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Specter's Departure a Wake Up Call for GOP


Sen. Arlen Specter is surrounded by members of the media as he arrives for a vote at the U.S. Capitol on April 28, 2009. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Dan Balz
How much more can the Republicans take? Demoralized, shrinking and seemingly lacking an agenda beyond the word "no," Republicans today saw their ranks further thinned with the stunning news that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter is switching parties and will run for reelection in 2010 as a Democrat.

Specter is worried about his own survival -- and particularly a primary challenge from the right. Many in the GOP might say good riddance. After supporting President Obama's stimulus package, Specter was persona non grata in his own party. So it may be easy for some Republicans to conclude that they are better off without people like Arlen Specter.

But his defection is a reminder that the Republican Party continues to contract, especially outside the South, and that it appears increasingly less welcome to politicians and voters who do not consider themselves solidly conservative. Northeast Republicans have gone from an endangered species to a nearly extinct species. Republicans lost ground in the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest in the last two elections. That's no way to build a national party.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows the depth of the party's problems. Just 21 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans. That's the lowest since the fall of 1983, when just 19 percent identified themselves as Republicans. Party identification does fluctuate with events. But as a snapshot indicator, the latest figures highlight the impact of Obama's opening months on the Republican Party. From a high-water mark of 35 percent in the fall of 2003, Republicans have slid steadily to their present state of affairs. It's just not as cool to be a Republican as it once was.

The Republicans have many demographic challenges as they plot their comeback. Obama has attracted strong support from young voters and Latinos -- two keys to the future for both parties and once part of the GOP's calculation for sustaining themselves in power. Suburban voters have moved toward the Democrats. Specter can see that problem acutely in the suburbs around his home in Philadelphia home. Obama is also holding a solid advantage among independents, the proxy measure for the center or swing portion of the electorate.

Reihan Salam, co-author of "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save America," said this week that the danger for Republicans is to believe they now represent a vast, silent majority that is waiting to reassert itself. A louder voice from a smaller cadre of supporters is not the answer, he warned. That will just prevent Republicans from reassessing their old agenda, developing new ideas and once again learning to reach out broadly.

The Post-ABC News poll points to the progress Republicans have not made since Obama was sworn in last January. The approval rating for congressional Republicans has slipped from 38 percent in February to 30 percent today. Congressional Democrats have seen their support drop too, but still remain 15 points higher than the Republicans.

More discouraging for a party trying to pick itself up after two bad elections is the wide gulf in public trust between the president and congressional Republicans. Sixty percent of the country trusts Obama to make the right decisions for the country's future -- but just 21 percent trust Republicans in Congress.

Despite their solid opposition to the president's economic and budgetary policies, Republicans in Congress have seen this trust quotient decline eight points since January. A CBS News-New York Times poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe Republicans have opposed those policies for political reasons, rather than because GOP lawmakers genuinely believe the policies are bad for the economy.

In the first 99 days of the Obama administration, it has sometimes felt like the Republicans have had a different "leader" each day. Last week the leader of the party was Dick Cheney, attacking Obama for his decision to end the harsh interrogation techniques on some terrorist suspects and to release Justice Department memos outlining those procedures.

Earlier, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour have taken the spotlight. Rush Limbaugh? He too led the Republicans for a week last winter. Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman? He was pretty visible for a time earlier this year, wasn't he? The list goes on. Don't forget Newt Gingrich or the two elected "leaders" in Congress: House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY).

That tells you something. At this moment when the journalistic world is awash with assessments of President Obama's opening months in office, it's useful to reflect on one reason for his strong start: he has been blessed with weak opposition. The Republicans may be united, but they have yet to find a leader who resonates beyond their conservative base or an agenda that attracts real support.

The way back will require both strategic thinking and some luck. Obama has put so much in motion that, say some savvy conservatives, it's almost inevitable that some initiatives will fail. Daniel Casse, a conservative strategist, believes by this time next year, Republicans may have any number of opportunities for taking on Obama that will look more attractive to the voters. But he hardly underestimates Obama's formidable skills as a politician.

For Republicans, the gubernatorial races in 2010 will showcase some of the party's beyond-the-Beltway up and comers. That group includes Jindal, despite his poor performance delivering the Republican response to Obama's speech to Congress earlier this year and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who has caught the eye of some prominent Democratic strategists.

Those 2010 races will also give some shrewd Republican policy entrepreneurs the chance to incubate some new ideas for the party -- ideas that can reach beyond the conservative base and offer a way forward. If there are people ready to seize the opportunity.

Republicans have been on a downward slide for the past four years, a decline that began not long after the reelection of former president George W. Bush in 2004. Many Republicans have blamed most of the party's problems on Bush's leadership. But the problems go deeper than any one person. Specter's shocking departure may provide a wakeup call to Republicans that a broad reassessment is now urgently needed.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 28, 2009; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Dan Balz's Take  
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Next: Obama Requests $1.5 Billion for Swine Flu Efforts

Comments

FDR said We have nothing to fear but fear itself, JFK said We should never negotiate out of fear but never fear to negotiate, and Ronald Reagan said I hope I have appealed to your greatest hopes and not your worst fears.

Today's GOP has abandoned all that, which is one reason America is abandoning the GOP. The only thing Cheney, W, Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, Boehner, McConnell, Bachmann and the other right-wing idiots can do is PEDDLE FEAR. Get plastic sheets and duct tape! Look under your bed! Beware of immigrants! Beware of gays! Torture or die!

These small-brained thugs who thump Bibles they never read or follow have become a crazed, frenzied horde ready to tar and feather anyone who doesn't follow their corporate brand of filth.

As Reagan said, it's morning again in America!

Posted by: tunghoy | April 29, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Why does the Republican party need to renew itself? Republicans are no longer relevant. Its time for a new party more in line with mainstream ideals to emerge. The Republican party can relegate itself to being a third party that represents a minority view. What is wrong with that? We don't talk about how the Whig party should have found a way to adapt and expand to keep from destructing. We should just let them disappear into obscurity or self-destruct, allowing a new conservative opposition party to emerge and take its place. A new party which represents an actual majority view, not contort and change itself into something that appeals to more people. In order to do that, the Republican party would have to turn away from many of the issues that they won elections on for so long, which don't truly reflect conservative principles. Because of this attitude the current Republican party has come to stand for nothing, a group of people loosely banded together by their racist, ethno-centric view of the world, another group of people who represent pure business interests not based on conservative principle, but on their belief that the rich should get richer and working class people are irrelevant, and yet another group of people who are willing to vote against their own interests in order to preserve "family values" by keeping gay people from getting married.

Posted by: ubd100 | April 29, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"I see you are adapting well to the victim mentality the Democrats have fostered for our country, completely at odds with the values that built America into what it is.

Is this representative of the average IQ level we should expect from Democrats? "

Surely you gest gman...! The entire schtick of Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck, et. al. is to appeal to the "victims" of various "agendas" that they do not like... whether it is the "homosexual agenda" or the "feminist agenda", or the "liberal agenda", it makes no difference. The conservative shriekers make sure to point out to their audience that they are "victims" of one or all of these "agendas".

And you accuse the Democrats of playing the victim card? Either you aren't paying attention or you are just willfully ignorant.

Posted by: jenzinoh | April 29, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

For RAymond2 -

Leave your bubble and go visit some of those European countries you denigrate. My European friends who pay 50 to 60% of their income in taxes believe they have a higher standard of living that me. Even in an economy of high unemployment they still have free health care and free tuition, and aren't being foreclosed on at record rates. They have sacrificed the chance to become a Donald Trump for the assurance of a comfortable standard of living. You want to stand in front of Americans whose house is being foreclosed on, who have lost their health insurance and whose kids had to drop out of college whether they'd rather have their security back, or whether they'd rather be where they are but keep the one in a million chance they'll be the next Donald Trump.

When I was in Europe for a meeting, I asked if it was safe to walk about a mile back to my hotel at midnight. I got raised eyebrows and the response "of course, you're not in America anymore"

Posted by: patriot16 | April 29, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

These sentiments give me pause:
"The point was that Colin Powell and the rest of the DC intellectuals who tacitly call themselves "Republicans" keep pounding on the GOP to be more 'centrist'."
or
"And yet Colin Powell still sold out and supported the other candidate."
or
"The more they move to the middle, the more they will look like liberal Democrats "

From the mouth of Rush, no doubt.
1. The denigrating reference to "intellectual". Discrediting independent/critical thought is a necessary part of controlling a populace. Nice job at a subtle slip-in there.
2. Sold out? As in "traitor"? Really, that's the way you choose to refer to people who disagree with you? No room for political discourse in Repub land these days? You believe Colin Powell's loyalty lay with the "party" rather than with his conscience? Repubs might ask what it means when principled people can't find it in their conscience to follow them on the right fork they are taking, but instead they denigrate them as turncoats.
3. The old Bushian false dichotomies are back at work here, either they are "true' conservatives, or else they must be "liberal Democrats". And for a while it worked - "for us or against us', "with us or hates America'. But it doesn't work so much any more. The people were like sheep on the artificial culture "wars", consistently led into voting against their economic self interests to save their innocent children from gay marriage. But now that their bank accounts are at rock bottom, they've seen the light. But have no fear, once their paychecks are back and bellies are full they'll be easily sated into gullibility again.

Its a free county, in spite of people like you. You are free to build you party into a place where only blind adherents who walk in lockstep are welcome. Where critical thought is traitorous, and where one's primary loyalty lies to party instead of conscience or country. Where politicians work for party and not the people they represent. Just don't act all surprised and offended when the thinking people you walked away from don't follow you. The Republican Party left the people, not the other way around.

Posted by: patriot16 | April 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

gman5541:

So now "swine flu" should be added to the list of problems Republicans should be blamed for?

I see you are adapting well to the victim mentality the Democrats have fostered for our country, completely at odds with the values that built America into what it is.

Is this representative of the average IQ level we should expect from Democrats?

Posted by: dbw1 | April 29, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The GOP made its bones as the party of God, guns and capitalism. Well, capitalism has failed, only frontiersmen want guns, and God has seemingly left the building.

The party needs to fall back on an agenda of individual rights and fiscal responsibility, and forget about trying to remake society in the Jerry Falwell image. And get that blowhard Limbaugh off the radio. Another Joseph Goebbels the world doesn't need.

Posted by: Jaybird248 | April 29, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Raymond2 writes " The only is problem is there may not be a county left by the time we get to fix this in 2010 and the truth is the results of the last election may mean that most Americans don't want to work and be accountable any more. We may want what Europe has. High Taxes, High Unemployment, Bad Health Care, and August Vacations, and epidemic alcoholism because everyone knows there going to be miserable for the rest of their life." He should travel outside his right wing radio cocoon sometime, but maybe it suits our purposes better if he continues to live in the bubble as a caricature of ignorance. If there is not a country left to fix in 2010 it may be because Republicans are content to move on past the utter destruction they have wrought in the last eight years; they evidently want to double down and finish the job. Destruction of our country lies in a health care system that pays FAR more for less care, with the difference going into already stuffed pockets. Destruction lies in the vast majority of wealth going to a small sliver of the populace, with everyone else fighting over table scraps. As ling as the wingnuts insist the earth is flat it will marginalize them, which will benefit us all.

Posted by: waters1 | April 29, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"AlwazaDem" repeated a word Obama used this morning in describing Arlen Spector that I found pretty funny: "courage".

How courageous is it to look at the polling data, see you are going to get trounced in the GOP primary because you've abandoned all pretense of holding any Republican principles, you look over to the other side and see no one of note for the Democrats planning to run for your Senate seat, so you decide to switch teams.

That was not 'courage', my friends. That's taking the easy way out, the least path of resistance to retaining power.

And since Spector has demonstrated over several years he has no principles at all other than wanting to be in power, he will fit in real nice with the Democrats.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 29, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

SReed24:

"What positions did [McCain] take that are inconsistent with your understanding of conservatism? Draw from your deep well of knowledge and enlighten us."

Sure, would be glad to. Google conservative/liberal ratings, and start browsing. No matter whether the group is conservative or liberal, among Senators McCain consistently rated in the 50%-60% (on conservative ratings), or 40% give or take on liberal ratings.

The point isn't arguing the definition of 'conservatism'. The point was that Colin Powell and the rest of the DC intellectuals who tacitly call themselves "Republicans" keep pounding on the GOP to be more 'centrist'.

The Republicans would have had a hard time finding anyone more centrist than McCain, who had just enough 'conservative' views to placate the right-wing of the GOP, while consistently voting down the middle on most everything else. And yet Colin Powell still sold out and supported the other candidate.

So the point remains that this drumbeat for the GOP to 'move to the middle' as the only way to regain power is a fallacy. The more they move to the middle, the more they will look like liberal Democrats...and the less reason voters will have to vote for the GOP. Might as well just keep voting for Democrats if the GOP becomes 'centrist' and has no distinction.

Which is probably why so many liberals are gleefully pouncing on this 'move to the middle' movement. They know it, not 'conservatism', is what will doom the GOP.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 29, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

THIS WAS THE GOP'S WAKE UP CALL????????

WHERE THE HE*% WERE THEY WHEN 8 REPUBLICANS SWITCHED TO DEMOCRATS IN KANSAS 2 OR 3 YEARS AGO??????

THAT WAS THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE......AND LIKE THE PROVERBIAL OSTRICH, THEY, AS USUAL, HAD THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND!!!!!!!

The Congress and the Senate DO NOT REPRESENT PARTIES, they represent THE PEOPLE of their districts and states.

If the demographic changes, then they must change, so they can truly say they represent their constituents.

I applaud Specter for his courage in recognizing that.

Posted by: AlwayzADem | April 29, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

AG HOLDER: WHAT DID CHENEY ENERGY WEAPON DO TO SPECTER?

Republicans so happy to lose him they employed microwave force to push him away?

This happens in Pennsylvania.

Read more at:

http://www.I_am_being_censored_by_a_machine_in_SEPA.com

You know by now why you will find the broken link. THEY DID IT.

Posted by: scribbler50 | April 29, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Let's be real: Between the bad economy and their support of the people who caused it, their support of torture, their flawed, corrupt leadership, their intolerance of people of color and women. Their unreasoning intolerance of the GLBT community at a time when our priorities are far batter directed elsewhere. The swine flu crisis didn't help matters either. They helped to cut money that would've helped deal with this crisis and they called it frivolous. Now I know better. I don't think there's ever been a time in our history where it's truly stupid to be a republican.

Posted by: gman5541 | April 29, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

The right has put itself in the position of defending torture.

I don't know any conservatives besides those in the middle east who would agree with them.

Who would have ever thought the GOP would have more in common with Iran than America.

Posted by: langs13 | April 29, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Simply put, republicans are the party of the rich but democrats are the party of the not-so-rich. There are more of the later than former. The democratic party, led by Obama, cares about the condition of the later. No one seems to know WHAT the republican party cares about except the N word. (NO)

Posted by: edwinjones | April 29, 2009 6:00 AM | Report abuse

"Despite their solid opposition to the president's economic and budgetary policies, Republicans in Congress have seen this trust quotient decline eight points since January."

Make that "Because of their solid opposition..."

Posted by: nicekid | April 29, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

AS a Pennsylvanian I am very pleased to see so may Republicans flee the Party of NO. I live in the part of PA that is often referred to as Alabama. Hooray for Senator Spector for leaving a corrupt and dispicable political party of arrogance, incompetence and torture.

Come next November we Pennsylvanians can make his sixth term his best.

Posted by: Democrat4 | April 29, 2009 5:25 AM | Report abuse

"Facing defeat in Pennsylvania's 2010 Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record, and an end to his 30 year career in the U.S. Senate, he has peddled his services--and his vote--to the leftist Obama Democrats who aim to remake America with their leftist plan. As recently as April 9th, Senator Specter said he would run in the Pennsylvania primary next year as a Republican. Why the sudden change of heart? Clearly, this was an act based on political expediency by a craven politician desperate to keep his Washington power base--not the act of a statesman. His defection to the Democrat Party puts the Democrats in an almost unstoppable position to pass Obama's destructive agenda of income redistribution, health care nationalization, and a massive expansion of entitlements." -- Michael Steele. All during the Bush-Cheney Regency, statesmanlike behavior was the norm on Capitol Hill, most especially among Republicans. Not.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | April 29, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Sure Mr. Specter turned coat. But that's because his base defected to the Democratic Party. He is following his voters. Remember, at the end they are who he represents. Loyalty to your party is not the point, loyalty to your constituents is. Mr. Bush's fatal mistake was to ignore the country's sentiments. We didn't want war, he wanted war. We didn't want to hand a big tax-break to the wealthy, he wanted a big tax cut to the wealthy. We want affordable health care, he didn't. We don't care if the government did run healthcare, he did. We like Medicare, he didn't. We like Social Security, he didn't.

How long was it going to be before somebody figures out that there is a populist sentiment to tap out there?

Posted by: longjohns | April 29, 2009 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Well those that accuse Sen. Specter of doing this act for ultimate political survival are correct. I also have a lot of respect that he didn't hide that as a reason. Even revealed a poll that showed he was going to lose. So those are the facts. Those Republicans, who say this is great, we will defeat him in the fall, are off as usual and forgot there history. There is a very close analogy here with Sen Lieberman. He of course tried to win re-election in the Democratic primary in 2006. He lost and was given up for dead. For reasons for nothing more of political survival, he ran as an Independent. There was also the undrelying story, that Lieberman had moved politically from his party roots. Identical to what Specter is saying. He then switched to being an Independent, which was easy to do in Connecticut. Everybody predicted it wouldn't work. It did and he won re-election, but continued to caucus with the Democrats. We all remember what he did in 2008, but now he is back in the fold. If anyone thinks that Pennsylvania will be won by Pat Toomey, they are sadly mistaken. Right now the Republicans are going to try and recruit Tom Ridge, but he won't run, and that would launch an interncine warfare within the right of the Pennsylvania Republican party. I think Specter went from being a dead-man walking, to an odds-on bet that he will be re-elected. If that pisses off the Republicans, so what. There were a lot of us Democrats that did not like Lieberman's antics. I think Specter would probably have preferred running as an Independent, and he really said he is more of an Independent, but the election laws in Pennsylvania make that more difficult. Specter will win, and this is further evidence of the collapse of the Republican party. Just go ahead and run Sarah Palin in 2012, and watch the 49-state sweep.

Posted by: dissenter | April 29, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Limbaugh, Hannity, Gingrich, and the other freakishly right-wing extremists moved their party so far to the right that average Americans view the GOP as a freak show. The critical thinking skills and objectivity of modern conservatives are zero. Eight years of conservative governance and ideals was a disaster for our country, yet the Repubs want more of the same? Go figure.

Posted by: Kaneohe | April 29, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are not going to wake up! I'm waiting for the day that a group of moderate congress members re-register in block as Independents and create a decent third party that could be stronger that either we currently have.

Posted by: DGSPAMMAIL | April 29, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the "wake up call" here was Sen. Specter watching a public health crisis descend on the country while the Re THUG LIE CONS continued to fight against the appointment of Governor Sebelius to the head of HHS - almost 100 days into the administration - because she is pro-choice. Guess that disqualifies her for this post, huh?

Or, was it the removal from the stimulus bill of funds to prepare for a flu pandemic by his party (more of that government waste)?

Or, maybe it was listening to that certifiable idiot, Republican Representative Michele Bachmann, spew about how flu pandemics somehow seem to happen under Democratic Presidents which was not only the worse craven, partisan opportunism, it was simply wrong. The last outbreak actually happened, for what it's worth, during Gerald Ford's administration.

Run, Sen. Specter. Run very far and very fast to anyplace but the Re THUG LIE CON party, home of the brown-shirt bully-boys, the hate-talk propagandists, and torture apologists. Enough of their so-called "family values".

Posted by: Johnbo | April 29, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

"They nominated George Bush against the better judgment of wiser heads because the base loved him... because he's one of them... then George Bush destroyed it all."

Do you really believe this? I think they arranged his nomination because he made a convenient patsy - he had all the appearance of appealing to the base, but had no real substance adn was eminently controllable. Big Oil and Big Corporation found their patsy and put him in the White House, the neocons leapt for joy at another Reagan (although this time simply gullible and incurious instead of senile) and he provided for them all beautifully.

The problem is that greed overpowered sanity, and eventually they broke the bank - literally. My favorite political cartoon shows a line of pigs carrying bags of money out of the vault with the caption "mission accomplished". To paraphrase Lucas, Cheney wasn't Darth Vader, W was Darth Vader, and Cheney was the emperor.

Posted by: patriot16 | April 29, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Wiggan wrote: "The party has not veered to the right. The mistake the party has made was try to go left."

Ah, Wiggan. How can anyone argue with your logic? Clearly, clearly the GOP should go further right. The logic seems inescapable to me.

Then again, I'm a Democrat.

Posted by: nodebris | April 29, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

So he's 79, running for a six year term in 2010. He could live to 100, or be gone in 3 years. Wouldn't a younger moderate Democrat be a better option for the long run?

Posted by: DemoDevil | April 29, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

The Post's headline got it wrong. Arlen Specter "jumping ship" can not be considered "a wake up call" to the Republican Party. You don't wake the dead and you don't wake those who who consider common sense a siren's song. The GOP base is blessed with faith in the infused truth of far-right ideology. They haven't listened because they can't; their ears are plugged with wax. All they hear is the drum-beat of brain-dead orthodoxy that comes from their radios; they feel the vibrations through their feet, like you and I feel heat.

Jesse Helms' circus showed them the far-right road to victory in 1980; the party faithful brutally corrected John McCain's independent spirit in 2000. Right-wing orthodoxy is everything to "the base;" their inquisition fixes deviants. They nominated George Bush against the better judgment of wiser heads because the base loved him... because he's one of them... then George Bush destroyed it all.

They haven't come to grips with the fact that the Grand Old Party is over. What did Hemingway say: "Too many folks don't have the sense to leave a party when the gin runs out.. They just hang around." So they're just hanging out doing the same dumb things and waiting for something different to happen. The new party leader in Delaware said it all: "The Republican Party will have a big tent or a small coffin." But they don't listen... the base still thinks they can fill a big tent by breeding more right-wingers. That base will keep their party small. And it is their party now because the rest of us have moved on.

There is no "wake up call," for those who are unwilling to hear what George Smiley told the British Secret Service: "You boys are going to need a whole new circus." Whether they hear it or not, that's the truth.

