It’s all Arlen today. Our newest Democrat. I know that not every progressive is sure that Arlen Specter’s party switch is something to celebrate. I’m on the side of it being a huge plus for a couple of reasons. Oh, I know he’s going to be a lousy Democrat by my standards. But that isn’t always everything.
There is, of course, the obvious. He’s not just joining the Democrats – he’s leaving the Republicans. It’s sweet, no question. But it’s also an important kick in the ass. I’m all for a more moderate GOP. It would be a lot less scary to lose an election if it was the party of Rockefeller that did the winning. Instead it’s the John Birch Society. It’s Joe McCarthy apologists and religious extremists. It’s more like a radical right wing organization than a major political party. Since they will no longer support their moderates, it’s far better that their moderates give up supporting them. At this point it’s just enabling.
Then of course, there’s the voting. He didn’t have to tell us that he won’t be the automatic 60th vote. That’s obvious. Even if he was going to vote our way all the time there’s still Ben Nelson and other blue dogs to contend with. While I’m sure that other Democrats who’ve been considering a run for Specter’s seat in 2010 would be better for the Democratic agenda, it’s not 2010 yet and there’s a lot of important stuff coming up before that election. Better to have Specter thinking about the general election voters than Republican primary voters.
Does anyone think it’s time to put the Republican Party on the endangered species list?