Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter (D)- PA: Smart move conservatives.

Democrats are one vote away from a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate once Al Franken is FINALLY seated. The Democrats control the U.S. House and the White House. George W. Bush and Carl Rove prayed for that kind of majorities just eight years ago.

So what does the conservative Club for Growth decide to do? "Let's take on a moderate Republican in a brutal primary that the moderate cannot win! What's the worst that can happen?"

Well, you could force the Republican to switch parties giving the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority, a major recruiting coup and further evidence that the country is tending to left-center. This is going to discourage top Republican challengers across the country to run. Making taking back the Congress, or even making a sizeable dent in the majority, of the Congress all that harder. Rob Portman's race just became the Republican Alamo of the Midwest.

But the Republicans could now get Joe Lieberman! So what? You think Droopy Dog is going to give up his committee gavel to be the ranking minority member of a subcommittee? Nope. No Democrat is going to switch themselves into political oblivion.

I'm amazed that the Democrats could keep this a secret so long. When Jeffords broke, it was already old news by the time he actually announced.

As if on cue, Bizzyblog goes nuts, having to dig back forty years to criticize Specter for work he did as a private attorney to suggest he's the favorite of serial murders or something. So his non sequiturs syndrome apparently isn't limited only to comments on the recession. His condition is worse than I feared. Oh my!

The conservatives will too easily write this off as part of Pat Toomey's primary bid, but that's a surface analysis that misses the big picture. There's a reason Pat Toomey was ahead- because the Pennsylvania Republican Party has been reduced down to the most conservative of elements (sound familar, Ohio?) The Party has scared or pushed out its moderate wing who is forced to become independents who split tickets... or, gasp, moderate Democrats. You know why John McCain thought he could pull up an upset in PA? Because he believed there were still Arlen Specter Republicans who'd come home. Palin scared them away, meaning that the only Specter Republicans left in the PA GOP was Specter himself (his family's allegiance to the McCain/Pail ticket last year is undocumented).

They never really were in contension because the Republican brand had been identified as being so out of touch with voters that McCain could not overcome the bad branding. Midwesterners no longer consider the Republican Party a viable option to them because of the party's dedication to an out-of-touch extreme conservative ideology that is hostile to moderates and compromise.

Branding that was the conscious choice of conservative organizations like Club for Growth. They are leading the Republican Party deeper into the political wilderness and off the cliff.

Welcome to the Democratic Party, Senator Specter. BTW, I love your voiceover work on "This Week in Baseball" (j/k).

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