Posted by: JoeyTranchina | April 29, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Across the country, Democrats now control more than 55 percent of the nation's partisan legislative seats. In 2008, Dems added 100 seats to the D's column. Democrats now control both the legislature and governor’s office in 17 states. Republicans hold equivalent control of governments in just eight states.
Governorships? Democratic 29. Republican 21.
So, keep talking about same sex marriage, immigration, birth certificates and tea bags, Republicans. Let Sarah, Rush, Newt, Steele, Bobbie J and Glen Beck continue to be your mouthpieces.
To paraphrase something written somewhere else on the net today, soon the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub.

Posted by: carrollpdx | April 29, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

If Tom Davis was too liberal to win a VA primary, Arlen Specter sure was. And that's the rub.

At 21% self-identification, there are simply too few GOPers to win a national election, period. You can be ideologically pure or you can win. Now Limbaugh's turning on McCain. If John McCain's too liberal for you, who's your standard bearer, Joe Stalin?

Specter's an opportunist, but he's no dope. He can count votes. The Republicans need to decide if they want to start counting votes, or continue their self-destruction through purge.

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 28, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately this move is being hailed as the demise of the GOP. What it means simply is that Spectre was more worried about his own chances of re-election than in reality his own party or how he has been allowed by Reid to switch parties and hold on to all his seniority over democrats who have been in Congress for years. This means more about the character of Reid and what he is willing to do to longstanding members of his own party. If I was a democrat right now waiting in line for a turn to be chairman of a committee or something I would be furious knowing Spectre now outweighs practically all of them. This is shameful for a democrat to do this to his own members just to get a Senator who votes with them a lot of the time anyway.

Posted by: justmyvoice | April 28, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

"Arnold Specter wasn't a Republican anyway"

Please elaborate on this comment.

What made Specter not a Republican? What earns someone a label of RINO

Please, I'm waiting for a serious answer. Must one agree with party bosses 100% of the time to be a Republican (or to not be a RINO)?

Is there a specific list of issues that one must agree with party bosses on? If so, must you agree with EVERYTHING on the list, can you disagree on one? or two? or many as long as its not abortion, gay marriage or taxes?


Posted by: patriot16 | April 28, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Quoting hdc77494: We all know Obama's agenda is bound to fail, the question is will the bill and the associated disillusionment show up before 2010, or even 2012?

=========

So that's the republican plan? Wait for things to fail?

That's your problem: the republican party has no plan to deal with success. Yet you believe, for some goofy reason, that voters are going wait around with you. The sad truth is they're passing you by and you're kicking them in the ass.

DAStubbs,
Minneapolis

Posted by: dastubbs | April 28, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at the number of alleged republicans saying good riddance. Newt Gingrich and William Kristol are actually saying Spector's defection is good for the party.

If anyone doubted the republican party was in mortal danger, today should be a clarion call.

With their extremist religious litmus tests, conservative scorecards and "Club for Growth," the party is forcing out moderates to "purify the party." So the republican party is now a regional party of the deep south and Appalachian ridge: smaller, whiter, christian extremist and growing more fanatical.

With no logical soluttions to the problems we face and certainly no coherent strategy to win independent voters, look for deeper republican losses in the southeast, midwest and mountain west.

While the moderates will certainly reconstitute themselves at some point in the future, there simply isn't time to win back seats in 2010 or 2012. Probably not even 2016.

Which means democrats will likely be in power for a generation. Again.

DAStubbs,
Minneapolis

Posted by: dastubbs | April 28, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments fall into roughly two groups: those who see the Republicans as falling because of their narrow ideology and priaising Spector for leaving, and those who insist that Spector was never a Republican anyway and that the Republicans are better off without him.

The latter groups appears to assume that there is nothing ailing the GOP. They can be written off as foolish and self-deceived.

But they cannot be labeled conservative or ultra-conservative. Pundits and journalists and ordinary citizens should wake up about using this term.

A political conservative generally is one who favors limited government, especially great caution in using the government to affect social or economic ends.

The American right is a coalition of aligarchs using the government to rob the treasury and enrich themselves, and social activists seeking to use the government to further their social ends.

Neither of these projects are conservative. One is criminal and the other is activist. Both involve heavy government spending and a heavy handed government.

Posted by: ljwaks | April 28, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

If I read one more comment from a person on this board who claims that Spector going to the democrats means there is no room for moderates in the republican party, I am just going to throw up. He is a LIBERAL not a moderate. Any one who could have voted for the Obama pork "give money a way" non-stimulous package is a liberal. This is just the normal cleansing of a party that needs to get rid of all the people that we really were never on board. The only is problem is there may not be a county left by the time we get to fix this in 2010 and the truth is the results of the last election may mean that most Americans don't want to work and be accountable any more. We may want what Europe has. High Taxes, High Unemployment, Bad Health Care, and August Vacations, and epidemic alcoholism because everyone knows there going to be miserable for the rest of their life. Maybe that is the change people were hoping for. If it is God Bless them. Oh I am sorry, I should have Bless Obama he is the messiah. Always remember "
Obama Lied; Liberty Died"
Reagan Wilson

Posted by: Raymond2 | April 28, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned he's been unmasked as a traitor. Good riddence. Now we can start the counteroffensive and retake the House and the Senate and the Presidency!!!

VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!

Posted by: A1965bigdog |
=====================================

That is hilarious! Retake the Congress and Presidency?!! Who are you talking to? The GOP is a caricature of a national party. They are stuck in the past - and are destined to become ever more immaterial in politics. Good luck with the fantasy.

Posted by: pixiedust1 | April 28, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The adults are Bailing Out. Only the Rats (Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage, Malkin, Coulter, etc.) are going down with the sinking ship. The once mighty Republican Party has now morphed into the Titanic. There is no way to fix the problems with today's Republican Party. The party is just too far gone.

Please visit my Blog: "Conservatives Are America's Real Terrorists"
http:/conservativesarecommunistss.blogspot.com/

Posted by: cjprentiss | April 28, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

It's wonderful that the conservative base of the Republican Party can get together to jump up and down and thump their chests in unison. However, their ideology is so far out of the mainstream of the American public that they only account for 20-25% of the voting population. So unless they begin to follow the lead of some of the more moderate leaders in their party, they can count on getting creamed again in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

The hate-mongering rhetoric of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc. is the single best ally of the Democratic Party. Sure, their broadcasts are popular, but do the math folks. For every voter who listens to these ignorant clowns and embraces every word they say, there are three voters who are totally put off by their disingenuous vitriolic rants.

Arlen Specter is extremely principled, but he wanted no part of the obstructionist mentality that has become the obsession of the Republican Party. So he voted his conscience and supported some key legislation that undermined the GOP's primary goal during the next 2-4 years--to do everything in their power to impair the success of the Obama Administration, even to the detriment of the American people.

The GOP had basically told Specter that they had no use for him and would see to it that he was not re-elected. So they are shocked that he switched parties because....

It's akin to a spouse changing the locks and leaving a note on the front door saying "I want a divorce", and then acting offended and outraged when they get their wish.

Posted by: labman57 | April 28, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Now if we can outlaw Congressional lobbying and "money as free speech," we will at long last get our government back.

Posted by: sunnsea | April 28, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The Specter switch is part of a theme over the past two years that really bothers me, but not much has been written about. After the 2006 elections put dems in the drivers seat, literally dozens of long term republican senators and representatives decided not to run in 08. I don't think it was because they all worried they were unelectable, but because they weren't willing to work for their constituents unless they held the levers of power. At the moment of greatest need for leadership in the party, and for the minority party to aggressively work to slow down or stop some of the worst dem policies, these people decided they longer wanted to be at the table. If the elected officials don't want to do the work of the party, maybe we really do need to throw out the upper party leadership and replace the entire party agenda. Maybe it really is time for a generational shift in leadership. We all know Obama's agenda is bound to fail, the question is will the bill and the associated disillusionment show up before 2010, or even 2012?

Posted by: hdc77494 | April 28, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"Arnold Specter wasn't a Republican anyway"

Please elaborate on this comment.

What made Specter not a Republican?

What does it mean to be a Republican? That one votes in lockstep with party bosses? That one votes with party bosses greater than 90%, or 75%, or 50% of the time? That one is against gay marriage and abortion?

What act would earn one the label of RINO?

Posted by: patriot16 | April 28, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

You must be asleep to get a wake-up call. The republicans are dead.

Posted by: skyreader7 | April 28, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat who has voted to Sen. Specter, in large part because even if I've not always agreed with his stances, I've seen him as willing to make decisions independent of party. A moderate, in Republican clothing, who hearkened to a day when Republicans had a real moderate wing. I look forward to voting for him next year.

Posted by: tarheeler | April 28, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Arlen Specter was a Republican?

There have been plenty of wake up calls for Republicans in recent years. This isn't one of them.

Posted by: tresangelas | April 28, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I would welcome Collins and Snowe as Democrats. They are thougtful and would help preserve balance in the party. Lockstep is bad for the country.

I don't always agree with Specter, but it took courage for him to buck the lockstep Repubs in the last administration.

Posted by: patriot16 | April 28, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Arnold Specter wasn't a Republican anyway, but I'm not sure the dems gained anything. He bluntly said today he switched parties because his poll numbers show him losing to another candidate in the republican primary. He just wants to stay in power, regardless of principles, he has none.
He did make a good comment during his press conference when he talked about the Rep party attempting to be too pure and unwilling to back any but the most dyed in the wool conservatives. He has a point. The republicans must find a way to broaden their base beyond the evangelical right. Younger voters aren't as firm in their commitment against gay marriage, stiff drug laws, or even abortion. Worse, we demonstrated during the last administration that fiscal conservatism was just a buzz word we used against our opponents, though the dems did control the budget in the last two years. There's a really good chance people will become disenchanted with Obama over the next 18 months, but he will be weaker because he shoots himself in the foot, not because a leader comes forward and electrifies people beyond our dismally small base.

Posted by: hdc77494 | April 28, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Communism - the government OWNS everything, their friends and family RUN everything. While in utopia communism could work in a democracy (if communal ownership was the will of the people), in practice it quickly becomes a dictatorship - as Fidel Castro admitted to Walter Cronkite about the poor repair of the country "sometimes its difficult when there is no ownership".

Socialism - there is private ownership but the government RUNS everything. There are many socialist democracies. My European friends tell me they pay 50% of their salary in taxes, but they believe they have a better quality of life than I do with free health care, free tuition, etc - they say they aren't one illness from losing their homes.

Capitalism - there is private ownership without government inervention in how things RUN. Ayn Rand argues in Atlas Shrugged that pure capitalism is the epitome of democracy. If we lived in utopia where there was no Enron, it might be so. But alas, last time I looked Halliburton was still profiting from no-bid government contracts while electrocuting our soldiers and stealing from our taxes with impunity - hardly what one finds in utopia. Without at least some government intervention (i.e a shot of socialism here and there) pure capitalism tends to dissolve into fascism.

Fascism - Corporations and their wealthy friends and family RUN everyhing, and over time amass their fortunes at the expense of the middle class until they OWN everything too.

To the person who wrote that communism and fascism come around to meet each other, you are close to right, because eventually the corporations and their friends and family OWN the government too. However, in a fascist state private ownwership is preserved for the dwindling few who can still afford it.

It is refreshing to hear the Right accuse Obama of fascism. First of all, it means they have no idea what it means and are just parroting Rush, making them look ignorant. Second, because if you want to know what the right is really up to, just look at what they're accusing the left of doing, and you'll find 3 fingers pointing back to themselves!

Posted by: patriot16 | April 28, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party is dead, they just don't know it yet. In the last month, the number of people willing to call themselves "Republican" has dropped from 25% to 21%. By Nov. 2010, they'll be lucky if they can hold on to a single seat in Congress. And they have none but themselves to blame, for jumping of the right wing cliff.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | April 28, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The social conservatives who are destroying the Republican Party are reaping what they sow with Spector's defection, but of course they won't see it that way.

After all, social conservatives are on God's side and all others are not, they know God's will and all others do not, and they are determined to use the power of government to advance their view of God's kingdom, without any concessions to those who feel differently.

Why should social conservatives ever compromise? They're morally superior and know better than everyone else.

Posted by: bpai_99 | April 28, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Lets not forget that Reagan won a landslide in '84. This is not a clear indication of the future of either party. We will just have to WAIT and see.

Posted by: tylerculberson | April 28, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Specter is a non-entity to the Republican party. He has never been a Republican, and he is only changing party affiliations because he wants to save his political derriere. It is true the Republicans don't have a voice, and that is a problem, but the answer is not to move to the left. That is what Bush did and that is what McCain did. We do that, and we lose every time. The answer is to get another Reagan and be true conservatives.

Mark
http://mark24609.blogspot.com/

Posted by: mark24609 | April 28, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans clearly have a death wish.

It's bizarre to watch them slowly commit suicide.

And then there were none.

Posted by: Brittman1 | April 28, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

What is the logic here: Specter was worried that if he ran as a Repub he would lose in the primary, and that somehow proves the party is too far to the right? It sounds like Specter had moved too far to the left. If he was in the proper place on the spectrum, he should have had nothing to worry about.

Posted by: Compared2What | April 28, 2009 10:07 PM

____________________________

Point being if Specter ran far enough to the right to win his party's primary, he wouldn't stand a chance in the general election. He is in the right place of the spectrum to win If anything, he's still a little right for PA, evidenced by just how close his last election was. Pennsylvania is firmly a Blue state, and getting bluer by the election.

Posted by: jp81 | April 28, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Having moderates among democrats is exactly what is needed for balance in the party. I'm hoping the repubs push out Collins and Snowe as well.

Posted by: washingtonstate2008 | April 28, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Further proof that the Republican Party is out of sync. with the majority of Americans. The era of Right Wing, Conservative and Christian Fundamentalism domination is over. The liberal left has taken over. Obama will be a great President. His legacy will endure. The Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld disaster will take a long time to be forgotten.

Posted by: jerrymendez | April 28, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

What is the logic here: Specter was worried that if he ran as a Repub he would lose in the primary, and that somehow proves the party is too far to the right? It sounds like Specter had moved too far to the left. If he was in the proper place on the spectrum, he should have had nothing to worry about.

Posted by: Compared2What | April 28, 2009 10:07 PM

######################################

The GOP in PA lost thousands of moderate Republicans to the Democrats in the last election. What's left are the conservative dead-enders.

Posted by: maggots | April 28, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

What, a "wakeup call" for the GOP?

Nah, they're snoozing their way into oblivion.

They really need to wake up and pay attention. Which, of course, might even require them to be team players.

After all, can't be shut out of all the bragging rights if Obama's programs work, now, can they?

Oops, yes, apparently they can.

Posted by: beanebay | April 28, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

It might be a wake up call, but the Republicans aren't listening...

Posted by: teresa_mccarthy | April 28, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, V3GAdigi, so what will you win? You'll be even closer to a Socialist agenda - is that what you want? When liberals win, individual liberties always lose.

Posted by: larry51 | April 28, 2009 9:59 PM

########################################

Hey pal, the only individual liberties that you guys protect is the right to hold onto your assault weapons - the Bush Administration proved that everything else is expendable.

Posted by: maggots | April 28, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

What is the logic here: Specter was worried that if he ran as a Repub he would lose in the primary, and that somehow proves the party is too far to the right? It sounds like Specter had moved too far to the left. If he was in the proper place on the spectrum, he should have had nothing to worry about.

Posted by: Compared2What | April 28, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

"Ron Paul had it correct, the Republican Party has lost its soul."

The first time I heard Ann Coulter I was in a different room from the TV, so I could hear her words but not see who it was. When I heard her speak, all I could think was "That woman has no soul. " All these years later, it appears that its contagious. She still has no soul, and apparently neither do her supporters.

Rush, on the other hand, is laughing all the way to the bank. You'll find him well drawn in Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead".

Posted by: patriot16 | April 28, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

OK, V3GAdigi, so what will you win? You'll be even closer to a Socialist agenda - is that what you want? When liberals win, individual liberties always lose.

Posted by: larry51 | April 28, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

i SEE THIS AS ANOTHER NAIL IN THE GOP COFFIN: now perhaps the GOP will finally start to use good faith and good sense and negociate in earnest with dems? The Frankln/Coleman fiasco need closure, and it is time for the republican party to do the right things by middle-class America. I will be sending Sen. Specter campaign money and I have requested mwembership to recieve his newsletter. rcm.

Posted by: rcbootsmiller | April 28, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party has made it clear that moderates are not welcome, so they have left in droves. As long as people such as Hannity and Limbaugh are representing what the party thinks, the GOP will not get them back. Furthermore, the Republican conservative message of racism, dog-eat-dog capitalism, and no government appeals less and less to independents. You can't wake up the dead----the dead have to be replaced.

Posted by: peter777 | April 28, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey to all of you who might republican... i was just now about to feel bad for you.. but ehhhh NOT!!!!!

Franken will get his seat, then it's FILIBUSTER PROOF BABY!!! AND WE WIN!!!! get owned!!!!
Hey Rush.. i know this is kicking your ass today.. so, now would be a good time to over medicate and pop a few pills you JUNKY!!!! LOL GOOD ON YA SPECTER!!! you chose wisely!

Posted by: V3GAdigi | April 28, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

A wake up call is useful when you have to get up and have some where to go.

The core of the GOP believes they are on a crusade and no amount of losses will cause them to change. My sense is that the GOP is looking at being a smaller minority party for the next 20 years and that is not a mindless projection.

There is no one in the wings that can lead or inspire the Party, no unifying message, and worse news a Democratic party that is no longer fractured or dysfunctional.

The denial of facts does not change the circumstances of a Party with a shrinking base, no direction, no leadership tied to issues that a scant few care about.

Posted by: oldgeek143 | April 28, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

There goes the permanent Republican majority.

Lesson to Dems: beware of arrogance.

Posted by: hypercommunist | April 28, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

la

Posted by: petitc | April 28, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Two observations:
A. The Rasmussen poll now shows a 3 point Republican advantage in a generic congressional ballot.
B. Polls aside, Mr Balz logic also gives us (Republicans) a cure for cancer-jump off a 40 story building.

Posted by: BullGrubb | April 28, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

In 2001 this moron proposed a ban on switching parties. It suited his agenda at the time.

Now he'll be seated on Harry Reid's side of the aisle - quite fitting.

Posted by: larry51 | April 28, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

In 1974 the Democrats won an overwhelming victory in Congressional seats and two years later won the Presidency. The talk was of the death of the Republican Party. They forgot the people, became arrogant and lost the Presidency in 1980 and the Senate. In 1991 President G. W. Bush had over an 80 percent approval rating only to lose the presidency in 1992. In 1994 the Democrats lost the House and Senate again because of their arrogance and there was talk of the death of the Democratic Party. Once again the pundits and media were wrong. The Democrats have to be careful not to overplay their advantage now or the people will turn on them again.

Posted by: georgiarat | April 28, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about a thing, you GOP-ers. Yes, you lost Specter, but cheer up: you've still got Rush Limburger, and you've still got (thank god we know where he is at all times) Dick Cheney.

Have a great train wreck.

Posted by: loulor | April 28, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

A wake-up call for the GOP? More like a wake-up call for his constituents - they should see his real colors now, purely a self-preservation move. He was just looking for support from Acting President Obama.

The Dems are pushing for things like legislating climate change. What a bunch of idiots! I predict they'll drown in their own vomit in 2010.

Posted by: larry51 | April 28, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Republicans posting here are still living in the fantasy world created by Rove but also abandoned by him.

The current plan of thinning the ranks of the Republican party by removing a man who could win the PA Senatorial election and replacing with someone who has failed in the past and is not particularly popular in PA seems like a prescription to repeat 2008. If this seems like a winning hand by all means play it.

As a person who would be a person who would vote Republican to avoid consolidation of power, the current Party seems to be run by unpatriotic unimaginative, unthinking lemmings. There is no way I will vote for a single Republican until people like Specter is appreciated by the leaders of the party.

The narrow-minded who decry Specter forget that he was responsible for Thomas being on the court. No point in telling a fool he is a fool because for if he would listen he would not be the fool.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

The repos can always use that 13 yr old who followed r.limbag at that recent convention. A 13 year old. Watta joke. Little storm trooper in the making.

Posted by: jato1 | April 28, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

The one that has done more harm than anyone to the Republican Party is George Bush. By the way I'm Hispanic and not Latino. Latino is for the Mexicans and the South Americans which their majority are Democrats and I'm a Republican all the way and beleif in the old values that this country gave me. All this is being taken out by the Socialist Democrats and their Marxist ideologies. Americans wake up or we are all going to lose this country.

Posted by: cub62 | April 28, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

logcabin1836-LOL! :-D

You, like most Libbies;

start going into Conniption Fits even Mentioning:

MITT ROMNEY! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 28, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama and the Democrats already control Congress and the Media so I would rather see the Spectors and McCanns out of the Conservative movement. When the crash occurs I want there to be no doubt where the responsibility lies. If they succeed then great but if not the Democrats and Liberals should lose and be ousted as appropriate. I don't like divided government. The Republicans screwed up from 2003-2008 and they are being punished for it. If the Democrats fail then likewise the voters should punish them in 2010/2012. If they succeed then they deserve to remain in office.

Posted by: georgiarat | April 28, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I should hope the GOP is continuing to contract. Just this week a GOP congressman called the Waxman-Markey Energy Security bill "worse than the 9/11 attacks." Many if not most GOP reps and senators still ignore urgent warnings about climate change from sources like the National Academy of Sciences. And the stock Republican answer for whatever ails us still seems to be more tax cuts for the rich. This is an intellectually and morally bankrupt party that deserves to be in its death throes, and it is. The Mean Dumb Southern White Guys Party.

Posted by: davidscott1 | April 28, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

55 million voted for the loser.
65 million for the winner. Change is what we want, change is what we are getting.
Godspeed President Obama.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I keep hearing Republicans need to "return to their core conservative values". Trouble is, its those same conservative values the American Public no longer wants. What they do want is a stronger economy, universal healthcare, a cleaner environment, better education for their kids, less pre-emptive senseless wars.
The Democrats are now stepping up to the plate, the Republicans squabble in the dugout. Homerun for President Obama!

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Demoralized, shrinking, and lacking an agenda, yes that is Sen. Arlen Specter. Conservatism is not dead in America. 55 million Americans did not vote for the leftest agenda of the Democrat Party, to change America into a socialist nation. The Republican party is not Specter, it's the people who don't want a one party nation, I cant wait for the next elections.

