Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter Makes It Official

Arlen Specter has finally admitted what the rest of us knew all along...that he was much closer ideologically to the center of the Democratic Party than he was to the center of the Republican Party. His move to switch parties, heralded by some as "courage" is simply cold, hard political calculation. He could not possibly win a Republican primary battle, and so he would be denied his sixth term.

Many interesting questions arise here. Specter says his party left him. He's probably right about that. The Republican Party has indeed gotten more conservative during his tenure as a Republican. But guess what? The Democratic Party has gotten more liberal than the party of Clinton! Specter was always a bit of a lib, but he loved being an iconoclast in the Republican Party, and he loved the spotlight it gave him.

So now he'll just be another run of the mill Democrat, consistently liberal and reliable. I can't wait to see the seniority battles that flow out of this one, though I imagine they had this all greased before the announcement.

I do fear for a loss of moderates in the Republican Party--but Arlen Specter was not a moderate, at least by my understanding of the term.

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