extreme right-wing candidate (Source: The Hill, April 14, 2009).

    Couldn’t have happened to two more deserving guys than these two.

  11. It’s so funny to hear Norm deny that he’s being pressured by top-level Republicans to keep Al out of the Senate when Cornyn’s on record as all but ordering Norm to do so.

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