Posted by: xthat | April 28, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party is rapidly pushing moderate Republicans out of the tent. Who are left as the standard bearers of the new Right-wing Republican Party......Limbaugh, Coulter, Palin, Jindal, Gingrich. Lord, are they in trouble. Vote Republican.....in 2048.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's like they say....it's always dawnest just before the dark.

Posted by: MajorConfusion | April 28, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Steved1

I understand where you come from and agree with you about integrity and Dr Paul. As an administrator he would have been a disaster. The president has quite a bit of integrity for a man who has risen in politics as he has. What he has is the ability to see all sides of an issue. Calling him a socialist indicates you do not understand what he has done with the bailout. Obama can not be characterized by anything very accurately except that he believes in success. Ideology is inconsistent with success. Bush's presidency is an affirmation of that. It is true for Paul, the Republican party and Kucinich. Obama will have his failures. It will take several years to realize the bailout was one. But he is only constrained by his ability to observe and think and act. In those areas he has an abundance of talent.


Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

The decline of the Republican Party is not really a demographic issue. Ron Paul had it correct, the Republican Party has lost its soul. Since Reagan, the Republican have been pushing us into the dystopia of Orwell's "1984".

Posted by: SteveR1 | April 28, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

LarryG62

Specter was forced out by the troglodytes. Thinking people have migrated out of the party and Specter's principle asset is his mind. There is no room for people like him in the Republican Party. The yokels are the center of power in your party.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Pat Buchanan on this issue, from HuffPo:

"Pat Buchanan acknowledged to MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall on Tuesday that his party is facing a severe "demographic problem" in the years to come -- specifically, the GOP is on its way to becoming an all-white party."

Full story on HuffPo:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/buchanan-gop-a-heavily-wh_n_192532.html

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 28, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Good luck waking the GOP from the dead. What passes for the Republican Party these days is a mutated version more aptly called Banana Republicanism. Dwight Eisenhower wouldn't give vacuous demagogues like Rush Limbaugh the time of day, much less participate in the big government jihadism which passes for conservatism in the 21st century.

Posted by: patrick3 | April 28, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

chuchu1248,

For a million dollars? What are you about 15 years old?

Posted by: rpatoh | April 28, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

First of all, I love the fact that so many liberals find this defection of this liberal from the conservative party so uplifting. I seem to remember a wave of defections from the Democratic party in 1994-1996 after the Republicans took over the congress. You see these slime balls in congress will swing which ever way the wind blows. Specter is a public servent our for personal gain, and nothing more... which is all most of the leeches in government are at the moment. There is one man in congress with honor, and his name is Ron Paul. One man who could have helped us out of our current mess, and only one man who I would trust as far as I could see him... Ron Paul. But, it is too late. We are now saddled with a socialist who is emboldend by a socialist congress, which is in turn emboldened by a fickle populous which doesn't even understand the evils of socialism, because they have been sucessfully brainwashed throughout the vast majority of their lives by the corrupt socialist media establishment. In other words we have the government we deserve, and now we will get to pain the piper. Yeah! Vote Libertarian in the next election, and perhaps we can reverse the trend... Perhaps!

Posted by: steved1 | April 28, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Spinctor the former RINO, and so many like him, BELONG in the Elitist "Groups" promoting collection of Pork-Loving Professional Politicians we label "Dimocrat Socialists".

Take McAmnesty;

Please!

When a Representative of the People feels he is chosen to do as he pleases because he so disdains his Constituency that he feels THEY should just sit back, STFU, and let the "Professional" do what HE feels is best;

WE, call that Person, an "Elitist"!

Elitist= SCUM!

The Job is called REPRESENTATIVE! As in, we chose that Person to REPRESENT OUR Choices!

Dimocrats=Elitists!

RepubliCANS, = REPRESENTATIVES!

I can live with that!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 28, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if the conservatives wake up? Plus, this Omerta for Rush Limbaugh, that gotesque figure who just overpaid himself by tens of millions of dollars and claims to be the last man standing for...failed policy and ideology. Don't let the door hit you on the way out..

Posted by: dudh | April 28, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Arlem seems like a decent guy, but he is a big part of what Republicans did wrong prior to 2006 when they lost control of Congress. Populist and many Democrats have the impression that it was Republicans who ruined the economy, but it has been Democrats. In 2006 Americans chose ending the war in Iraq over sustaining a healthy economy. In 2008 Americans blamed what the Democratic Congress (and Bush who with them was in favor of the first Bank stinulus) had done to the economy on Republicans. Specter has helped to enable Obama to throw another $1T at the wealthy while the private sector sheds hundreds of thousands of jobs. Hopefully by 2010 Americans will realize that a government of persons who have Christian morals wasn't and isn't a threat to our freedoms, but that one made up of persons with Secular morals (whatever those are) has been and is still. Anyway I hope Arlen has a good time in dreamland with his Democrat cohorts until Americans evaluate what really transpired over the past eight years. He is now free to support war and ruining the economy without fear of condemnation from within his own party.

Posted by: rpatoh | April 28, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. President:
Please find below my Suggestion for fixing America’s economy. Instead of giving billions
of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish
Parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.
You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:
There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force.
Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the
Following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

4) They MUST waive Social Security Benefits.- Social Security solved.

It can't get any easier than that!

If more money is needed, have all members of Congress and their
Constituents pay their taxes...

Posted by: chuchu1248 | April 28, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

First, Specter's departure is purely for personal political gain. Nothing else.
Second, he has single handedly disarmed the argument that everything the stupid messiah in the White House screws up is Bush's or the Republicans' fault.
Third, moderates that Balz seems to worry about are nothing but cowards who refuse to take a stand on controvesial issues,and have no principles, or backbones. They, like Specter, seek only to survive at the trough.
Really disgusting individuals.

Posted by: LarryG62 | April 28, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Okay, sure, but stop thinking that stuff keeps on happening just because Barack is just lucky. Barack is damn good — so good that everybody *still* underestimates the man. Some people grow in the job ... watch out next year, is all I'm saying.

And you know, Joe Biden had a lot to do with this evidently, and it's not coincidence that Barack picked Joe Biden. We like to laugh about Joe being some kind of blowhard or something, but Joe brings something to the table here, for real.

This show keeps getting better, man, let's keep watching this.

Posted by: pressF1 | April 28, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

BTW, a new NBC/WSJ poll shows 81% of Americans like BHO. This is way beyond Reagan popularity, this is I-like-Ike country. Great stuff.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 28, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

It's fitting that the actions of the officials elected by the voters for the Republican party over the past eight years will be the cause of the demise of the party as we have known it.

A fitting sentence for the entire stupid criminal outfit.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | April 28, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is pursuing a narrow demographic that is getting smaller by the day (idiot bigoted Yahoos and teabaggers). At the same time it is alienating the demographics that are rapidly growing, particularly the immigrant community.

This extremist strategy has doomed them to be a religion-obsessed, ultraconservative (great euphemism for what they are), regional (deep, deep South), permanently minority party.

The GOP can blame much of its sad fate on the hate blasts of Faux News (Hannity/Beck/Greta/O'Reilly), which is perceived as its personal network and which spews anti-BHO hate for three to four hours every broadcast day that turns off all but the hardcore Yahoos.

Welcome, Arlen.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 28, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

To think, we almost had a 90 year President McCain. Maybe he'll run again in 2012 at age 94. With Palin, who will be better with her lingo and geography.

On second thought, maybe not...

Posted by: kedavis | April 28, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

What the Republicans have to do to make a comeback is an intolerable thought right now - they have to admit to the American people they've been "evil."

Admitting to having been "evil," will not work to assuage the voter's contempt until the entire cast and playlist of the Republican Party has been swept away and replaced with something new.

But it has to begin with admitting they were "evil." They don't have to say it explicitly, but that's what it's going to take.

Posted by: Dolmance | April 28, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

the good republicans have learned their lessons well from Mr Rove; reality can only hurt you if you admit it exists.
so be it.

Posted by: michael5 | April 28, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

alpacaman1,

Refusing to allow dissent within their own party is what is killing he GOP. Democrats doing the same would just result in a truly polar debate between ideological morons. Anyone who supports gay marriages is instantly thrown under the bus by Republicans. Same with anyone who supports equal rights, tax increases, non-privatized social security, that doesn't believe in God, or any number of any issues.

Democrats have regained the thrown because they allow you to disagree with them without deciding you're evil, or on the side of the terrorists.

This method of thinking has not only allowed them to amass power, but it has also allowed them to make rational and moral decisions based on intelligent discussions.

The "black and white" world philosophy is dead. If Republicans want a rebirth, they have to learn to compromise and accept the viewpoints of other people. Four the last year they have abandoned all support for moderate Republicans. Democrats have gained almost all these seats.

From a Republican standpoint, they'd be better off with a moderate Republican filling the seat than a full-scale liberal. They have to learn how to take the small wins and worry about winning the war later.

I hope they refuse and continue to disintegrate. Very few things would make me happier.

Posted by: apissedant | April 28, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

On my last posting I neglected to say that since Obama is in the White House, the struggle is over, and so therefore, someone like Al Sharpton is out of a job. And that is the whole point of "Barack, the Magic Negro". With Obama in the White House, what is there left to struggle about? The fight is over. Move on.

Aside from that, it is a wicked lampoon of Al Sharpton. I suggest that you actually watch the clip before you criticize it, and don't just have a knee jerk reaction. And yes, it is based on an editorial written in the LA Times, a newspaper known to be to the left of Mao and Lenin.

Posted by: A1965bigdog | April 28, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance. Specter is about as "moderate" as barney frank. I just hope Snow and the other RINO's go with him. And we'll see how things turn out in 18 months with Obammy's socialist "plan".

Posted by: Fiftycaltx | April 28, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

So the once proud "party of Lincoln" edges closer to being the party of Jefferson Davis and George Wallace, with the likes of "mighty white" Southern Democratic bigots of the ilk of Rush Limbaugh leading the charge as in his promotion of the song "Barack the Magic Negro" or was the word "Negro" cover for the "N" word, like it was used in some "polite" circles during the Sixties and Seventies to differentiate from the more acceptable wording of "black" or "blacks". Cute, eh, hee, hee and haw, haw! Where had fiscal responsibility gone during the latest Bush administration; apparently out the window with all the other formerly Republican ideals, and all care of former Southern Democrats wearing Republican badges. "We don't need no stinking badges", just real Republicans who are fiscal conservatives that don't bail out banks like a pack of FDR socialists, e.g. Hank Paulson care of George W. Bush. You go, you Republicans, or should we say Southern Democrats with Republican badges? Just imagine that, the Republican Party is becoming a regional party of the South; Lincoln must be rolling over in his grave.

Posted by: paulusarchitect | April 28, 2009 6:20 PM
*********************
You must not have listened to "Barack, the Magic Negro". It has nothing to do with Obama. It points out a rather stark truth. Now that a person of color has been elected into the White House, people whose "professional" job is to promote the Civil Rights struggle will be out of a job, as since we have a person of minority extraction in the White House. But also, it points out that Al Sharpton is a big baffoon, and the lampoon of Sharpton is wicked. Nothing racial. It just points out that now that Obama is in the White House, Sharpton is out of a job.

Posted by: A1965bigdog | April 28, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Need additional proof that there's no room for anyone in the Republican party who's considered "moderate"? Spector must have done something to "cheese off" a preacher.

Posted by: jaynashvil | April 28, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

tigman2:

So what you are saying is that the Democrats have no principles?

I mean, we knew that already. Just wanted to be clear.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually this is not waking republicons up one bit. They are saying good riddance to Spectre, and they continue to narrow themselves out of existance. I wonder what party is going to be formed to take their place?

Posted by: John1263 | April 28, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that interesting. According to the LA Times, one of the loudest voices criticizing Jim Jeffords switch from the GOP 8 years ago was that of....wait for it....Sen Spector. Of course I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact Jeffords decision cost Spector...at the time...powerful chairmanship posts in the Senate.

Hmmmmmm.......he holds lots of 'principles', that is until his position (read: power) is threatened. Then he is willing to turn any color of stripe you want, as long as he can hold his power.

Sounds like he will fit right in with the Democrats. Godspeed....

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned he's been unmasked as a traitor. Good riddence. Now we can start the counteroffensive and retake the House and the Senate and the Presidency!!!

VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!

Posted by: A1965bigdog | April 28, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

So the once proud "party of Lincoln" edges closer to being the party of Jefferson Davis and George Wallace, with the likes of "mighty white" Southern Democratic bigots of the ilk of Rush Limbaugh leading the charge as in his promotion of the song "Barack the Magic Negro" or was the word "Negro" cover for the "N" word, like it was used in some "polite" circles during the Sixties and Seventies to differentiate from the more acceptable wording of "black" or "blacks". Cute, eh, hee, hee and haw, haw! Where had fiscal responsibility gone during the latest Bush administration; apparently out the window with all the other formerly Republican ideals, and all care of former Southern Democrats wearing Republican badges. "We don't need no stinking badges", just real Republicans who are fiscal conservatives that don't bail out banks like a pack of FDR socialists, e.g. Hank Paulson care of George W. Bush. You go, you Republicans, or should we say Southern Democrats with Republican badges? Just imagine that, the Republican Party is becoming a regional party of the South; Lincoln must be rolling over in his grave.

Posted by: paulusarchitect | April 28, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Now is the time when Democrats should be most worried.

Democrates need to be worried about the weak among them.

The greater the ranks the more cocky and arrogant the behavior.

And those Republicans who have fallen by the wayside (e.g Newt Gingridge and Dick Cheney) will have nothing to do but plot how to undermine the vulnerable.

And the corporate elite will surely be looking for new junkies to fix.

If they make it through this Congressional Detox they should make sure it stays that way.

Rather than singing "Ding Dong the GOP is dead." the Democrats should be coming down like Thors Hammer on any of their own that think leveraging their position for their own gain or not paying taxes are some sort of perks.

Posted by: alpacaman1 | April 28, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The slide started when the GOP abandoning Eisenhower, Reagan and even America, hitched their wagon to the neocons and started fighting another country's wars like Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza etc

Posted by: qualquan | April 28, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

For a party that claims, in one fashion or another, that they will live or die by their "core principles" - this embodies the process. This is why their leader Rush Limbaugh rallies what's left of his party according to the mantra that Obama must fail. Why? Because until Obama fails, fewer people will choose to die along with the GOP and their "Core Principles". Only then, when Obama fails, will more people choose to live among the GOP and its "Core Principles".

Posted by: tigman_2 | April 28, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Goad love you, Arlen Specter!!! I certainly do! I think you have always made decisions based on morals, not on what the party line is. Thank you!

Posted by: MaggieB1 | April 28, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

R.I.P. GOP !

Posted by: free-donny | April 28, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Ahem...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (etc., etc.)

Posted by: bigdp07 | April 28, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse


This is just further evidence of how far to the right the Republican party has gone. And the Republican base shows no sign of moderating their views - they become even more shrill and strident every day. It would be comical if this weren't so serious.

Either the moderates are going to have to take control of the Republican party back from the nutjobs, or the Republican party is going to wither into some sort of a fringe party of some sort, and the more normal and sane conservatives will end up having to form a new party.

Posted by: jackrussell252521 | April 28, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Specter's switching parties exemplifies what is wrong with politics in America. Specter took a look at current polls and decided he couldn't possibly win re-election. His *defection* was not a principled ideological decision. Unless of course you consider the fact that the ideology he is following is the one that ensures his own re-election. This is no different than when Joe Leiberman switched his party affiliation to Independent after losing the Democratic Primary last year.

Wise up America. The interests of neither liberals or conservatives are served by a ruling, elite, political class that has only it's own self-interests at heart. Term limits now!

Posted by: mongoose1 | April 28, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Our nation definitely needs a viable second political party (perhaps even a third), one that isn't ideologically driven beyond the boundaries of basic decency or even common sense, that's socially inclusive and offers realistic solutions to today's real world problems. Today's Republican Party is none of these. And its solution to our deep and pressing problems doesn't seem to go much beyond giving somebody yet another tax cut.

Then there's the hypocrisy to consider. A Republican Party that made "you can't borrow yourself into prosperity" its battle cry spent us into penury instead. Republican Congresses devastated the U.S. Treasury, but today's RNC urges candidates to pretend it isn't so, that it didn't happen while denying that Republicans or Republicanism had anything to do with it.

Pork-barrel overspending and massive tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans aside, Republican social, economic, and foreign policies seem to orbit around a single word: "No!". "No!" to any rollback of Bush-43 era environmental policies. "No!" to negotiations with so-called "Axis of Evil" countries. "No!" to narrowing the federal income/budget gap by selectively raising taxes (on the very Americans who benefited most during the Bush years, and because they did are now most able to afford it). "No!" to liberalized rules governing stem cell research. "No!" to change itself. Add to this knee-jerk, often malicious and self-righteous obstructionism its innate, ill-concealed racism and one begins to see that Richard Nixon's fabled "Southern Strategy" that won him the 1968 election (and laid the foundation for the GOP's multi-decade hold on power) was actually a Faustian Bargain.

The Piper must now be paid, and the Devil himself has come to collect his due.

Posted by: hogsmile | April 28, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"Mac" Mathias, Mark Hatfield, etc. The GOP has a death wish.

Posted by: loveconquersfear | April 28, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Prediction: Senator Spector's decision will be widely criticized as "desertion" by the true believing right and he will be castigated as a turncoat to the cause.

Can't wait for the Fox brigade to interview right wing "strategists" who will disdain Spector as a lost soul and one who had already "sold out" the conservative cause. He was a lost soul a long time ago, so this announcement is only a formality, right?

And, while all this cackling and self righteousness is being displayed, the Republican Party will continue to slip into even more oblivion and irrelevance for the majority of Americans, particularly those who consider themselves moderates whom Arlen Spector has represented so well for so long.

How long before Collins and Snow follow suit?

Posted by: bobfbell | April 28, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

The republican comments here pretty much say it all with regard to why their party has died.

The strangest part is how they keep trying to kill themselves.

Posted by: binkynh | April 28, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I think Fox News, AM radio and the other Republican propaganda outlets have destroyed the party. These allowed the party to capture the dumb, the gullible, the angry, the paranoid and the easily manipulated. And as the Republican Party became populated with these types, the rational thinking indivduals, i.e., the professionals and the suburban middle clase were driven out.

And now the Republican Party is the party of ignorant, hate filled, paranoid rubes from the rual south, i.e., the types that are easily manipulated by Limbaugh and Fox News. And for the most part, these people now call the shots in the party.

And so the word "Republican" now invokes the image of an hate filled, mouth breathing, dolt spewing venom on the internet in all caps or a bitter old man at a freeper rally, reeking of cigarette smoke, screaming obscene insults at anyone who disagrees with him.

Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter really are the faces of the modern Republican Party.

Posted by: MorganaLeFay | April 28, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The "base" is what republicans have. The base will now hold them back forever

The best favor the RNC could do for themselves now would be to find some way to get the talk radio guys and "newsmax to quietly disappear so that Republicans can stop being associated with hysterical lunkheads.

While fiscally conservative and a believer in limited government, I just can't stomach pseudo-religious social conservatives in any form. I don't think I'm unique either.


Posted by: ian807 | April 28, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to the readers for the duplicate post. The site returned an error, suggesting the first attempt to Submit had failed.

Posted by: Imperfections | April 28, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Our Government no longer represents it’s people, it represents corporate powers, an elite few. The parties are an illusion, a distraction for better then 95% of the people. We have corporations trying to buy the worlds water supplies, seed supplies, and succeeding…. Corporations practicing slave labor across the globe. We, the American people, have this idea that somehow it could never happen to us, illegal land confiscations, crop confiscations, gun confiscations after Katrina, all have happened. Marshal law situations after natural disasters that prevent people from finding safety, or reaching areas to buy basic necessities for life, have happened, and will continue unless the people of this Country stand together. Gun and ammo sales are out of control, some believe for fear of future restrictions or taxes. I believe it’s more of an indicator, that many American people are quickly tiring of our corrupt system.

Posted by: archfisher | April 28, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Somebody vicious wrote here of President Obama as "fascist," and likened him to Nazi brownshirts.
That is dishonest, hateful, crazy or a combination of the three.
These right-wing zealots sound to me more and more like the late Rev. Jim Jones and his followers. They are increasingly isolated, less and less anchored to reality, more and more unhappy, irrational, spiteful and prone to violence.
They pose a danger to themselves and the rest of us. Their voice, even amplified by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity, will not return the Republican Party to reality, sanity and definitely not to power any time soon.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | April 28, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I was excited to hear Specter was switching parties, disappointed to learn he's still a Democrat.

Posted by: mongoose1 | April 28, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Balz:
"From a high-water mark of 35 percent in the fall of 2003, Republicans have slid steadily to their present state of affairs. It's just not as cool to be a Republican as it once was."

As a foreigner, I note with disgust that Americans were most eager to call themselves Republicans just after the invasion of Iraq.

Of course, I feel more disgust than surprise. I already knew that Bush's US approval rating rocketed to 76% on the day he illegally attacked Iraq.

Sometimes I think Americans have learned a few lessons since then. Other days, I wonder.

Posted by: kevrobb | April 28, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance, and take McAmnesty with you. Let all these wimps go to the Democrats.

Posted by: birvin9999 | April 28, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments from whats left of the Republican party speak volumes. There is nothing left but nuts and paranoid extremists.

Posted by: metroman76 | April 28, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

enaughton:

Socialism: the government runs everything.
Fascism: Corporations do, with the help of a dictator and often with racist overtones.

There are many democratic countries that are socialist. There are none that are fascist.

Under your "theory", town-hall democracy would be "similar" to fascism simply because it is "extreme."


Back to high school with you.

Posted by: pcpatterson | April 28, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

If you can sort through all the mindless invective of the "Bush is evil and the Republicans should all rot and die" crowd here, you can discern the seeds of the destruction of the Obama coalition. No moderates left in the GOP? How about the Democratic party, ruled by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Henry Waxman, and Barney Frank? When the middle 30 percent of the electorate actually starts paying attention and realizing the impact of the Democrats' overreach under Obama, they'll splinter away and put the opposition back in control. It's been the mode of our politics since our founding.

The story's headline, "Specter's Departure a Wake Up Call for GOP," sets up its false premise -- that Specter's was a principled decision based on conscience and reflecting the GOP's growing conservative tilt. Actually, it was a purely political gambit meant to keep him in the running for his seat in 2010 in the face of a double-digit defecit in primary polling. Yes, Penn. Republicans were angry that he voted for the stimulus, which was a $787B bonfire of cash and will undermine Obama sterling reputation in the months and years ahead if the press honestly reports the story. Yes, Specter has a much better chance at reelection as a Democrat, because the Democrats will pay dearly to keep him in power, and Penn., like much of the Northeast, continues to drift left, away from self-reliance and toward Democrat ideals of statism and central, federal control.

As to the party affiliation canard, let's examine that finding: "Just 21 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans. That's the lowest since the fall of 1983, when just 19 percent identified themselves as Republicans." If only things could be so good for the Republicans as at that 1983 "low point": the next year, in 1984, Reagan (a strongly conservative leader) won a landslide victory (49 of 50 states), Republicans lost two Senate seats (but kept a 53-47 majority), and they gained 16 seats in the House. A party affiliation survey in April of an off year means zero.

People are running scared as their jobs disappear, their houses lose value, and foreclosures pop up down the block. Naturally, they're going to indicate willingness to have other people pay their bills and have the government protect them from every adverse impact. But once they regain their footing, they'll chafe under the massive constraints and debt burdens Obama and the Democrats seek to impose. I'll be interested to see the Wash. Post's take on the state of things then.

Posted by: Imperfections | April 28, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dyst | April 28, 2009 5:26 PM
"Everyone thought Reagan was so clever w/his gays, guns, and God agenda. He really marginalized our party and raised the deficit to unprecedented levels. I wish I could vote for Goldwater again."

Barry Goldwater would not be welcome in today's conservative republican party.

Do republicans realize the damage Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, Tom Delay, Grover Norquist, Jerry Falwell, Jim Dobson et al have done to the party?
And to top it off Gingrich expect to be picked as the next GOP candidate for president.
I'm not worried because just before the GOP convention Gingrich will get another divorce.

Posted by: knjincvc | April 28, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"If only things could be so good for the Republicans as at that 1983 "low point": the next year, in 1984, Reagan (a strongly conservative leader) won a landslide victory (49 of 50 states), Republicans lost two Senate seats (but kept a 53-47 majority), and they gained 16 seats in the House. A party affiliation survey in April of an off year means zero."

Keep talkin' up those Reagan points, my friend. That's how you guys have come to ruin yourselves. Were he running today, he would have come in with exactly 46% of the vote, and we ALL would have been spared the hateful "reagan Revolution," which, brought to it's logical conslusion, has left the GOP and the country in the mess we're in today.

Posted by: hillary12 | April 28, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The party of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum and the rest of the neo-conservative party of death, hate, war, and greed has its little pointy headed minions still running around. Be very alert. They are planning something troublesome. Look out for the assassination attempts from the party's base. Skinheads, Civil War result haters, and militia groups will be the next wave of terrorists my country needs to watch out for.

Posted by: swatkins1 | April 28, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone describe this as a “defection”? Call it what it is: Arlen Specter using the Democrats to salvage his next term in the Senate. What an insult? I vote for no one over 70 holding office, EVER! Go home, GO HOME, allow the next generation to lead….go home!

I am not sure I read this correct, Specter is 79 years old and he’s switching parties. WHY? Does he think the Democrats will do a better job changing his diapers than the Republicans have been doing? SEVENTY-NINE---SEVENTY-NINE What is wrong with these people? Has anybody else thought that maybe he should take his old butt home and call it a day? It’s true. These people have such a sense of entitlement it’s breathtaking. SEVENTY-NINE! That’s almost 80 and he’s having a mid-life/end-life crisis/ talk about get a life? SEVENTY-NINE? Most normal people have long ago retired and DIED at SEVENTY-NINE. Me thinks his motives are suspect. This decision is about Arlen Specter, all the time. He is simply angry because his party has left him, he didn’t leave them. HE’S MAD BECAUSE HIS PARTY WON’T SUPPORT HIM SO HE WILL DANCE WITH WHOEVR WILL TAKE HIM! Now he’s trying to use the Democratic party to stick them in the eye. I am surprised Mr. Obama has welcomed him with open arms. Personally, I would have told him “no thank you, I have someone who will beat you, who is a real, true Democrat, I’ll pass”. Specter needs to go elsewhere to find his much needed catharsis. He is selfish and vindictive and the Democratic Party should leave him alone, unless of course they are enjoying watching the Republicans changing their “Depends” every fifteen minutes. Politics is a very, very sick place to work, almost like being a proctologist!

Posted by: dhampton100 | April 28, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"In 1933 the German legislators passed the Enabling Act giving Hitler the powers he said he needed to make changes and he promised when challenged to use the powers sparingly and said he would send a letter confirming that. He lied on both accounts"

If this sounds familiar it is what Goerge W did. We attacked a country without provication. Failed to get Bin Ladin and still spending 4 million dollars a month on this warthat was suppose to have been won 5 years ago.

We need to get past the party politics and get to the real issue of fixing this country. The truth, there are just as many Dems standing in the way as you have Repubs at this time. Just because someone is trying to fix our health care system, education system and our economic condition does not make them a socialist. There aren't any pure systems of politics other than dictatorships. Some of you would rather see Obama fail than to see this country succeed.

On that last I have to ask what kind of patriot are you? Your party is a part of this country not the other way around. I do not favor the two party system because it lends itself to this type of thinking. I could not see Bushes plans working but i did not hope they failed rather I hoped I was wrong. You (saying to those this convicts) would rather see this country go down further if it means proving Obama is wrong. Shouldn't you want the best to heppen for this country? Shouldn't you want the Red, White, and Blue to rise up again? Shouldn't you want us to prosper no matter who is at the helm?

If you don't then you are not a true American.

Posted by: shogun1 | April 28, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"You got a bunch of tax cheats, baby killers, homosexuals, commedians, mutts, lesbians, affirmative action advocators, acorn loving, etc. types to lead you down the primrose path. Better keep the Koolaid flowing, you're going to need it."

Ummm, that's *President* Tax cheats-Baby killers-Homosexual-Commedian-Mutt-Lesbian-Affirmative action advocators-Acorn loving etc. to *you*, Mr. Cranky Pants!

*snicker*

Posted by: hillary12 | April 28, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the commenter who said that even the rednecks are wising up to Republicans being the party that just wants to benefit rich people. Republicans didn't do anything about health insurance when they had total control for 6 years because they are not interested in the lives of ordinary Americans; it doesn't come to their attention.

Apparently the current new idea is that they are the party of "freedom;" I heard Mary Matalin go on about freedom and just saw a clip of Sen. DeMint talking freedom gibberish. That will not help them. Its the "Great American" baloney.

Posted by: Malia2 | April 28, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hayden1 | April 28, 2009 5:20 PM
"Its all Obama's fault!"

Ha Ha!!! No, the GOP will still blame Bill Clinton since he got a Lewinsky and they did not.

Posted by: knjincvc | April 28, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Everyone thought Reagan was so clever w/his gays, guns, and God agenda. He really marginalized our party and raised the deficit to unprecedented levels. I wish I could vote for Goldwater again.

Posted by: dyst | April 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

If you can sort through all the mindless invective of the "Bush is evil and the Republicans should all rot and die" crowd here, you can discern the seeds of the destruction of the Obama coalition. No moderates left in the GOP? How about the Democratic party, ruled by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Henry Waxman, and Barney Frank? When the middle 30 percent of the electorate actually starts paying attention and realizing the impact of the Democrats' overreach under Obama, they'll splinter away and put the opposition back in control. It's been the mode of our politics since our founding.

The story's headline, "Specter's Departure a Wake Up Call for GOP," sets up its false premise -- that Specter's was a principled decision based on conscience and reflecting the GOP's growing conservative tilt. Actually, it was a purely political gambit meant to keep him in the running for his seat in 2010 in the face of a double-digit defecit in primary polling. Yes, Penn. Republicans were angry that he voted for the stimulus, which was a $787B bonfire of cash and will undermine Obama sterling reputation in the months and years ahead if the press honestly reports the story. Yes, Specter has a much better chance at reelection as a Democrat, because the Democrats will pay dearly to keep him in power, and Penn., like much of the Northeast, continues to drift left, away from self-reliance and toward Democrat ideals of statism and central, federal control.

As to the party affiliation canard, let's examine that finding: "Just 21 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans. That's the lowest since the fall of 1983, when just 19 percent identified themselves as Republicans." If only things could be so good for the Republicans as at that 1983 "low point": the next year, in 1984, Reagan (a strongly conservative leader) won a landslide victory (49 of 50 states), Republicans lost two Senate seats (but kept a 53-47 majority), and they gained 16 seats in the House. A party affiliation survey in April of an off year means zero.

People are running scared as their jobs disappear, their houses lose value, and foreclosures pop up down the block. Naturally, they're going to indicate willingness to have other people pay their bills and have the government protect them from every adverse impact. But once they regain their footing, they'll chafe under the massive constraints and debt burdens Obama and the Democrats seek to impose. I'll be interested to see the Wash. Post's take on the state of things then.

Posted by: Imperfections | April 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

mharwick wrote:

The elephant in the room is not the GOP and their failure to come up with alternatives to the socialization of America but the end of the two party system and checks and balances. Once we have in effect an Enabling Act giving the ersatz Messiah the power to change our government from a Republic to a fascist/socialist State we are all going to suffer the consequences.

********************************
So which is it, socialism or fascism? You could hardly pick two more polar opposites. Do you even know what the words mean, or have you just been drinking Rush's Kool-Aid for so long that you regurgitate whatever his buzzwords are for the day without thinking, Stepford-style?

Posted by: pcpatterson

-- PCPATTERSON, you don't know much about political theory. The more extreme the movement, the more it resembles every other extreme movement. Thus, fascism is almost identical with communism. Back to college with you.

Posted by: enaughton27 | April 28, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the reports of the demise of the Republican Party are premature. This is what people said in 1976 too, and we all know how that came out. We had a President who inherited runaway inflation and an energy crisis who saw the writing on the wall about the effect of our oil dependency on National Security, and who tried hard to deal with the problems of the Middle East. The slick neocons who cut their teeth on Watergate made mincemeat out of him, engaging in a successful anti-legacy project that made the treason of selling arms to Iran part of a heroic legend, but working to awaken the country to the perils of energy dependence and an ustable Middle East seem comical and bumbling. Jimmy Carter was only ineffective because he lacked the charimsa to get it through our skulls that energy independence was going to be our greatest security problem in the future, and that peace in the Middle East wasn't just about our friends in Israel. If we had done something about it then, OBL would have been taking out his ire at the soiling of his land against the Chinese or the Russians, while the rest of the world clambored for our knowledge on alternate energy.

Call me cynical, but the American people only wised up to what was going on in Washington now because it hit them in the pocketbook. They bought the fear the BA was peddling hook,line and sinker. Where were the calls against torure 4 years ago? Where were the protests about presidential power 4 years ago? Where were the calls about or declining civil rights 4 years ago? Did anyone ever do one single solitary second of jail time for the manipulation of the California energy market?

Eventually, a charismatic leader will find a chink in Obama's armour, and make the most of it, and the same reliable, predictable people who had no objection to toruture and loss of civil rights until it hit them in the pocketbook will march in lockstep behind him/her.

Case in point, Sarah Palin. Small time mind, small time ideas, abused the power of her office. But so long as those oil rebate checks rolled in she was A-OK with the people. Now that the checks are no longer rolling in, its not all rosy for her anymore.

Posted by: patriot16 | April 28, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"It's just not as cool to be a Republican as it once was."

-- GOOD! To think that I was a crowd-follower than those with their noses firmly implanted up Obama's tush would make me sick.

Posted by: enaughton27 | April 28, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

No one trusts a traitor, Senator Specter. The Dems will be wary of you, and the Republicans will block you at every turn. Resign now, while there's still time.

Posted by: enaughton27 | April 28, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

mharwick wrote:

The elephant in the room is not the GOP and their failure to come up with alternatives to the socialization of America but the end of the two party system and checks and balances. Once we have in effect an Enabling Act giving the ersatz Messiah the power to change our government from a Republic to a fascist/socialist State we are all going to suffer the consequences.

********************************
So which is it, socialism or fascism? You could hardly pick two more polar opposites. Do you even know what the words mean, or have you just been drinking Rush's Kool-Aid for so long that you regurgitate whatever his buzzwords are for the day without thinking, Stepford-style?

Posted by: pcpatterson | April 28, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Its all Obama's fault!

Posted by: hayden1 | April 28, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

This is an easy call. I'm a Republican that voted Obama in the 2008 election. The Republican party has been driving me away for years. Not only did I vote Obama, my wife and two first time voters (daughters) voted Obama.

Footnote: we are conservative leaning, moderate Christians.

The Republican party is so far out of touch that they may never recover. Our entire family plans to convert to Democrat ASAP.

Politicians from both parties need to realize that being a professional politician is not cool nor what our forefathers envisioned centuries ago.

Term limits are good - professional politicians are bad. Get a grip people!!

Posted by: jdelaney60 | April 28, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

could the repulsives be more ignorant. yes, and we can't wait. nice suicide tour pigs.

Posted by: blue111 | April 28, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty simple. Moderate, fiscally conservative, educated voters in places like New England and the West Coast used to define the Republican party. Now, people with that profile look at the Republican party and see a bunch of ideological, religious wackos. This has been coming on for generations . . .

Posted by: tmaffolter | April 28, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party needs to realize that their base has a strangle hold on them that will only push moderates away. They have defined themselves with social issues, and have shown that they do not care about the biggest problems facing our country. They are painting themselves into a corner that will only be occupied by extremists.

Obama is very pragmatic with his vision, and I look forward to a real debate about legislation opening up now that the process won't be hijacked by Republicans trying to filibuster.

Posted by: chandler02 | April 28, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"I think everyone will be surprised how quickly the GOP takes back the white house and congress after things don't turn around by the next election. One little mishandled terrorist attack will sink the dimtards." - charlietuna666

So Charlietuna666, you're pinning all your republican hopes and dreams on another terrorist attack? ~ ! Another attack so that republicans can take advantage and grab power again?

That's pretty darn pathetic.....seems the only America that you love is a closed minded republican America.

Posted by: Braticuspunk | April 28, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Soon the only ones left in the Republican party will be the Bush 30 percenters. I left in 2002 and at this point am embarrassed to say I was ever a Republican.

Posted by: metroman76 | April 28, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Specter has been doing his own thing for years often in opposition to the GOP.

He says he won't play the role of the warm-body when 60 votes are needed.

So what exactly has changed?

Posted by: relictele | April 28, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are going to have Mitt Romney (Mr. whatever way the wind blows, I'll say it and believe it for a few months), who seems to be near the middle, but is just a complete power-grasping hypocrite, and Sarah Palin (no need to describe a woman who can all-bt-herself protect us from Russia) running for Prez and VP next time around (or maybe Bobby Jindal for VP, but that's a whole nutha suck-upping story). The Republicans are gonna figure out that they've lost their "base" (really they will sometime in the next coupla yrs.!) and try to come back with Mr. Supposedly Reasonable and Mrs. Crackpot (that way you get 'em all: the supposed real "Republicans"). Just you wait. There are still a lot of cuckoos around and lots of politically apt folk who love to profit by manipulating them. Watch out!

Posted by: jmod35 | April 28, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The elephant in the room is not the GOP and their failure to come up with alternatives to the socialization of America but the end of the two party system and checks and balances. Once we have in effect an Enabling Act giving the ersatz Messiah the power to change our government from a Republic to a fascist/socialist State we are all going to suffer the consequences. In 1933 the German legislators passed the Enabling Act giving Hitler the powers he said he needed to make changes and he promised when challenged to use the powers sparingly and said he would send a letter confirming that. He lied on both accounts.
Those that ignore the hard lessons of history and are willing to mock the GOP and their concerns over the trend to socialism and the take over and running of private industry by an ever growing and spending bureaucracy led by the nose from the Oval Office and not worry about when their ox will be gored are fools.

Posted by: mharwick | April 28, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is losing northern white ethnic voters in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois & Wisconsin.

It is the GOP's rural centric, anti-worker policies that are chasing them away, ie. one-way trade, offshoring, supporting illegal immigration and siding with business over workers on every issue. Governors who hold up unemployment benefits because they do not fit in with their ideology are an anathema to this group. Nothing like kicking a man when he is down (and then asking him to vote for you)?

Northern ethnic whites were originally part of Nixon and Reagan's coalition. Former Michigan Democrats etc.

All thats left now in the GOP is southerners, rocky mountain westerners, rural voters, social conservatives and the handful of business and Wall Street types. Not enough to win nationally. Sooner or later it will sink in.

Posted by: Pebble1776 | April 28, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama's policies were just voted in. There hasn't been enough time for them to screw up the country yet. By this time next year -- when the unemployment lines remain long and houses are still hard to sell and our dollar is worthless -- we'll see that Obama is not the miracle man he is today.

Posted by: kenpasadena

-If Obama can undo 30 years of damage in one year then I think term limits shouldn't apply to his tenure. Too bad for Republicans that the vast majority of Americans aren't so stupid to believe that bringing in a new guy and snapping fingers reverses the endless trail of destructions brought to us by the freepers and Neocons. We're in a serious hole right now and I'd be happy if we're making GDP and employment gains in mid 2011 under Obama's policies.

We know how we got here....we're not going to support that agenda again until people can't remember the pain of it.

Posted by: theobserver4 | April 28, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

So. . who was surprised that Mr. Specter declared himself a Democrat? He has said all along that he was an "Independent", but failed to run as an Independent. I suggest that it would be a good faith gesture if he returned whatever monies he took from the RNC coffers, because he was certainly receiving them under false pretenses.

Posted by: jaqnpulpit | April 28, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

NEWSFLASH: You can not wake the dead. Game, Set, Match.

Posted by: dem4life1 | April 28, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party will rise from the ashes.........in 2048.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Attributing Obama's first 100 days success to "weak opposition" is ludicrous. Obama has been successful because he is rapidly attempting to repair the unfathomable damage done by Republican ideology- in particular financial market and credit deregulation, climate change denial, and a trillion dollar snipe hunt in Iraq. People are relieved to see someone who can speak in complete sentences working on the real issues that effect our nation and world. The Republican party lost touch with reality and it's going to take a lot longer than 100 or 200 or 300 days for them to clear out the rot that is killing them from the inside.

Posted by: dccamp68 | April 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I think times will have to get much worse in the Republican Party before they see the handwriting on the wall and decide to do something about it. Their obvious lack of a moral base as they continue to try to explain their support of breaking various laws will show them for who they are.

We are currently witnessing a dying party. It is striking out in every direction and against everyone to stay alive. They can thank Karl Rove and his strategy for designing a Republican Party that would dominate for years to come. Wtih leaders who shirk responsibility and have a tacit disregard for honoring their own marriages (ex: McCain, Gingrich, and Guliani), the party of NO is finding more and more Americans telling them "no." How does 24% Republican identification among Americans look?

Posted by: EarlC | April 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I find it amazing the conservative bloggers still think that the trouble with their party is that it is not further to the right. Amazing! I hope and pray you guys keep that strategy for 2010 and 2012......please! The Democratic Party will continue to grow, and grow, and grow!
Godspeed President Obama.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Well this is what happens when blowhards like Limbaugh and Coulter are allowed to have so much influence in the Republican Party. They complained about RINOs incessantly leading up to the 2006 Congressional elections when the GOP lost the majority. That trend is continuing.

Contrast this cut off your nose to spite yourself mentality with the big tent approach of the Democrats towards their Blue Dog members. I don't hear any similar uproar about DINOs.

Looks like Rove's permanent Republican majority has gone the way of the 1000 year Reich.

Posted by: dldbug | April 28, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wait till all the rest comes out. You think the Republican Rats are scurrying over each other now to jump ship!

Specter is just the beginning of the end of the Republican Party.

When will the conservatives with a moral compass finally realize they need to start another party?

Its what the Berlin Wall was to the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Regeman | April 28, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The wake up call is indeed there, and it is not what Specter would have you believe. The party has not veered to the right. The mistake the party has made was try to go left.

First you have Bush pass things like the prescription drug benefit, which is an entitlement, anathma to fiscal conservatism. Then you had him and McCain both "abandon free market principals to save the free market" and sign onto government bailouts. This paved the way to the complete and total disregard for the Constitution practiced by the Obama administration in which the Treasury department has vast, discretionary spending authority (reserved for Congress) and is on the path to buying out and nationalizing American business.

No, the mistake the Republicans made was in not veering right, but instead trying to out left the left with big government spending.

This one upsmanship at the expense of core party principals has been seen from a social standpoint as well, with many candidates now favoring abortion, gay rights and the religious issues that defined the coalition during the Reagan years. However personal liberty is consistant with the founding fathers vision of natural rights, and Lincoln.

Levin's book, the number 1 best seller on Amazon which the liberal press continues to ignore, posits a new conservative manifesto of strict constitutionality, fiscal responsiblity, and the rollback of the Statist agenda of the left. This is the way they need to go. Rather than appear more-left, Republicans need to distinguish themselves as the party of fiscal responsiblity, personal accountiblity, individual industry and drive and the rejection of the nanny bailout state that Obama et al would impose on you in a manner similar to De Toqueville's notion of soft tyranny. Liberty and Freedom should define this new Republican party to serve as a polar opposite of the oppressive all controlling redistributionist state of the Obama administration.

Posted by: Wiggan | April 28, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Will they have to eat with this dude now?
I mean, I welcome his vote...but one does not get the stench of republicanism out of the surrounding air all that easily...

Posted by: kase | April 28, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey, GOP, just keep movin' farther to the right and letting the likes of Rush, and Glenn and Sean and Dick and Sarah and all the rest do your talking for the party. It's working out sooooooooo well.

Posted by: creatia52 | April 28, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

RNC Steele stated recently that the Republican Party would deny funds for Senator Spector's re-election bid next year. 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans switched party affiliation last year voting for President Obama. And the GOP continues to have the likes of Limbaugh and Palin as their guiding lights? You guys are clueless! Simply clueless!

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hee-hee! This is hil-FREAKIN'-larious! Welcome, Sen. Specter, welcome! Does this sound familiar, Repubs?:
"Sen. Specter didn't leave the Republican party--the Republican party left Sen. Specter!" Put THAT in your pipes and smoke it!

Now, with the help from his right-wing buddies (and Lord Limbaugh) Norm Coleman will fight to the death to keep that Minnesota Senate seat out of Dem Franken's hands. If I were Franken's lawyers, I'd push for a motion to move this to the US Supreme Court as soon as possible. Even if the SCOTUS rejects it and moves said motion to the lower Federal Appeals courts, at least the record would show that the SC justices didn't think it was worth ruling on, meaning it would be even more difficult, if not impossible, for Coleman to try and bring it back to the SC if he lost in the Federal Appeals courts.

Only one more Senate seat to go! Let the Repubs finally go over the edge!

Posted by: SGall23241 | April 28, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"You got a bunch of tax cheats, baby killers, homosexuals, commedians, mutts, lesbians, affirmative action advocators, acorn loving, etc. types to lead you down the primrose path. Better keep the Koolaid flowing, you're going to need it."

Posted by: charlietuna666 | April 28, 2009 4:10 PM

The heavy reliance on pure invective is proof positive, Charlie, that you and your's are devoid of worthwhile thought. The Republican Party is ready for nothing but fishwrap and disposal.

Posted by: mdrockjock | April 28, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It is sad, but the Republican Party may be purging itself. However, their efforts to have a bigger tent seem to growing dim. People like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin will only appeal to a very narrow spectrum of American public. Remember, Sarah has been very sympathetic to the Alaskan separatist movement. Her Republican credentials are very suspect. Bachmann is from a different planet.

Cool Obama had one of his best speeches yesterday as he spoke before the assembled scientists. Their spontaneous favorable response to the President should not go unnoticed. In fact, he got ahead of the teleprompter and joked about it. Too bad that the neocons had no really good speech writers and a President who did not know the difference and could not read them. President Obama makes me proud to be an American. He represents us well around the world

Posted by: EarlC | April 28, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Comments by People like charlietuna666 make you wonder what the Heck! The world, the Country, all are so done with this kind of thinking. We are communicating on a much higher plane than that! You Fascist(Republicans) are menace to society.

Posted by: minco_007 | April 28, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I couldn’t help but notice the note about "going the way of the Whigs." You may not be aware, but some veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan refounded the Whigs last year as the Modern Whig Party.

Since then, they have attracted members from the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties. They currently have nearly 30,000 members. They also try to be practical about politics and are generally open on social issues and prudent on fiscal issues. Think fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and bold social progression.

Posted by: vincentendres | April 28, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

He wasn't going to win the republican nomination, so let the libs have our sloppy seconds. They kooks won't win PA with him anyways.

Posted by: trippermeow | April 28, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

ChooseBestCandidate wrote: "the very fact that Palin is still worrying you three years out is our proof that you too have an awful lot of respect and fear of her"

How very perceptive. We thought we were merely mocking her and daring you to run her, but you see right through all that to our true motives. Wow.

Thanks for the insight. And give my best regards to the Easter Bunny and Santa.

Posted by: nodebris | April 28, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Rush, Fox News, Teabags...

Obama is very popular in part because of your dedication to..(?) Obama thanks you!

Please keep up the good work!

Posted by: jfern03 | April 28, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama's policies were just voted in. There hasn't been enough time for them to screw up the country yet. By this time next year -- when the unemployment lines remain long and houses are still hard to sell and our dollar is worthless -- we'll see that Obama is not the miracle man he is today.

Posted by: kenpasadena | April 28, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I think everyone will be surprised how quickly the GOP takes back the white house and congress after things don't turn around by the next election. One little mishandled terrorist attack will sink the dimtards. As soon as the dimtards realize the money has to come from somewhere and it's them, they will long for some fiscal conservatism. Good luck gloating for now. What have you really won? You got a bunch of tax cheats, baby killers, homosexuals, commedians, mutts, lesbians, affirmative action advocators, acorn loving, etc. types to lead you down the primrose path. Better keep the Koolaid flowing, you're going to need it.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | April 28, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

This is great news. Hopefully, the few remaining Republican moderates will switch soon. It has become very obvious that Republicans are shrinking to a vocal extremist, intolerant minority. Just to listen to the Republican rhetoric, there is no doubt that they have become harsh and shrill.

This type of party switching is not new. Many Southern Democrats switched to the Republican Party years ago for less than honorable reasons. It just happened that the Republican Party in the South became the haven for racial prejudice.

Hooray for Arlen. This is great news today. At least we know that there is another person that Rush does not control.

Posted by: EarlC | April 28, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Its interesting to watch the true patriots among us call for even more congresscritters to leave the Repub party. Be careful what you wish for. The party bosses will be // are currently a small stringent sect where disagreement let alone dissent is verboten. The genuflecting that is required by Rush (and frequently offered to Rush by GOOPers), coupled with the shrill of Hannity, OReilly, LittleGreenFootballs, Rove, Cheney and Gingrich... augmented with the deep thinkery of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann is sure to keep the turnstiles spinning. Last one out, get the lights.

Posted by: PayAttention | April 28, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I am a Republican. Until the party finally stops bowing at the feet of Limbaugh and Hannity, and stands for something, anything, other than the one issue of lowering the wealthy's taxes, the GOP will continue to have less and less influence. Democrats should be thankful for Rush and Sean, they are the best tools the Democrats ever had for building their party.

Posted by: randy28146 | April 28, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

now tell me, what's a republican again?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Now how do you feel when the tables are turned? You neocons, I imagine you feel burned. We're only one hundred days in and it's only a preamble. Well Bushies, this Coloradoan thinks it's a "Ben Nighthorse Campbell." Welcome to reality!
You makes the bed you lies in.

Posted by: jackmorehouse | April 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Neverleft, you said:
"The Republican party is not contracting because it is too conservative; it is contracting as it rids itself of liberals who claim to be moderates.

The more conservative they become, the stronger they become politically?

Remember 1994? Get ready for 2010!"

That's some of the worst political thinking/writing I've ever seen. Look at the individual races before you proclaim victory.

Dems will pick up another 4 senate seats in 2010. It's looking very stormy in 2010 for R's, trust me. 2012 may be better, but only if your clowns, I mean leaders, come up with some ideas they can sell. They don't even have to be good ideas, as evidenced by the 2004 election.

The top 5 races, based on likelihood to change hands, are all R seats. Prepare for irrelevance, 21% is not enough to sustain a majority.

Posted by: rat-raceparent | April 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

minco_007 wrote: "Just not a good time to be a Fascist....oops! Republican."

That's totally unfair. Shame on you! The two parties are nothing alike. Fascists made the trains run on time. Republicans are incompetent at basic management tasks like that.

Posted by: nodebris | April 28, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"no. but apparently we hve to remind you that a character on a comedy show is a character and a governor who was a mayor who ran her own company and who was a City Councilwoman is the woman who is Sarah Palin.

the very fact that Palin is still worrying you three years out is our proof that you too have an awful lot of respect and fear of her.... wer are impressed."

Hahahahahaha!!!! That's the funniest post I've seen all day. I was acutally on the fence with McCain until Palin was nominated as his running mate. I'm sure you are very impressed with her. I personally hope she gets the Party nod in three years. The comic relief it will provide will be worth it. Keep up the good work! I'm going to save your post so I can laugh later on. Thanks!

Posted by: clamb1 | April 28, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I never thought I'd be thanking Bush for anything, but...

Just like New Orleans, Iraq, not finishing Afghanistan, the economy, wiretapping, torture and a littany of other Katrina sized disasters ...I do thank you for the Katrina sized problem you have created for the rapidly evaporating GOP.

Posted by: jfern03 | April 28, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have NEVER been for the "working class".

They just fool the working class into voting for them.

Republicans are all about tax cuts and loop-holes for the richest Americans, it is just too obvious now to even fool the rednecks.

Posted by: beenthere3 | April 28, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

If only GWB had succeeded in privatizing social security. We'd be all the way to a Scandinavian style safety net by now.

Posted by: HardyW | April 28, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Why has the Washington Post buried the story of AF1 flying over NYC? Is it because GW is no longer in office? Maybe it's because there afraid of reporting the facts? or is it because the Post is a left wing bird cage liner? And the daily papers wonder why there going out of business. How about you print the news and we make up our minds instead of you printing the news YOU wish us to read. The Post will be gone in 6 months. Pathetic journalism.

Posted by: askgees | April 28, 2009 3:08 PM
---------------------------------------

Because it's not important. The President was not aware of the photo-op. The planners did what they were supposed to do, and somewhere down the line was a break up in communication.

Since most folks "down the line" are the same as for the past 8 years, the word "communicate" does not exist in their vocabulary....stricken by the government of criminal clowns we had to live with for 8 miserable years.

Good bye

Posted by: mackiejw | April 28, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

We DO need conservative opponents, people who can intelligently go after the inevitable bad policies and confused thinking that the Administration cannot avoid. But the Republicans are not up for this role. Maybe we need the Democrats to divide into A and B factions.

Anyway, with Specter's shift, the Democrats are close to losing their excuse for not moving their agenda and getting things done. They no longer will be able to blame the Republicans for their policy failures.

Posted by: phillyreader | April 28, 2009 1:57 PM

I agree but more than this forget parties we need leaders who want to help this country not themselves or one segment (rich). The health of this country was once determined by how well we treated our poor. As long as we live in a nation of sheep, popular phrases such as "socialist" and "conservatist" will rule just as it did under the communist scare in the 40s and 50s.
We should be smarter than that by now but reading all these different posts tells me other wise on that note, if the Repub were to provide a real option rather than simply oppose the Dems then that might be something to follow. Most sound just like the Govenor of La. and offer no alternative just making statements which in unto themselves made no sense. The American people are smart enough to know that.

Posted by: shogun1 | April 28, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

no. but apparently we hve to remind you that a character on a comedy show is a character and a governor who was a mayor who ran her own company and who was a City Councilwoman is the woman who is Sarah Palin.

the very fact that Palin is still worrying you three years out is our proof that you too have an awful lot of respect and fear of her.... wer are impressed.

have fun with specter. treat him kindly.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | April 28, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

While a part of me chortles at the fine mess the Republicans have gotten themselves into, the more civic minded part of me recalls a time when I routinely voted a split ticket. When the Northeast Republicans provided the crucial votes for the 1964 Civil Rights Act when the "Dixiecrats" turned their backs on equal rights and morality; a time when Nelson Rockefeller, Chuck Percy and Nancy Kassebaum could find a home there. Ultimately this is not good for the country; we ARE built on checks and balances. But that is no reason to artificially support right wing cranks who have hijacked the Republican mantle. Maybe it's time for a true third party to fill the void. And in the meantime, the guilty dark side of me will still grin at Rush and W and Dick twisting slowly, slowly in the wind.

Posted by: Omyobama | April 28, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

[sarcasm]I like how losing the 2008 presidential election by large margins, with Democratic gains in the House and the Senate was not a wake-up-call but one self serving centrist switching parties is.[/sarcasm]

Posted by: pdxgeek | April 28, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Arlen Spector has been a Republican for 50 years!


Now that Spector has left the party of azzholes and idiots, you deny he was ever a Republican in the first place! Oh no you don't!

Just so you rightwingnuts who are out there living in the State of Denial, know, Arlen Spector just couldn't cross-over to rightwingnut, like Congressman Boener did.

Posted by: lindalovejones | April 28, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Just not a good time to be a Fascist....oops! Republican. The world has changed and so has the country. You guy's are still trying to be night riders of the order. Your core constituency is poor and intolerant. Your leadership is corrupt and exploitative of your base. You are politically and economically killing yourselves, becoming extinct and outcast in your own country. Don't you get it?

Posted by: minco_007 | April 28, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me the Republican Party, in general, began a downward spiral with the neglect of New Orleans after Katrina. Bush never recovered after the "Good job Brownie" line, and anyone defending him as a leader could be perceived as a defender of incompetence. The economic collapse simply solidified a perception that seemed to start then.

Posted by: adirondacker1 | April 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

according to reports he was talked into it by Joe Biden. - - need we say more?

Thank you mr. spector for giving your best years to the republican party... we realize you have lost your spunk and fear losing for your grave error of supporting the stimulus bill for which you are guaranteed not to be re-electged as a REPULICAN.. u came up short on that end.

Thank you for time served.

what can U do for the democrats? not much IMO, BUT THANK U FOR THE TIME GIVEN TO REPUBLICANS.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | April 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

kedavis wrote:
And the party of Sarah Palin, who can see Russia, the one county she can identify on a map.
-------------------------
Uh, that was Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin on TV, hosehead.

Posted by: NeverLeft

-hahaha is that right? Do we have to remind you that her identification of Africa as a country was incorrect? She's 1/2 on Geography. That came directly from McCain staffers who found out the hard way just how vapid Plain was. I'd be surprised if she knew what provinces bordered Alaska....someone should ask her should she become the front runner again in '12.

Posted by: theobserver4 | April 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

For those Republicans out there living in the State of Denial, you almost make me what to laugh.

Now that Spector has left the party of azzholes and idiots, you deny he was ever a Republican in teh first place!

Arlen Spector has been a Republican for 50 years!

I don't think Spector can relate to the rightwingnuts, so he's cross-over.

Posted by: lindalovejones | April 28, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

This article contains many overstatements that have the cumulative effect of making this article appear like Democratic propaganda. All Senator Specter's defection shows is that Senator Specter would be personally helped by switching party affiliations.

The GOP is not solely the party of obstruction. In fact, the House GOP has adopted Representative Ryan's bold plan for entitlement reform, a simplified tax code, and health care reform.

I agree with Balz that the GOP has yet to find a unified leader. This is not abnormal - opposition parties 3.5 years before a presidential election usually don't have a consensus leader. Instead the GOP has a lot of effective, charismatic, competent potential leaders like Jindal, Gingrich, Ryan, Cantor, and Romney. The depth and breadth of leaders within the GOP is not a curse - it is a blessing.

Posted by: Dellis2 | April 28, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Wake up call"?!?!?!?
Americans have been yelling in their ears for 3 years and they have yet to pay the slightest attention. This isn't a pary - it's a firing squad that has formed a circle and the faced inwards.

Posted by: djah | April 28, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Of course this news stings the GOP, but they are tough! after all, torture doesn't even get to them.

I'm sure the hardcore will blast (yawn, what else is new)Specter and say it's no big deal...

Good. Let them live in their hardcore fantasy world of Cheney and Bush and Limpburger.

In the meantime, we will all sit and watch the republican party SHRINK ON!!!

Posted by: jfern03 | April 28, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Being a Republican has got to be an embarrassment. Fiscally conservative - huh - Bush was the polar oppositie of fiscal conservatism and the GOP gave Bush/Cheney everything they wanted with no oversight or accountability. But now when a Democrat is in the WH, they go back to pretending to be fiscally conservative (that when we are in the midst of a deep recession/depression). So the GOP do the wrong thing at the wrong time all the time. When you should have been fiscally conservative they spent like drunken sailors, when we need a stimulous package they cowered and voted against it. Now we find ourselves defining "torture" (we all know what is is) just like the word "is" under Clinton in the years they spent tons of money and time in an all out effort to shame him in some way. Too bad he oblidged. The right wing GOP are evil to the absolute core, they are anti-American, hypocrites of the highest order, shameless, distorters, full of disinformation and perverted half truths, drunk in their own propaganda arrogance and swagger, brazen, relentless in their agenda, fearmongers, warmongers, out for their own power trip at the expense of the average taxpayer, perverters of justice, cowards using scapegoat to take punishment belonging to Bush and cabal. Of course, they will also be extinct soon from their own machinations - self destruction cannot come soon enough for me.

Posted by: TimeforChange | April 28, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

NeverLeft-

The Palin quote is, "They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska."

Posted by: jconrad1980 | April 28, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post and Sen. Specter has it all wrong. It is the left-wing voting records of the like of Sen. Arlen Specter who has ignored the RNC Platform and helped to damage or destroy the conservative values as built within the Republican Party Platform. It is imperative that Republicans get behind candidates who will support at least 80% of the RNC Platform. Being a true Republican requires more than placing an ‘R’ in front of your name and/or political title. These majority conservative values are what a majority of Americans seek for, but we must stand by it without waffling.

Posted by: oharward | April 28, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush ripped the Republican Party apart, and Republican Senators and Congressmen who rubber stamped everything Bush and Cheney did, just keep on throwing dirt on their own graves.

I think Repubicans are wrongheaded, they don't know anything about economic matters, except how to ship American jobs overseas, and for 8 long years America watched as George W. Bush used the office of the President of the United States to help his family instead of the American people.

What the American people got from George W. Bush was trillion dollar deficits, a collapsed economy, hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, 2 Wars, and to top it all off, he never even caught the bad guys who hit us on 9/11.

I think Spector knew he wasn't going to win re-election being labeled a "Republican."

Republicans are famous for being azzholes and idiots.

Posted by: lindalovejones | April 28, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans of 2008 are not conservatives. They are right-wing extremists who support the use of torture, want to destroy our nation by eliminating taxes, and think that unregulated bags of pork for Wall Street hooligans is good policy. They do not uphold true Christian principles because they oppose the fair and equal treatment of all peoples and they support unprovoked wars against other nations.

Bigotry, racism, property theft, intolerance, deceit, and negativism are the bywords of the modern Republican party.

Bravo to Sen. Spector for having the decency to abandon this decrepit forum for washed-up extremist politicians.

Posted by: dee5 | April 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"It's just not as cool to be a Republican as it once was."

That's a hell of a way to describe the outrage many Americans feel about a war we didn't need to fight, an economy that rotted from the inside, a smorgasbord of corruption, and hostility to the US Constitution.

Posted by: Kingdaddy8 | April 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"kedavis wrote:
And the party of Sarah Palin, who can see Russia, the one county she can identify on a map.
-------------------------
Uh, that was Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin on TV, hosehead."

________________________

Um, no, that was actually Tina Fey playing up a goof by Sarah Palin. Palin actually cited the fact that Alaska is close to Russia and that you can see part of Russia from Alaska as her foreign policy creds. And her only foreign policy creds since she had never obtained a US Passport until the campaign started. Tina Fey quiped "I can see Russia from my house" as a gag. Did you not follow your party during the election???

Posted by: clamb1 | April 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The social conservatives who are destroying the Republican Party are reaping what they sow with Spector's defection, but of course they won't see it that way.

After all, social conservatives are on God's side and all others do not, they know God's will and all others do not, and they are determined to use the power of government to advance their view of God's kingdom, without any concessions to those who feel differently.

Why should they ever compromise? They'll morally superior and know better than everyone else.

Posted by: bpai_99 | April 28, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

This is all excellent news for John McCain...

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 28, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

It's a wake up call the GOP continues to sleep through.

The GOP, aka the 21% Club.

Posted by: gce1356 | April 28, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are so true to form. Why is it all the Racial innuendo and slander seems to spill over your ideology when you lose? You behave like Nazi's & Fascist! It's a losing strategy guy's!

Posted by: minco_007 | April 28, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

kedavis wrote:
And the party of Sarah Palin, who can see Russia, the one county she can identify on a map.
-------------------------
Uh, that was Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin on TV, hosehead.

Posted by: NeverLeft | April 28, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

isn't spector up for reelection and doesn't he has to win the dem primary now?...
which also means we get to elect a better Republican candidate in our primary...
spector was always a rino and I hope he feels comfortable in his new party...
since the dems have absolute power, any misses are their fault...
the 2010 election will grade the dems on what they have achieved being in absolute power...
are the jobless working...
no...
blame the dems...
blame the dems when voting in 2010...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 28, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

What’s really interesting is that the new faces of the GOP are the likes of Limbaugh, Cheney, & Gingrich…What else can I say about this Dinosaur?

Senator Alan Specter defection is a serious blow to this political entity as it marches in lock step with the rabid right wing down the road on the bridge to nowhere. Neither Jindal nor Palin are the answer to this clueless bunch. Jindal lacks charisma while Palin lacks intelligence.

What’s needed is someone who has Jindal’s intelligence and Palin’s charisma to assume leadership of this herd. Someone like an Obama! Unfortunately, his type comes along once in every 25 or so years, and Democrats are just lucky to have him. So, it may be at least another 25 years before they get back in power so good riddance …

Posted by: Citi_Street | April 28, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party is not contracting because it is too conservative; it is contracting as it rids itself of liberals who claim to be moderates.

The more conservative they become, the stronger they become politically?

Remember 1994? Get ready for 2010!

Posted by: NeverLeft | April 28, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50

===

NOBODY CARES

Because you guys could not ram it into a tall building ..

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | April 28, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: onepirlgirl | April 28, 2009 2:24 PM
"Oh please. Since WHEN was Specter a Republican? Specter is a J E W. and Israeli First J E W . Just like Orszag. Just like Emmanuel.
Just like Jane Harman. Just like the "Fed".
The USA lost WWII".
the above poster is obviosly a sick hateful stupid person (if it is a human) may she can go roll around in the hay w/Rush they might do a little oxycotin and then who knows? Sick f*cks

Posted by: lildg54 | April 28, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

There is no Republican Party.

Arlen Spector was a true Republican untill all the Bigots and Prejudice and those redefining what their brand of conservative is or what ther other Brand LIBERAL is..

..and their definitions have nothing to do with the word conservative or liberal.

Except developing a mob mentality, us against them..

Hell the Irish even figured it out in Northern Ireland and finally disassociated themselves with their Terrorist wings of their Parties.

THe GOP is American Terrorist Wing..
and the real Republicans are abandoning you in droves.

There is now BRIGHT Line of Intent between the parties.

Todays Republicans - IDEOLOGY and Bigotry

Todays Democrats - wholesome Governance.

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | April 28, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Every time something like this happens, chimpie, cheney, flush rimbowl and the rest are all getting spanked!

Ouch! that had to hurt.

Posted by: Heerman532 | April 28, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Specter has never been a real republican. At least now we'll have a reliable voice on the judiciary committee. Good riddance."

Except that Specter keeps that seat until a new leadership vote takes place. A little extra leverage for the Dems.....

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Being concerned with the party label of a politician is about as substantial as rooting for or against a baseball player based on what uniform he's wearing"

I always say that if you stick a bunch of Yankees and Red Sox fans in a room together you'd get a more rational discussion then if you stuck a bunch of mindless political footsoldiers from the Democratic and Republican parties.

Posted by: clamb1 | April 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney criticizing Obama.
Or anyone else.

Kinda like the coach of the 0-16 Detroit Lions criticizing the new Detroit coach.
The one hired to fix his mess.
Too funny

Last I checked, Cheney was GWB VP.
And what a failed legacy.

And the party of Sarah Palin, who can see Russia, the one county she can identify on a map.
LOL

Posted by: kedavis | April 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

TO: tony_in_Durham_NC @1:35 p.m.

Thanks for providing more evidence that these boards apparently are infested with paid trolls who slander and defame on the public's dime.

By the way, I am employed in the pursuit of justice. What do YOU do?

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50, JakeD and the rest; can't you hear a giant gong going off. History and Civics lesson all in one. You can't gain control of the Congress or the White House with a bunch of good ol' cracker white boys! Get a group of former GOP moderates and like minded independents with a viable and easily understood alternative platform and thing will change. If the aforementioned GOP minority quotient is marginalized, hip hip hooray!.

Posted by: NotBubba | April 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The problem is the Republicans will change their posture, only to return to the right wing idiots once elected.

Posted by: mzbond | April 28, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

After enduring the Fascist Autocracy of Bush-Cheney, the American electorate has grown weary of division. The references to Socialism, No, Other, Good Americans, flag pins, Working White Class, Obstructionism, the Country's had it! Spector has seen the light albeit political!

Posted by: minco_007 | April 28, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Prediction: the Republicans will find candidates that have a kinder and gentler politics. Then they get elected and the machine attaches the strings to the puppet.

The Republican party needs to really re-invent itself and stop taking cues from Rush Limbaugh and others of his ilk (they only influence a small portion of voters in any case).

And stop calling the Republican Party conservative until it starts practicing conservative economics. Hint: slashing taxes while the country has a massive debt and deficit is not "conservative".

Posted by: AlanBrowne | April 28, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

A quote from a politician who changed parties years ago,"I didn't leave the Democratic party; my party left me".

This quote sounds remarkably like Specter, in reverse,"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."

Is the politician in the first quote who changed parties, "a turncoat, an opportunist, a gutless wimp" (to use the vernacular of previous posts)?

Interesting, because it's Ronald Reagan, who officially became a Republican in 1962.

Posted by: jconrad1980 | April 28, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"With the Democrats expected to pick up 3 to 5 Senate Seats in 2010, the Democrats will perhaps have 66-Seats by the end of 2010..."

As much as I'd like to believe this is true, it probably isn't a reasonable expectation. I'd settle for maintaining a 60-majority so the tyrants in the minority can't block the president's agenda to put America back together as eight years of abuse and neglect.

Posted by: jjedif | April 28, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

DJC88:"Why is this bad for the Republican party? Arlen Specter always was independent-minded. .... Being concerned with the party label of a politician is about as substantial as rooting for or against a baseball player based on what uniform he's wearing."

This is a good point and I'd like to clarify why it matters. There are many voters who do find it important to be on the winning team, for networking purposes or social purposes. We also have a career politician path so being on the winnng side of history determines which side will get the money and brighter analysts and wonks.

There tend to be many things that the political class agrees on and a lot of people are not easily pigeonholed as the two party system would have us believe. People fit themselves to the best fit party but part of the fit is which group has the best chance of future advancement.

For someone who is young and into political science the shift away from the GOP began around 2001 with the mainstream and liberals and accelerated into the young conservatives around 2004-5. At this point the most hardcore young conservatives are ether separated out almost entirely from their peers to be religious republicans or are forming a new core of libertarian-conservatives (who have dropped the republican label entirely and are still on good terms with the mainstream).

For people with less understanding of politics the label matters more then anything else in deterimining what they choose to learn about and to support in the future.

Posted by: persimonix1 | April 28, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

(babe is laughing heartily))

oh yeah..specter wasn't a true republican, so it doesn't really matter. Or good riddance one wrote.....like Specter didn't mean anything at all....
nah, just an elected official that is going to give the dems
CONGRESSIONAL CONTROL !!!

This is more exciting than the NFL Draft.
Who's next....?????


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The Party is on the Road to Nowhere, listening to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Rove.

I left the Republican Party in 1998, when the GOP made the purely political and outrageously arrogant decision to impeach a twice-elected President (for whom I had never voted).

The Party of No vs. the Party of Smart Government...
Arlen Specter is going to find joy being a Democrat.

Posted by: freespeak | April 28, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks "onestring." That pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: jmod35 | April 28, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"For Republicans, the gubernatorial races in 2010 will showcase some of the party's beyond-the-Beltway up and comers...Jindal...Huntsman Jr..."

These are youngsters who have the advantage of now being too tainted and who are running in ultra-conservative states that are hotbeds of religious extremisism and where Republicans differ little from Democrats. These races won't tell us anything.

Posted by: jjedif | April 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Why has the Washington Post buried the story of AF1 flying over NYC? Is it because GW is no longer in office? Maybe it's because there afraid of reporting the facts? or is it because the Post is a left wing bird cage liner? And the daily papers wonder why there going out of business. How about you print the news and we make up our minds instead of you printing the news YOU wish us to read. The Post will be gone in 6 months. Pathetic journalism.

Posted by: askgees | April 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Prediction: the Republicans will find candidates that have a kinder and gentler politics. Then they get elected and the machine attaches the strings to the puppet.

The Republican party needs to really re-invent itself and stop taking cues from Rush Limbaugh and others of his ilk (they only influence a small portion of voters in any case).

And stop calling the Republican Party conservative until it starts practicing conservative economics. Hint: slashing taxes while the country has a massive debt and deficit is not "conservative".

Posted by: AlanBrowne | April 28, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

ejgallagher1:
Iowa??? Is everyone getting married over there?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Spector has always been a Republican in name only. His defection is not motivated by principle but by a cynical calculation that he would lose in the next GOP primary, but could win a general election running as a Democrat. Now let's see what plum assignments Sen. Reid gives him, not as a quid pro quo, mind you.

Posted by: dockeppins | April 28, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Will Collins and Snowe be next?
With the Democrats expected to pick up 3 to 5 Senate Seats in 2010, the Democrats will perhaps have 66-Seats by the end of 2010.
I weep with joy after all these years of conservative rule!!

Posted by: bobnsri | April 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought, until reading this phooey, tha th Post couldn't be more nakedly partisan than it already was. I stnad corrected.

Specter has never been a real republican. At least now we'll have a reliable voice on the judiciary committee. Good riddance.

Posted by: jaebersole | April 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are a hateful bunch who cater to the christian right whom are very much like the taliban they have no tolerance. They fail to realize that is not what the majority of the country wants.They cannot push things down our throats they we do not want. What is amazing is now that roles are reversed how out of sinc they are with everything they forget they lost and they were rejected!

Posted by: lildg54 | April 28, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans in my state (Iowa) are now largely dominated by intolerant religious extremists. While they every right to tell people on how or how not to proceed to the hereafter, their attempts to speed things up by consigning those who disagree with their belief system to what they view as hell on earth don't help on the political front. This state and New England used to be among the most Republican in the Country and things have changed a lot here and even more in the Northeast. The continued chorus of no coming from the Congressional wing of the party will assure that another political maxim will come to pass: the best way to be a sure loser is to be a sore loser. Right now that's playing in Minnesota as the Norm Coleman campaign song. Serves him right for switching the wrong way.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | April 28, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: onepirlgirl | April 28, 2009 2:24 PM
"Oh please. Since WHEN was Specter a Republican? Specter is a J E W. and Israeli First J E W . Just like Orszag. Just like Emmanuel.
Just like Jane Harman. Just like the "Fed".
The USA lost WWII".

----------------------------------------

The above poster is one of your remaining, typical, true believer republicans.

Note the racism, the bogotry, and the ignorance that just drips from the post.

Funny thing is "Aspergirl" didn't really do tooo much to conceal her identity, either... but she tried. This means she KNOWS her ideas are hideous to all others... ut she still goes with the hate.

Typical NEO-CON supporter: Ignorant, ideological, racist, hateful, and proud of it!

Posted by: onestring | April 28, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The Rpublicans voted as a bloc - unanimously - against Obama's initiatives at the beginning. But 3 Republicans, one of them Specter, broke ranks on the third major initiative, the Stimulus Package. Now we know what the punishment is for breaking rank: censure, and certain defeat in the upcoming primary. It was brilliant for Specter to switch parties as a reaction to the Republican strong-arm tactics against him. It just goes to show that the tactics of "The Hammer" (remember him, Tom Delay?) DO NOT WORK when your party is a sidelined minority. Basically, they have nothing to hold over your head, and therefore why not just leave the party behind and become a Democrat?

That goes for you, too, shaky Republicans who are wondering what happened to the GOP.

Posted by: kurtl | April 28, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans have been on a downward slide for the past four years...Many Republicans have blamed most of the party's problems on Bush's leadership. But the problems go deeper than any one person..."

Absolutely right. Bush's selection as the GOP presidential candidate in 2000 and his selection to be president by the Republican-dominated US Supreme Court were signs of the decline of the GOP; Bush was the effect, not the cause.

The GOP no longer presents a rational opposition viewpoint, it is a party of irrational extremist fanaticism...not unlike the party of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.

Posted by: jjedif | April 28, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Forty years in the wilderness.

This is your fate.

next time, try not hating America and our core values of Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class way of life, Comrade Socialist Republicans!

Posted by: WillSeattle | April 28, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Good for you Senator Specter, you have the courage of your convictions. I also left the Republican Party in March 2003 when bush and cheney and the neocons took over our country and also the country of Iraq. I am much happier, and I am sure you will be as well.

I wouldn't let what the Party of No says about your leaving the fold. They certainly were thrilled to have Senator Joe Leiberman leave the Democratic fold, weren't they? Oh how they praised his courage! They even supported him financially when he lost the Democratic primary in Connecticut and then decided to run as an Independent!!! They supported Leibeman over their OWN GOP candidate because they knew Leiberman was with bush on the Iraq war!

Good luck Senator Spector, hold your head up high and vote your conscience from now on instead of being a member of the Party of No who has to vote the way John Boner and Pitch McConnell tell you to vote!

Posted by: cashmere1 | April 28, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is the first of many more defections.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | April 28, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I title the remnants of the Goof-up Old Polemicians the Right-wing Racist Taliban or RRT for short..ti's very much like the Ku Klux Klan of the previous two centuries which raised it's hood time'n again. I am now looking to see when they start going beyond law and into criminal/anti-national levels as they are surely far beyond the pale of the extreme right establishment by far..Treason charges may get forthcoming sooner than later if they move to vandalism.

Posted by: mdsubramonia | April 28, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse


Which Republican do you think will be the next to wise up? Collins? Snowe? Coleman! LOL


Posted by: russ_broadway | April 28, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

To onestring. If you were a stockbroker for 17 years, you shouldn't comment about other peoples ethics, particularly mine. Secondly, IF YOU FOLLOW THE MONEY, particularly the campaign contributions given to each candidate, it would leave a normal person to draw the conclusion that 95% of them are Democrat because that was the breakdown of the total contributions. Am I wrong or were they just trying to get their enemies elected?

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 28, 2009 2:26 PM
----------------------------------------

Yes, for 17 years I was a stockbroker AND NEVER HAD A FORMAL CLIENT COMPLAINT.

Not a single one.

When you work ethically to save little old ladies from "death by catfood" - a death only made possible by NEO-CON faux economic ideology - it isn't hard to go without a complaint for nearly two decades.

As for the contributions to Obama - what do you expect? He was the only candidate in the race with a brain and integrity.

I suggest you look at a historical run down of who has donated to whom.

CEOs are the Republican's traditional feeding trough because they can bundle contributions from all of their employees (yes, of course that is illegal, Republicans do it). Tom DeLay kept a book of payments to republicans on his desk and opened it when constituents would ask for help, to determine the constituent's eligability for DeLay's constitutionally guaranteed assistance.

The republican party is by, and for, the richest 1% of the nation.... And the honorable people they lie to and fool.

You're probably just one of the ordinary folks they fooled.

Posted by: onestring | April 28, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The repubs did this to themselves and are still staying with their game plan or there ideology. Seems like every day they are going down the ladder but no answer. Truly a lost party.

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | April 28, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

dbw1,

My point is that the majority of those in the GOP who were suspicious of McCain were suspcious of him not because of his stance on any issues but because of his demeanor and a sense that he didn't have sufficent distaste for the other side. Perhaps I shouldn't say he was a conservative, because I'm not sure a coherent definition of the terms exists. McCain was and is consistently to the right on military/foreign policy issues issues, pro-life on abortion, and a deficit hawk. What positions did he take that are inconsistent with your understanding of conservatism? Campaign finance reform maybe. What else? Draw from your deep well of knowledge and enlighten us.

Posted by: SReed24 | April 28, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

illegal dark skins???

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party today, by their own doing, is pretty close to being on life support.

The political center has shifted to the left at the time the rightwing has taking over the GOP, not a good thing to happen for them. Look at the data from the last two elections. They have lost the following demographic groups, some big time: Woman, suburbanites, independents, the young, retires, the college educated etc, etc.

Where is the strength for the GOP? Sadly, All one needs to do is look at the Palin rallies: Southern crackers, bible thumpers, gun nuts, racists, and hillbillies. There aren’t enough of them to make up more than the 21 percent of the people in the poll who confessed to being a Republican. If the GOP doe not quit marching in lockstep with the blowhards at FUKED News and AM radio they will become extinct.

Posted by: russ_broadway | April 28, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I say welcome to Senator Spector. As far as the die hard Conservative Party detractors are concerned there is no hope of their understanding Senator Spector's move. We have a need for a 2 party system of Congressional and Senatorial members who represent their constituents and the country. What we have now and have had since 2000 is one repesentative party the Democrats and one 'My way or the highway' party, the Republicans. My suggestion to the Republicans is to shed the wierdo, so called Conservatives, and to recognize that the Bush/Cheney/Addington crowd are anathema to patriotic US citizens, the Constitution of the US and common decency. The Iraq fiasco with it's lies,torture, and the enabling of the return of Osama bin laden as a power is the Conservative party's approach to governance. Then there is the Conservative Party credo "feed the rich and starve the middle class and poor" which balances well with their Middle Ages mentality. Conservatives there is a real world of flesh and blood humans out here, not just the stick figures, of your private culture.

Posted by: trollr31 | April 28, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Two nights ago I came upon a You Tube video of John McCain's campaign manager in September 2008 where this person complained about the disintegration of the Republican Party in the northeast, the southwest and many other major parts of the country. He attributed it to the Christian conservatives who insisted on religious dogma as they concerned themselves with the morality of Americans, the hate speech and punitive actions towards Hispanics and the scandals plaguing Party members that indicated people of wealth in the Party felt they were entitled to be rich at the expense of the taxpayer-voters of the nation.

One Republican political observer said Republicans would have to get off their duff and come to conventions as well as town meetings to stop the hate and have the Republican Party moderate their message to a broader audience rather than playing to the vengeful hate mongers, Christian zealots and greedy, unethical and criminal elements of the Party.

It is not surprising people like Specter are switching parties since they have seen the writing on the wall. Wonder if Lindsey Graham will be next?

Posted by: lothiriel_rohan | April 28, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Many in third-parties say "good riddance" as well. Note that Independents (and even some Democrats) voted for McCain-Palin because they were the CONSERVATIVE choice!

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2009 1:45 PM

------------------------------------------


Which is code for "we'll abort them once they're outside the womb". Either through torture, or turning our backs on the growing epidemic of uninsured children and/or the well intentioned needy. Cause we can't work as a community. JC would hate that because heaven's gonna be the ultimate incubator for social-Darwinism.

The hardliners' infatuation with the fetus would have legitimacy if it weren't paired with a complete disdain for the living (i.e., that growing majority of Americans who don't look like Jake, have a different foreign policy view, and who respect God's creation, otherwise known as "Earth").

P.S., back to your earlier question about why is it okay for Clinton to have not participated in the Vietnam War, but not Dick and Bush? The answer's simple Jakey, Clinton was the economy president (he always said as much anyway), while Bush and Dick were the war president. See the hypocrisy now?

No, probably not. Delusion is a heavy burden to overcome.

Posted by: htruman | April 28, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Roughly 30 years ago the Republican party earnestly pandered to the Dixiecrats who were becoming fed up with the Democratic party. In essense, the Republicans made a deal with the devil to gain a new voter base (i.e. uber conservative Christians, and I use the term "Christians" loosely). Over the past 20 years the old Dixiecrats have wrestled away control of the party, which is why the Republican party has lost its way. When McCain spoke about the "agents of intollerance" these are the very people he was refering to which obviously didn't win him any friends in this new GOP party. The Republicans need to get back to brass tax and kick out these Dixiecrats. Until then they'll be swept off to the corners.

Perhaps it's already too late. I don't see the Dixiecrats backing down and their bigoted retoric will only get louder as the GOP gets weaker. Perhaps it's time for a third party to emerge. I used to believe that a viable third party would be born out of the Democrats due to their numerous factions, but I now believe that the GOP will someday split and a libertarian party will emerge. That would draw in the traditional fiscal libertarian Republicans and moderate Democrats. Bring back the Whigs!

Posted by: clamb1 | April 28, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party has dug a deep hole for itself when its members are willingly kidnapped by a small group of loud-mouth Conservative Ideologues. They have completely forgotten what the government is about. It is of the people, for the people and by the people where the people means for the majority of American, not just those with extreme conservative thinking.

Posted by: peace4all1 | April 28, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The way its going, In 2012 ellections, they will still have John McCain as their frontrunner.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 28, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in the South and watched with dismay in the 1980s as conservative Democrat after conservative Democrat switched to the GOP. It's nice to see the shoe is on the other foot for a change.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | April 28, 2009 2:12 PM
*******************************************

Excellent point, SilverSpring. We may be looking at a big shift here: a shift of the remaining sane and reasonable Republican politicians (there aren't that many left) to the Democrats. I agree with an earlier poster that Collins and Snowe are probably next. What can the GOP/American Taliban be doing for them these days?

Of course, the disadvantage to the big-tent approach comes in defining the priorities and platform. But as long as America wants to solve the the big, obvious problems (economy, environment, pointless wars, healthcare, etc.) the Democrats will appear to be the only party being serious and at least trying to get stuff done. Today's Republicans are obsessed with abortion, gay marriage and christian privilege - not big issues, considering.

If the Republicans continue their development into the Southern christo-fascist party, they will continue to fade into irrelevance and another party will emerge as the opposition. I hope it will be a party that is concerned with keeping government power and size in check. I just wonder whether it will coming from the right or left.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | April 28, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

There is no room on any intelligent web site for anti-semetic or racist behavior. It has toned down a bit in the last few weeks but I see it has returned. On another note, I and a number of Republicans are totally against the excessive spending by this administration. In spite of the former Republic administrations zeal in spending money, it is not going to happen again. Almost a million of us normal everyday people stood up on April 15th to protest this arbitrary and capricious spending which I feel is nothing but common sense. If this view is radical right wing extremism, then we as a country have a problem. The way the current administration actually verbally attacked us, shows a total lack of historical knowlege and shows how little they actually represent the citizenry.

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 28, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Tom Delay, with your dream of a permanent Reublican majority, and Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Gonzales, for setting an extreme 8-year agenda that has nearly ruined this country's standing in the world, not to mention the world economy. The Republicans are no longer even close to conservative, they are theocratic ideological radicals.

Posted by: beargulch | April 28, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Noe, onestring, I was not the poster of that, I was responding to it

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 28, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: onepirlgirl | April 28, 2009 2:24 PM
"Oh please. Since WHEN was Specter a Republican? Specter is a J E W. and Israeli First J E W . Just like Orszag. Just like Emmanuel.
Just like Jane Harman. Just like the "Fed".
The USA lost WWII".

RESPOND:
Oh this is good, as you also claim that Obama is a Muslim, Nancy Pelosi is a Catholic, so finaly the puzzle is all together now and Jews, Muslims and Christians are against republicans and their party. Why don't you just join and enjoy all the world fame they get instead of being looser without any prosperity.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 28, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

No one wants to be part of a Terrorist Party.

Posted by: simonbm | April 28, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Here comes the MSM to spin the narrative against reality. Specter's blatantly opportunistic move says nothing about the GOP, and everything about the depths to which unprincipled politicians will go to hold on to power.

Posted by: bgarst | April 28, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

And onepirlgirl wins the prize for the most despicable post on the thread.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 28, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"Many in third-parties say "good riddance" as well. Note that Independents (and even some Democrats) voted for McCain-Palin because they were the CONSERVATIVE choice!"

And how did that election work out?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 28, 2009 2:07 PM
------------------------------------------

The post above is DELUSIONAL.

Independents an Democrats did NOT vote for the idiot Palin!

Geez!

Obama won in a landslide because we independents joined 100% of Democrats, and many republicans, to bring intellect, honesty, integrity, science, transparency, rule-of-law, and logic back to the Whitehouse.

The only people who voted for Palin/McCain were fearful, or bigoted, or ignorant.... Or self-serving NEO-CONMS and the rubes who's eyes they can pull the wool over, and confuse.

Besides - Republican politicians are NOT conservative. They are CRIMINAL NEO-CONS in most cases. Conservatives don't plan to commit crimes, out CIA agents, or lie in the State of The Union Address...

Posted by: onestring | April 28, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats continue the direction they are headed, the elections of 2010 will remind folks that the centrist voters who brought Obama to power don't like the left-wing extremists who steer the Democrat Party any more than the right-wing extremists who many on this board believe controls the GOP.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is like GM - both are arrogant behemoths that produced inferior products (i.e. Pontiac, GW Bush) and are now shrinking as a result of consumer rejection.

Posted by: maggots | April 28, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

SReed24:

If you believe McCain was a conservative, you would do well to not chastise others for knowing so little as your well of knowledge seems equally dry.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

What hasn't been discussed or much alluded to in these comments is that Specter is probably going to be a good voice for centrist perspective among the democratic party, assuming he wins. He's seen the republican playbook, probably leans their way on a few issues. Republicans seem to have developed the perception that democrats have become so liberal that there's no place in the middle for discussion. I think it's more a case of republicans not wanting to play ball at all, but whatever. If you wanted a good bridge-builder between moderate democrats and republicans, Specter might just be the guy to do it. Sure, he's being derided, but I think the political calculus behind the upcoming election cycle may be getting overhyped. Yeah, the man wants to be re-elected, but the democratic party wants to have broader reach, and to support a broader set of voices that dominate the political middle... not just from the standpoint of moving legislation, but to get a head start on next year's congressional elections with demonstrable centrist credentials to foil the attacks of "liberals gone wild" that the GOP will surely depend on.

Posted by: ninjagin | April 28, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The GOP at this point is controlled by a core group of true believers. What do these true believers believe in? Limited government? Nope. Fiscal discipline? Nope. Free markets? Nope. They believe that liberals are evil. They probably couldn't give you a good definition of what a liberal is, but they know that they are bad. That's why so many of them were suspicious of McCain. McCain was solidly conservative on issues, but he gave off a general sense that he didn't hate the other side enough. Palin, on the other hand, was clearly a good liberal-hater, and so a hero to them.

Posted by: SReed24 | April 28, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows the depth of the party's problems. Just 21 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Is there any further proof that the Republican party is a party of extremists? Only 21 percent, about the same as the approval numbers for Cheney the DIK or Doosh Limburger. Who would want to be identified with this bunch of losers?

Posted by: russ_broadway | April 28, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

May I ask yet once more that we stop calling the people who oppose all human rights "conservative"? The word does not mean reward yourself and make sure nobody gets to "think" but you.

That said, happy to hear Specter is changing parties, because, sadly, the GOP per se doesn't currently represent anything but reactionaries of the worst kind. From my perspective Specter's mostly tried to actually represent his constituents' values and interests. He actually seems to really research and think before voting. He doesn't adhere to party-speak just because "they" said so. The man's not a sheep, nor a follower.

Good luck Senator Specter. At one time you represented Republican values, but the GOP is no longer associated with "values." They've totally deserted you -- and us.

Posted by: jmod35 | April 28, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

To yojoe - just wondering if you called it a dictatorship when, ]for six straight years the Repubs ran the entire government? Just wondering.................

Posted by: nana1ellen | April 28, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's FOX News Headline

"Arlen Specter and the illegal dark skins are responsible for bringing swine flu to America."

Posted by: hayden1 | April 28, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

It could not have happened to a more deserving bunch of @holes. This is what happens when the extremists take over a political party, they force out the few remaining moderates. I was expecting this to happen with one of the Senators from Maine as well. I hope other moderates leave the party as well and the party will become a true right wing party. They can change there name to the N@zi party (instead of renaming the Democratic party) and elect Doosh Limburger and Sarah Dan-Quayle-in-a-Dress Palin as their leaders.

Posted by: russ_broadway | April 28, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

More Limbaugh! More Christian Taliban! MORE PALIN!!!! More Boehner & Cantor - More white-male-intolerant dinosaurs! MORE FOX!!! -
Keep it up clowns.

I am loving this. 2010 elections can't get here soon enough for me.

Posted by: daveque | April 28, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Would all of you people who call yourself "conservative" please read the posts above and then tell me you do not understand why the Republican Party has shrunk to 21% of the U.S. population. It appears that right-wing wackos of the Limbaugh-O’Reilly-Hannity ilk are all that remains. Stop with all of the crazy talk if you want someone to listen.

Posted by: steve6771 | April 28, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party is faced with a very similar situation to the Democratic party of 1994. Republicans found a message after Regan, and they slowly built like a steamroller; Clinton was only elected in 1992 because of the third party candidate, otherwise the election would have gone Republican.

Democrats had lost touch, having been in power too long, and they became more and more liberal to try and combat the conservative tide. It led to a decade and a half of conservative rule, culminating in the ultra conservative Bush years. Republicans are doing the same thing, and it will fail the same way barring tremendous failure by Obama. I think this is unlikely, as the bar for success is pretty low after Bush; if Obama can accomplish ANYTHING he will get re-elected.

At this point, either the Republican party will reform itself like the Democrats did, or it will splinter. If it doesn't reform, either a new party will emerge (libertarians perhaps?), or a handful of smaller parties will form and try to use coalition tactics to pass legislation while tempting moderate Democrats away from the flock.

It will be an interesting few years, but if you think the Republican party is on the verge of a massive rebound you are either ill-informed or delusional.

Posted by: Laughing | April 28, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Specter has always been an opportunist mostly concerned with saving his own skin. Granted, he's a scrappy fighter and that will be missed, but he's been a fairly reliable Dem for ages. What's new? Maybe this way he'll sleep better at night - that is, until he goes toe-to-toe with a life-long Dem in the primaries and the proud porchers of PA hand him his walking papers.

JM

Posted by: JoeMcD | April 28, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Arlen Specter is a terror suspect. We should torture him....... I mean interogate him. Shame on him. What a traitor. Send him to Guantanamo Bay and keep America safe.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 28, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

To onestring. If you were a stockbroker for 17 years, you shouldn't comment about other peoples ethics, particularly mine. Secondly, IF YOU FOLLOW THE MONEY, particularly the campaign contributions given to each candidate, it would leave a normal person to draw the conclusion that 95% of them are Democrat because that was the breakdown of the total contributions. Am I wrong or were they just trying to get their enemies elected?

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 28, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Nothing illustrates the need for better educating the youth of our country about its own history then the charges from the right that Obama is a socialist. The implication one takes away from this is that because, for example, he wants to curtail predatory practices on the part of credit card issuers or expand medical insurance coverage, he must be a socialist. Poppycock! Since its founding the U.S. government has always intervened in the economy. The only differences over the years has been on WHOSE BEHALF such intervention will be. To make this perfectly clear, consider subsidies and tax breaks given to Big Oil and the protection of workers offered by OSHA. The US under Republicans and Democrats has had a "mixed economy"; never purely socialist, never purely capitalist

Posted by: tealbird | April 28, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Defection of Spector signals his fall in the polls to his Republican Rival in the 2010 Election. And so soon after in March Spector said he was commited to the Republican Party. I guess after he realized that he was going to be challenged by a real Republican, he decided to save his own arse, and switch to Democrat. I wonder if any Democrats will be running against Spector for the Senate Seat.

No loss here. Spector has been a stronger Democrat than Republican his entire career. Actually his new name will fit him much better. Spector has been a fraud to date.

It would be real funny if Spector looses the Democrat Primary to another Democrat challenger. Early Retirement perhaps!!!!

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | April 28, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. Since WHEN was Specter a Republican? Specter is a J E W. and Israeli First J E W . Just like Orszag. Just like Emmanuel.

Just like Jane Harman. Just like the "Fed".

The USA lost WWII.

Posted by: onepirlgirl | April 28, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Those that still remain in the Republican Party will be more and more intolerant and inflexible. Short a charismatic leader it will only get votes from the most trainable in our midst

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

There is a difference between conservative principles and reactionary bigoted principles. I think there would be great support for an authentic conservative party- one that believes in small government, states rights and fiscal responsibility. An authentic conservative would recognize that pro-choice is a conservative position since it takes power out of the hands of government into the individual, allow states to legalize medical marijuana (and even legalizing drugs), opposing torture, warrant less wire taps. When Republicans support torture because it "worked" they have betrayed the most conservative principle of all- means matter more than ends. The hallmark of every non democratic government is that they allow their ends to justify their means.

Posted by: rds7481 | April 28, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Republican Senators who hate Sarah Palin or are ashamed to be like her can leave now as well.
Posted by: OldAtlantic | April 28, 2009 2:18 PM
+++++++++++++++++++++++
I hope they take your advice. If every Republican who was embarrassed by Dan-Quayle-in-a-Dress left the party, you would not have much of a party left would you? LOL

Posted by: russ_broadway | April 28, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

By Dan Balz
"Northeast Republicans have gone from an endangered species to a nearly extinct species.

NOW, THAT IS TRUE!!!!!


and that is funny (he, he, he, he....chuckle)

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 28, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Gee, maybe Rush isn't getting the message out. Hey Rush, try being meaner and nastier. Call Specter a traitor maybe. Tell your audience to pray harder, and more often, for Obama's failure. Keep doing what you're doing, just more of the time. Yeah, that's the ticket, just keep doing what you're doing, that's bound to work.

Posted by: hairguy01 | April 28, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

No doubt his decision provides the Democrats with a broader spectrum in treating politics as a change process.

Posted by: gpcarvalho | April 28, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Yo, Joe! Ya'all wrote: "All you individuals that are cheering that Sen Spector is jumping parties, remember that brings us one more step of becoming a one party government which means a DICTATORSHIP, THINK ABOUT IT!!

WAKE UP AMERICA!!"

Politics 101: NEVER blame the voters. They have no obligation to vote Republican. They have the right to vote for any party that best expresses their own ideals and is most likely to realize them. If only one party does that, it's the other party that needs to wake up and get real, not the voters.

Posted by: archaeoman | April 28, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

the democratic party has always stood for
"domestic issues and the common man's relation to such"

foreign affairs are inherently more republican.

that's the "way it has been"

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Every time a Republican leaves to become a Democrat, God smiles.

But Satan cries -- He just might run out of lawyer!!!

Posted by: svreader | April 28, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Republican Senators who hate Sarah Palin or are ashamed to be like her can leave now as well.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | April 28, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean that Spector will now vote for Obama's health care overhaul and everything else he puts forth until 2010?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 28, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to the permanent republican majority we were hearing so much about 4 years ago? Looks like somebody was way off the mark on that one.

Posted by: bill3 | April 28, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

They must have some serious dirt on him. I'd also check his bank account.

Posted by: forgetthis | April 28, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey rednecks, don't blame anybody, besides yourself. You gave us and yourself morron from texas, twice in a row. He ruined your pride and ruined your party of choice. If you wanna revenge, just support Obama and curse Chenney and Bush for the all evil they have done.

IF YOU CAN'T WIN,.... JOIN IN.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 28, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Why is this bad for the Republican party? Arlen Specter always was independent-minded. Whether he puts an R or a D at the end of his name, he's going to vote the same way, so there's no real power shift. He's no more or less likely to vote with the Dems than before.

Being concerned with the party label of a politician is about as substantial as rooting for or against a baseball player based on what uniform he's wearing.

Posted by: DJC88 | April 28, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse


oh yeah sure..
Dems --be afraid, be very afraid that this happened.
----LIKE WE AREN'T IN THE WORST MESS IN A CENTURY FOLKS !!!
heaven forbid Specter that you took a leap of faith..
heaven forbid ANYONE if they take a leap of faith and TRUST Barack....

the big bad Repulsive machine is going to get you for it...at all costs

IF YOU BELIEVE
!!!
go back in your 1960's fall out shelter you built in your back yard REPUBLICANS !!
The Pros From Dover (M.A.S.H) are here!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

If Arlen Spectre feels the Democratic Party is aligned more with his values, I think that that speaks volumes. Can anyone truthfully tell me what the Democratic Party stands for? If the conduct of this administration is an example, I can hardly wait for an answer.

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 28, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I think it is time for the Republican Party to actually stand up and quit trying to be "Mr. Nice Guy" to all of the Democratic and Liberal criticisms and fight fire with fire. We did not cause the sub-prime crisis but the people think we did. We did not screw up the ecomomy but the media says we did. The Wall Street CEO'S were not in cahoots with the Republicans but THEY DID CONTRIBUTE 700 MILLION TO THE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGNS. It is time that we quit accepting blame for things that we didn't do and show the people the truth with documentation proving it!

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM
------------------------------------------
The above post demonstrates the dillusional state of the remaining rump of the Republican party.

Anyone who insists that corporate CEO's are not contributing to, or worked directly with the GOP is intellectually dishonest, grasping at straws, and hates being on the losing team. ...But not as much as they hate others, so they remain on the losding team with the obviously failed track record.

I was a stockbroker for 17 years. There are very few Democratic party members in Finance, folks.

Posted by: onestring | April 28, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

As for Republicans returning to their principles. They represent the super rich and powerful. Their Free market and Freedom mantra is just a cover for the rich. They live in a fantasy land. More people now know that big business can't regulate itself, that rich people enjoy priveleges beyond description, that republicans are hypocrites when it comes to family values and morals. They just don't appeal to the new generation, they are outdated and crusty old schoolers...the sooner we are rid of them the better...they are obsolete...

Posted by: JJH1 | April 28, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"All you individuals that are cheering that Sen Spector is jumping parties, remember that brings us one more step of becoming a one party government which means a DICTATORSHIP, THINK ABOUT IT!!"

Ummm, we've had plenty of occasions of one-party rule in this country, most of which worked out pretty well (the Era of Good feelings, the New Deal, etc).

A few words/phrases Republicans need to learn the definitions of before they start casually throwing them around:

Socialist
Fascist
Marxist
Communist
Dictatorship
Banana Republic
Terrorist

Guys, feel free to add to this list...

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 28, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

This is an important event. Whether the Republican party has members in it who do not follow the party line is important. The Republican Party has taken another step towards being the Authoritarian party that have only conformists in it.

Spector was a Democrat once. But he was really more in tuned with the Republican Party than the Democratic. He is leaving the Republican Party because there is not room for him. The Republican Party is planning to exterminate politically anyone who does not follow their line, hook, line and sinker. From this point on the Republican Party will be putting up closet fascists since there will be so few left to give it a sense of moderation.

The man who would have beaten Spector, Toomey besides being an ideologue is also not much of a thinker. Whatever one has to say about Spector who I would not have voted for after his advocacy for Thomas in 1992, the man had a brain and was a contributor to the Senate. Toomey is a dud and would not have been elected. Men like Spector who may be more at home in the Republican Party when it was the right of center party simply have no place being in the Party and his departure will help to hasten the decline of the influence of the present party.

From my perspective the future of the Republican Party was to disappear the way the Whig Party did. Now I am not as sure that the Republicans will disappear or whether we will evolve to a three party system. For me the Democrats are too liberal and the Republicans are too controlled and monolithic so there has to be something to fill that void. I hope Spector's move as self serving as it is will also hasten the formation of a party that I can feel comfortable with. Spector's exit is announcement that individuality will not be tolerated in the Republican Party, that is the significance of today's news.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in the South and watched with dismay in the 1980s as conservative Democrat after conservative Democrat switched to the GOP. It's nice to see the shoe is on the other foot for a change.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | April 28, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Slight error in the article. You said:
Despite their solid opposition to the president's economic and budgetary policies, Republicans in Congress have seen this trust quotient decline eight points since January.

Should have said:
Because of their solid opposition to the president's economic and budgetary policies -which most Americans view as practical solutions to problems created by GWB- Republicans in Congress have seen this trust quotient decline eight points since January.

Posted by: menchanko | April 28, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This is an important event. Whether the Republican party has members in it who do not follow the party line is important. The Republican Party has taken another step towards being the Authoritarian party that have only conformists in it.

Spector was a Democrat once. But he was really more in tuned with the Republican Party than the Democratic. He is leaving the Republican Party because there is not room for him. The Republican Party is planning to exterminate politically anyone who does not follow their line, hook, line and sinker. From this point on the Republican Party will be putting up closet fascists since there will be so few left to give it a sense of moderation.

The man who would have beaten Spector, Toomey besides being an ideologue is also not much of a thinker. Whatever one has to say about Spector who I would not have voted for after his advocacy for Thomas in 1992, the man had a brain and was a contributor to the Senate. Toomey is a dud and would not have been elected. Men like Spector who may be more at home in the Republican Party when it was the right of center party simply have no place being in the Party and his departure will help to hasten the decline of the influence of the present party.

From my perspective the future of the Republican Party was to disappear the way the Whig Party did. Now I am not as sure that the Republicans will disappear or whether we will evolve to a three party system. For me the Democrats are too liberal and the Republicans are too controlled and monolithic so there has to be something to fill that void. I hope Spector's move as self serving as it is will also hasten the formation of a party that I can feel comfortable with. Specror's exit is announcement that individuality will not be tolerated in the Republican Party, that is the significance of today's news.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Long live the "permanent Republican majority."

So much for a single-issue party: radical-nationalist, interventionist, big guvmint "Conservatism."

Way to self destruct, GOP, party of my forebears...

Posted by: optimist3 | April 28, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Look at the last campaign! Sarah Palin equated herself well, given her relative isolation,and inexperience but overall the GOP, whether it meant to or not came across as a party of old, ornery white men!

Posted by: gkiltz | April 28, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Reliable sources are now revealing that another moderate Republican senator from the North East is also in talks with the DNC for the possibilities of switching from GOP to DNC.
Senator Specter’s transformation is already having an altering effect on the GOP senate. The senate Republican leadership is now paranoid to cause another moderate to switch that they are signaling willingness to work with the president. The whole North East is almost elected GOP FREE! The Republican Party is reduced to a regional party now—Party of South.

Thank you Republican Wing-Nuts. Please keep it up till you drive all moderates out of the party :-)

Posted by: JHigginss | April 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS !!!

---now, we can get some things done...

like DE-authorization of the USA Patriot Act...


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I met a self-employed home inspector last night who said he voted Democrat last November for the first time in his life. It's only taken him 100 days to wonder if he made a mistake.

And we live in a swing state. Enjoy your run, but don't get too confident, Democrats. If it only takes a couple months for a moderate voter to change his mind, why do you think Nancy/Harry/Obama are going to try to jam through as much liberal orthodoxy as they can this year?

They are not as foolish as some on this board who believe the 'permanent majority' is here to stay. They figure they have 12, maybe 18 months tops.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

With no opposition, loyal or otherwise, the Democrats still have something very real to fear, the (al)lure of crony capitalism.

Do not go the way of Tom Daschle, Larry Summers, John Dingle and countless others who have all four piggy hooves in the trough.

We are plenty disgusted with the Cheney/ Haliburton rush to oil war. But who is disgusted with Democratic corruption?

I am plenty left, even perhaps the dreaded "Socilist" (New Zealand style), but I want checks and balances and transparency and honesty and I don't care what party I'll will work to defeat to get it.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 28, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Why have honorable republicans left their old failed party in droves?

Its easy to explain:

The actions, public statements, criminal prosecutions, tabloid headlines, failed
economy, wanton spending, abdication of the congressonal responsibilities of
oversight, and financial controls, the glad loss/abandonment of our allies, alienation of our friends, treasonous actions, successfully prosecuted crimes, dereliction of duty to plan a war against a nation that has no ability to harm us, proven lies proffered by a President in the State of The Union Address, treasonously outed covert CIA agents, and the bloviating apologists for those exhibiting the vile, immoral, and illegal behavior we've ALL seen from the far, un-christian wing-nut, "mainstream right" in the press have made the term "Republican" synonymous with:

Self serving, "me first", say-it-on-sunday-sin-on-monday hypocritical, transactionally immoral, intellectually dishonest, out-of-touch, bigoted, hate filled, last century failure, voodoo-economics touting, willfully ignorant, superstitious, uber-fundamentalist, uneducated, racist, and "broken failure".

The WHIGS used to be like this.

Basically you're now a republican if you don't like to think for yourself, or you are a criminal like they are, or you are a bigoted racist.

There is no way that a normal American could continue to associate themselves with such a criminal and evil group of snakes, once they turned on the lightr and looked around them.

Apparently Mr. Spector finally flipped the lights on in a republican strategy session. Oh yeah, and he wants at least a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected again.

Republicans are alive and well in the Democratic Party, and among the Independents, of which I am one.

The republican party, however, is left filled with dead souls, racists, bigots, societal failures, rats, and the fearful ignorant who yet dwell amongst them...for now.

The more lights that get turned on, the more the formerly ignorant are enlightened to whom they are associating with... and leave.

Bye-Bye to the FUNDAMENTALIST NEO-CON TALIBAN!

Welcome home Arlen Spector!

Posted by: onestring | April 28, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"F'em' does not really open the door to dialogue."
----
That's because you can only have the door slammed in your face so many times before you stop opening it.

Posted by: JRM2 | April 28, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

When has it ever been cool to be a overly religious bigot/racist homophobe?

Never.

GOP.

Gone. Over. Past.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | April 28, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think it is time for the Republican Party to actually stand up and quit trying to be "Mr. Nice Guy" to all of the Democratic and Liberal criticisms and fight fire with fire. We did not cause the sub-prime crisis but the people think we did. We did not screw up the ecomomy but the media says we did. The Wall Street CEO'S were not in cahoots with the Republicans but THEY DID CONTRIBUTE 700 MILLION TO THE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGNS. It is time that we quit accepting blame for things that we didn't do and show the people the truth with documentation proving it!

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The republicans had a chance to redeem themselves from 8 years of Bush disaster in the 2008 election. McCain was a good choice. However, the party showed its true colors by forcing Palin on the ticket. That was stupid, and reflective of the republican party leadership and agenda. Its been downhill since then.

Posted by: 123cartoon | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

To those conservatives who want limited governmnet: you got it with Reagan, Cheney/Bush and look at what you got with our economy...nobody was minding the store. Fiscal responsibility? Of all the US presidents combined, only one administration (Cheney/Bush) created trillions of dollars budget deficit. We had a surplus. Those saying good riddence to Arlen Specter from the Repuklican party....your conservative idealogy is more important than our nation. You ought to be thankful you have a country that you continue to rape. Tax and spend democrats?

Posted by: NoGovermntREPUKLICAN | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Republican
Member of an extremist organization during the 21 st century. Given to fits of panic, paranoia, delusions of grandeur. Typically old and sometimes corrupt.

Posted by: MoneyLender | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Someone here said something like, Because Specter is liberal, he needs to be a Democrat. I see Specter as a moderate, the kind of moderate the GOP continues to drive from the fold.

I see the GOP as too negative and focused on the rich to mean much to ordinary people. If they continue to try to alienate, to say NO!, without offering solutions and including minorities, I look for them to get smaller, not larger.

The party of Rush Limbaugh is dead. The party of Charlie Crist (if he doesn't cave to the ultraconservatives) might have a chance.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Specter is more a recanting apostate than a convert. He was originally a Democrat. He became a Republican (a la Bloomberg) because he found it easier to break into Phila local politics that way. It's too bad that Specter, in attempting to maintain his Republican "credentials," did so many bad things - like getting Thomas confirmed to the Supreme Court, helping Bush and other right wingers pack the federal courts with other ultra-conservatives, and blocking card check. Maybe his new found "conscience" will be accompanied by some guts to actually vote the way he believes. What is the point of political power if you can't do what you thing is right? Especially when you are pushing eighty?

Posted by: mnjam | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I can imagine how the Republicans must feel now that Specter has switched parties. It must be akin to how I felt when Ben Nighthorse Campbell did the same years ago here in Colorado.

Posted by: brwntrt | April 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As of now, the people to watch will be Senators Snowe and Collins -- the other two Republican senators (in addition to Senator Specter) who voted for the 2008 stimulus package. These senators are not facing elections in 2010 (and might not be susceptible to serious challenge in a primary if they were) so they do not confront the same immediate issues that Senator Specter was facing. However, Senators Snowe and Collins have to be looking at the Republican Party as a pretty lonely place right now.

Posted by: Bob999 | April 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Doubt it csfoster since most voters will vote for crist in 2010 and the republicans look like may take New York and Virginia as they are on the verge of taking New Jersey.

Posted by: warhawk911 | April 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Contrary to popular belief, the fallacy is that those who consider themselves "republican" have confused being abusive to the least of these in society with being "conservative". It is outright mean-spirited. America has tried "trickle-down" and it has failed. And failed miserably. The greedy nature of man doesn't allow for none but a "trickle" to go "down".

It is equally odd that Republicans call Liberals "elitists" when it is they who fight with bare knuckles to decrease taxes on the most wealthy and increase them on the middle class and the working poor.

It was Republicans that fought to remove 9 million dollars from the stimulus package earmarked to better prepare America for, STOP THE PRESSES, PANDEMIC FLU.

This is the party that is as disconnected from reality as can be imagined.

The "religious" right is even out of sorts.

Anyone read the story of T.D. Jakes son being arrested in Dallas for revealing and fondling himself to two undercover "male" police officers in the park.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, when the GOP rallied behind Sarah Palin to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency of the United States. I then knew, this was a party in disarray. In the pitiful throws of a slow and painful death.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | April 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Many in third-parties say "good riddance" as well. Note that Independents (and even some Democrats) voted for McCain-Palin because they were the CONSERVATIVE choice!"

And how did that election work out?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow – Judging from the posts here Republicans are growing bitter and more out of touch every day. May I offer a little advice. Stop clinging to dead ideas. Voters rejected your ideas during the last election. Take a deep breath and count to 2010.

Posted by: GBush08 | April 28, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Too late for a wake-up call:

The November 4th election initiated the run on and today's Specter decision signifies the demise of the Repudiated Republican Party.

Final burial and rites will be performed in 2010.

Posted by: csfoster2000 | April 28, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

hey, yojoe. You said:
All you individuals that are cheering that Sen Spector is jumping parties, remember that brings us one more step of becoming a one party government which means a DICTATORSHIP, THINK ABOUT IT!!

WAKE UP AMERICA!!


interesting comment coming from a member, one presumes, of the party that just 8 years ago had, as its announced goal, a permanent Republican majority. Yes, permanent. Your party's leadership in Congress said as much.

Yeah, it's not a good thing, but I didn't hear you, or anyone else in that party, deriding the idea then. Why is that?

Posted by: summicron1 | April 28, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

There was a day when there were many moderate Republicans - people like Senators Specter and Heinz of Pennsylvania, as well as Rockefeller and others - who populated the Senate. Today is a sad day for Republicans who remember these moderates, and the more balanced and independent viewpoint they brought to the Senate. Senator Specter's fall from grace in the Republican Party is because he has insisted on his independence, and his refusal to tow the party line. Those who, on this blog, have resorted to name-calling and show such disdain for him are the very reason he is leaving the party. The Republican Party has grown intolerant and decided to rid itself of one of their best assets - a man of principle. Now they will be left mostly with talking heads who tow the party line. Senator Specter will continue to be an independent voice. I do not always agree with him, but I respect him more than ever. It may be that his political life was at stake - at his age, and after dealing with cancer, I seriously doubt that his political life was his main motive for switching. He desires to continue serving the people of Pennsylvania, and the people of this nation. I, for one, will continue to vote for him - now as a member of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: garoth | April 28, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

You know what is funny? Poll data coming out stating that Republicans are leading in the governor races of New Jersey, NY and virginia! Another interesting poll is that Specter WAS LOSING his primary bid to Toomey who nearly lost to him 6 years ago.

Posted by: warhawk911 | April 28, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Now the Dems will have no one to blame but themselves in 2010.

Posted by: pkhenry | April 28, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Remember the election of 1992? Ahhh, great times. Bill Clinton sweeps to power with a 'mandate for change'. Democrats control the Senate. Democrats control the House. FINALLY, the nasty ol' GOP is defeated once and for all, 'hope' is restored, and liberals set about to reshape America into Amerika.

Then came 1994.

The quickest way for the GOP to regain power is to let voters get a good taste of liberal...errrr, "progressive" politics again.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Several conservative Democrats switched to the GOP years ago. Lieberman was defeated in the Dem primary and ran and won as an Indpendent, then became a de facto Republican. Republicans applauded these moves as principled, Democrats called them opportunistic. Just the same thing but in reverse.

Posted by: Sutter | April 28, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Its time for them to wake up and take their sleeping pill.

Posted by: svreader | April 28, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

A wake up call for the Repubtards? Sounds more like a death knell, to me.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | April 28, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Wake up call for the GOP ?

This should be a wake up call, for our country as a whole.
Did Specter have some kind of recent political awakening ? No.

Specter wants power & privilege, like the rest of rats on the hill.
"Specter believes hes entitled to it"

This political, move by Specter.
Is not about Republican Vs Democrat, or whats best for the populous as a whole.

ITS ALL ABOUT SPECTER, AND WHATS BEST FOR SPECTOR !!!!!!!!!

Why do some of you, support this hack ?

Posted by: dashriprock | April 28, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

You just don't get it. Its not that the Republians need to "return to their conservative principles"...its simply that the American Public simply rejects those principles. The American Public wants universal healthcare, they want better education, they want less pre-emptive wars, they want to deal with global warming, they want fair pay in the workplace. These are not core priciples of the GOP and that is precisely why they will continue to lose.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Considering the intellectual content of the GOP, being a RINO is not an insult. Welcome Arlen. We always take converts. You didn't want to be a member of the Confederacy any more? I hear all the "true believers" of the GOP cause are going down to Texas to secede. How'd that work last time?

Posted by: tschmidt | April 28, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party more and more simply stands for selfishness, greed, and "ME"!!

Thoughtfulness of the real issues, causes, or solutions are unimportant in this blinded Republican drive. The good of the country or the majority of citizens is at the bottom of their list of priorities.

The Republicans I know are quite ignorant of the issues or real political concerns, and charge ahead blindly, claiming the same drugged hallucinatory visions repeated by radio talk show hosts. No studying or critical thinking is ever evident. Lack of thinking and wisdom is the death of the Republican Party, with Rush Limbaugh, sadly, as their chosen "leader??"

Posted by: Maerzie | April 28, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If it looks like a liberal and acts like a liberal it must be a liberal. So let the liberals run with the ball for the next 4 years. It's now entirely their show, there's no more blaming Republicans for what goes wrong. Snow and Collins should follow Spector and then the party will be complete.

Posted by: jhnjdy | April 28, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little appalled by the vociferousness of many of the Democratic responses. 'F'em' does not really open the door to dialogue.

I also think it's important to point out two separate but equal truths. Yes, this was a blatantly political move by a politician fighting for his electoral survival. But the self-inflicted wounds the Republicans are suffering from are real- and while the patient may not die, they are in for a long recovery.

Posted by: jconrad1980 | April 28, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The GOP keeps turning further to the right.
Maybe they should ask themselves why they have lost big the last two elections, 2006 and 2008. Maybe they should ask themselves why 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans switched to the Democratic Party last year and voted for President Obama. They probably will not. They probably will still pin their hopes on that moose hunting, female wing-nut from Alaska! God I sure hope so. Yes...Sarah Palin for 2012! By then President Obama will be in his second term and the Senate will have 62 Democrats! The GOP is clueless!

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 28, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"To regain power, Republicans need to reestablish conservative principles, not run from them. The further they run from their conservative roots, the more they look like Democrats...which gives voters even less reason to vote GOP, not more."

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 1:47 PM

---------

The problem with this assertion is that a majority of the voters are not interested in conservative principles. They are interested in solving problems, not in ideology. The more the Republicans focus on abstract principles, the more they will recede.

We DO need conservative opponents, people who can intelligently go after the inevitable bad policies and confused thinking that the Administration cannot avoid. But the Republicans are not up for this role. Maybe we need the Democrats to divide into A and B factions.

Anyway, with Specter's shift, the Democrats are close to losing their excuse for not moving their agenda and getting things done. They no longer will be able to blame the Republicans for their policy failures.

Posted by: phillyreader | April 28, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

FAIL!
STEP 1 Get an education, learn to spell. Since you can't spell Socialism; I can only expect you have no idea what socialism is beyond a typical GOP red herring catch phrase.


"This is nothing new, Spector has prove to b a RINO over many months. He has backed Obama and the Democrat on so many ocassions it is impossible to call him anything but a Democrat. He claims that the Republican party has strayede from its
principles, he is right. But he could have stayed the course and told the party that he would follow the party platform that the constitutents of his party beleived in. Insted he just played the polliticial party game and follows the piper. Bring on the Kool-Aid and have another drink He is helping to continue the destruction of all that made our country great by following a Socilist the the planned destruction of America. George Soris has told obamas what to say and what to do for so long he can only mimic what he is told. GOD save America

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | April 28, 2009 1:40 PM"

Posted by: stikyfingas | April 28, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Grandpa, what was a republican?"

Posted by: TOMHERE | April 28, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

If Ken Griffey Jr. can leave the Chicago White Sox and come back to the Seattle Mariners (he did), then Allen Specter can certainly change teams. The GOP cult has run out of sustainable governing promises. If Allen Specter wants to join a winning team and take a shot at rebuilding America, that is fine with me.

Posted by: rmorris391 | April 28, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Gen Powell derided the GOP as becoming 'too conservative'. He said the GOP needed to nominate someone 'more mainstream', someone 'not beholden to the right-wing of the party'.

Could Mr. Powell please give us an example of who would have fit his description better than John McCain? And yet Colin Powell still sold out his party and supported Obama. This is the fallacy of the logic suggested in this article.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 1:47 PM

---

I like you your memory is so editable. Like a dry-erase board. How did you manage to leave loony Sarah Palin out of this? AMAZING.

Posted by: alarico | April 28, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

If them Repos wuz smart they would listen, and hear, carefully.
But as they iz as dumb as the Texas Moron, they won't. They would rather listen to the crapp spread out by the Radio Psychopath, Insanity, and Bill O'Dummy.

Posted by: analyst72 | April 28, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

THE LEGACY OF THE BUSH ERA... THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING...

Posted by: demtse | April 28, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

All you individuals that are cheering that Sen Spector is jumping parties, remember that brings us one more step of becoming a one party government which means a DICTATORSHIP, THINK ABOUT IT!!

WAKE UP AMERICA!!

Sen Spector is playing politics. He is no DUMB BELL, he knows the Democrats carried Pa. in Nov. and his poll numbers were going down dramatically, so , switch!!

Posted by: yojoe | April 28, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that when all you have is a hammer, how much everything looks like a nail. Maybe Mr. Specter is a moderate and it is those who are leaning a bit too far to the right who can't recognize themselves. Oh, and Mr. Balz, please don't forget Mike Pence in your list of wannabe leaders of the Republican party. Mr. "just like a walk in an open-air market in Indiana"

Posted by: JSKEVV | April 28, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

When the Democrat party was in disarray in the mid-1990's after the Republicans swept to power, Clinton's star was fading, not one but TWO senators switched parties to the Republicans (Shelby and Campbell), and infighting in the DNC was escalating...I wonder how many articles the Washington Post ran encouraging the Demcrat Party to "move to the middle", become more conservative, appeal to a broader base, ad nauseum.

Of course they didn't. Keep the facts straight: the Republicans didn't lose power because they have become "too conservative". Look at government spending while they were in power. Anyone calling that 'conservatism' and saying 'conservatism' is what caused the GOP fall is an idiot...the author of this piece included.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The Repubs think that acting like sore losers, refusing to cooperate with the new Administration, and moving even further to the right will mean victory in the future. Remember, folks, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to be different.

Posted by: StevefromSacto | April 28, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Specter and Sir Teddy together at last. Other neo-Republicans should follow the call.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | April 28, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

jdnathan:
"The decline of the GOP reflects the fact that it has become the party of fear."

If it weren't for playing on voters worst fears, neither Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama would ever have been elected. There formula was the exact same: scare the bejezus out of people, tell them you are the only one who has the fix for all that ails them, blame everyone else for your problems, etc.

The formulas worked. Anyone who says the GOP is about "fear" is fairly ignorant of the single greatest tool in the Democrat tool box.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The Republican brand won't return until the public forgets the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld axis of evil legacy.

So:

* The more Cheney opens his mouth the longer people remember.

* The more Republicans say the bad economy is the Democrats fault, the hollower their arguments sound. Obama has only been in office 100 days. Does the GOP really think the public believed everything was terrific 100 days ago?

* The Republicans need to pick one substantial thing the Obama Democrats have truly bungled due to ideology, and hammer that thing over and over. Lots o' luck with that. So far, this isn't an administration that has made ideological mistakes... at least none that the public didn't overwhelmingly vote for in November.

Posted by: egc52556 | April 28, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I’m from PA. To me this is a mixed blessing for Dems because we likely would have voted for a more liberal candidate then Specter and still would have won the general election. But I can’t see any scenario where this is anything other than very bad news for Republicans in PA and Nationally. Now Toomey is toast.

Posted by: GBush08 | April 28, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins must really analyze their stance. They're both on some issues more progressive than some Democrats. The people of Maine should nudge them into following Senator Specter. The GOP has really descended into the bowels of political Hades, and it's well deserved. We do need a new party: one that is truly progressive and speaks to the needs of 95% of the populace, those earning less than $150,000. Our voices aren't truly heard.

Posted by: castillomark | April 28, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If you believe the drumbeat of 'move-to-the-middle' suggestions such as this author's will work for Republicans, just consider Colin Powell and last year's elections.

Gen Powell derided the GOP as becoming 'too conservative'. He said the GOP needed to nominate someone 'more mainstream', someone 'not beholden to the right-wing of the party'.

Could Mr. Powell please give us an example of who would have fit his description better than John McCain? And yet Colin Powell still sold out his party and supported Obama. This is the fallacy of the logic suggested in this article.

To regain power, Republicans need to reestablish conservative principles, not run from them. The further they run from their conservative roots, the more they look like Democrats...which gives voters even less reason to vote GOP, not more.

Posted by: dbw1 | April 28, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow look at all the sour grapes posts from the GOP trolls. These poor losers aren't having a very good year, are they .. support for Obama remains rock-solid, despite the frantic blogging about "far left" and "socialist" and endless BS about birth certificates and ACORN.

Not even Cheney's "calmly authoritative" scolds make any impression outside the 21-percenters.

Wasn't that long ago the GOP had firm control over message. now they can't even decide who to use as a front man; Michael Steele kowtows to Limbaugh, Gingrich is repellant, Sarah Palin more so, Pee-yoosh Jeendal is a joke, Mitt Romney looks like an assistant manager at a Cadillac dealership, McCain is daffy and goofy .. nope, looks like the end for the GOP.

No wonder they're openly hoping for another fake terrorist attack.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 28, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The decline of the GOP reflects the fact that it has become the party of fear. It is afraid of everyone and everything -- Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, Russia, Pakistan, Afganistan, Europe, Mexico, Al Queda, Hezbolla, Castro, Chavez, taxes, health care solutions, climate change, clean energy, cap and trade, gay marriage, drugs, gun control, detainees, immigrants, economic stimulous and sex education. The only things Repubs don't fear are prayer and tax cuts, but even tax cuts lead to something else they do fear -- deficits.

Not all their concerns are without some justification, but a political philosophy of all fear all the time results in paralysis, not political leadership.

Posted by: jdnathan | April 28, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are not dead. All they have to do is wait until the green movement tries to ban meat in our diets (to save methane), and the price of electricity doubles and all you can by is a Prius. At that point, Republicans will win easily once again.

Posted by: george11 | April 28, 2009 1:32 PM

******************************************
Well, the Republicans may not be dead, but if your post is any indication, they have become the party of the floridly psychotic.

Sure, if your 3rd rate Philip K. Dick scenario comes true, say in the year 2929, the Republicans have a chance. But with supporters like you, I don't think they'll be around that long.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | April 28, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Good. Now maybe PA can finally kick the bastard out of office. he saw the samething every body else did. he was polling DOWN 20 points to Toomey in the Republican Primary. Damn what a good day for PA. Cya

Posted by: warhawk911 | April 28, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Many in third-parties say "good riddance" as well. Note that Independents (and even some Democrats) voted for McCain-Palin because they were the CONSERVATIVE choice!

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Another GREAT day to be an American Democrat!!!!! Who would have imagined that the Democratic Party was the group karl rove was referring to when he made his permanent majority party guarantee back in 2004. Turns out the puppet master was actually right about something. Thanks Karl!
I love it!

Posted by: dem4life1 | April 28, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the comments coming from Republicans posting here, the Republicans just don't get it. Their pathetic party will continue to shrink until one day it might just disappear altogether.

So keep painting yourselves into that ever shrinking corner, Republicans.

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | April 28, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

It would be irresponsible to remain in the GOP and by numbers alone to enable their standing in the way of the nation's business. WIth even the threat of filibuster now behind them, Democrats can simply brush the GOP aside and get to work.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 28, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

hahahahahahahahahaha. I'm so glad to see the republican party dying on the vine. No party deserves it more after all their incompetence and arrogance (see GW/ Chimpy). Good riddance.

Posted by: cmsatown | April 28, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

By the next election, the GOP is going to be about as relevant as the Whig Party. And they have only themselves to blame, going off the deep end like that.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | April 28, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing new, Spector has prove to b a RINO over many months. He has backed Obama and the Democrat on so many ocassions it is impossible to call him anything but a Democrat. He claims that the Republican party has strayede from its
principles, he is right. But he could have stayed the course and told the party that he would follow the party platform that the constitutents of his party beleived in. Insted he just played the polliticial party game and follows the piper. Bring on the Kool-Aid and have another drink He is helping to continue the destruction of all that made our country great by following a Socilist the the planned destruction of America. George Soris has told obamas what to say and what to do for so long he can only mimic what he is told. GOD save America

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | April 28, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Yippee! May the repugnican party continue to contract until it finally shrivels up and blows away in the hot wind. F them all. We won. It's payback time.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | April 28, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

That's right, Dan. It's just not as cool to be a Republican as it once was. You can stop propping up the Republicans now please and try to do some straight reporting.

Posted by: MadAsHell3 | April 28, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I remember Arlen Specter being a Democrat, this was when he was the district attorney of Philadelphia, so is this really a big surprise? or did I remember wrong?

Posted by: slackermom | April 28, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Repubs should worry, but not about Spector. Having turned his back on the party that elected him long ago, he realized there was no way he would ever make it through the primary as a repub. This gutless wimp, jumped ship to better his reelection chances, nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: trjn30 | April 28, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse


I'm going to say something I never thought I would say:

scrivener50 is off-topic and I hope the administrator of this web site removes his comment.

We've long gotten used to to snarky anti-semitic, racist remarks being casually dropped in to the comment area, but today scrivener50 took it to a new low.

Sad, what unemployment does to people.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | April 28, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the Republican Party is it's run by Boss Hogg and Sheriff Coletrane. Deep South politics might work in some up-mountain hill country, but not nationally or outside clan territory. The leadership decisions continue to be pathetic, if anything goes wrong it's always someone else's fault...who can argue with powerful morons?

Posted by: bob59 | April 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Dan mentions Republican slippage in the Mountain West as well as in the Northeast. Last September I was in Montana and went to the farmer's market in Livingston, which is a railroad crossroads town about 30 miles from Bozeman. Democrats had a table there handing out Obama literature and asking people if they were registered to vote. The Republicans had no presence. At that moment, I was certain the election was over. It's a harbinger of a massive shift, as Republicans increasing intransigence on social issues butts up against the prevailing Western attitude of "Do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt me and mine."

Posted by: jhpurdy | April 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

SPECTER--A PROFILE IN SELF ABSORBED COWARDICE

Our only regret is tht you were not KICKED out of the Republican Party.....

Posted by: JaxMax | April 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

SPECTER--A PROFILE IN SELF ABSORBED COWARDICE

Our only regret is tht you were not KICKED out of the Republican Party.....

Posted by: JaxMax | April 28, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are not dead. All they have to do is wait until the green movement tries to ban meat in our diets (to save methane), and the price of electricity doubles and all you can by is a Prius. At that point, Republicans will win easily once again.

Posted by: george11 | April 28, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

They deserve it. They have relentlessly picked on and attacked this guy, as they have nearly all moderates in their party.

Posted by: elh74 | April 28, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

f'em!

Posted by: jimfilyaw | April 28, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see he jumped the ship to NO-where.

Posted by: GBush08 | April 28, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I prefer that he work for the reconquista movement as a Democrat.

Posted by: hipshot | April 28, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"*Despite* their solid opposition to the president's economic and budgetary policies, Republicans in Congress have seen this trust quotient decline eight points since January."

No: BECAUSE OF their opposition, not despite it!

Posted by: tkinnama | April 28, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Republicans can not be woken up because they are intellectually dead...and they like it that way.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 28, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The following comment would not post to the New York Times' story about the Air Force One flyover "terror." Perhaps some fusion center operative took it literally. Maybe Sen. Specter can push for an investigation, since the Defense Department said today it's not reviewing the matter.


THAT BIZARRE, SADISTIC AIR FORCE ONE 9/11-ESQUE FLYOVER:

STUPIDITY -- OR A DEVIOUSLY CLEVER COVER STORY FOR A FOILED PLOT?


Think about it: "Terrorists" hijack the backup Air Force One. It's flown into a lower Manhattan office tower. Thousands perish. When it is revealed that Al Qaeda has struck again, the global war on terror resumes with a vengeance -- with the President who hoped to bring world peace unwittingly cast as the new "W."

But what if word of the "plot" leaked out?

Well... revert to the cover story. Go through with the fly-over (after giving local law enforcement a secret heads-up). When terrorized New Yorkers cry foul, claim it was just an ill-advised photo shoot. Make the "fall guy" a former secretary of the Army, the first Hispanic to serve in that capacity. Get him to "admit" culpability, and hope no one questions the irrationality of the explanation.

Of course, we all know that this is America, and something so Machiavellian, so malevolent, could never happen here. Never.

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 28, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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