Apparently if Dick Cheney decides he has a better shot at getting back into power by becoming a Democrat, what with the Pubs being avoided by us plebian voters like an envelope of anthrax, Harry Reid would welcome him into the fold and offer him the Chair of the Intelligence Committee. You think I’m kidding?
In his press conference, Specter said he would retain seniority inside the Democratic Party and would therefore be likely to possibly earn a committee chairmanship in the next Congress. Harry Reid seems to have given up way too much to earn Specter’s place in the caucus…
That’s dday at Hullabaloo and I mean no disrespect when I reply, “No shit Sherlock”. Glenn Greenwald sums up the mixed reaction over here in the Land Formerly Known as Reality-Based fairly succinctly.
Democrats will understandably celebrate today’s announcement, but beyond the questions of raw political power, it is mystifying why they would want to build their majority by embracing politicians who reject most of their ostensible views.
First, “understandably” doesn’t exactly fit the second half of the question. What’s “understandable” about gaining a Dem who will vote with the other BD’s who will in turn vote with the GOP everybody hates and thought they deballed with the election? What’s to “celebrate”? Following Joe Lieberman’s lead, Reid seems to have asked nothing at all in exchange for letting Arlen into the Only Game In Town. He flat-out told Reid (and everyone else) that he wouldn’t vote for EFCA, and that was after Reid said he couldn’t switch unless he did.
Meanwhile David Sirota remembers a few things, like Specter’s never exactly been a GOP “maverick”, whatever his press toady is telling us today.
Since I was a kid growing up outside of Philadelphia, he was a guy who always seemed to be on the political stage at all times, and most often seemed to be doing bad things. The best you could say about him was that he wasn’t as bad as his heinously awful Republican colleagues – but that’s not saying much.
The idea of Specter running in a Democratic primary is really crazy…
Which hasn’t stopped Lefties from celebrating.
If Al Franken is actually ever sworn in as Senator in Minnesota, Specter’s switch will give Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats. Woot!
Woot! indeed. Ezra Klein is a bit more stolid but just as certain.
The number 60 doesn’t assure 60 votes on any particular priority, but it’s a tremendous psychological advantage. It means that there are 60 votes with a baseline incentive to see a successful Democratic Party rather than an unsuccessful Democratic Party. There are 60 senators, in other words, who are free from the incentive structure of the minority.
Like with Southern Democrats switching to become conservative Republicans, Northern Republicans often prove to be fairly liberal Democrats. Jim Jeffords is a good example of this. So once Specter actually comes on-board, he may be a much more reliable vote than someone like, say, Ben Nelson.
The Wishful Thinking here is so thick you couldn’t cut it with a chain saw. Even dday, who seems the least fooled by the folderol, thinks it will at least be entertaining.
He also announced that he would oppose President Obama’s nominee for the Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen. He may have an emphasis on some other issues, but basically he’s going to be the same, probably demanding certain changes on key legislation to befit his moderate heart before invoking cloture. For instance, he may have to make some grand compromise on Employee Free Choice in order to show his bona fides to labor and a Democratic primary electorate. But whether he guts legislation from the Republican or Democratic side of the aisle, Washington will continue to revere him. Hell, Obama said today he’d campaign for him.
…On the bright side, it is fun to watch Republicans go insane at this news.
If the Democrat party will take Joe Lieberman back after the bullshit he pulled on Lamont and the entire state of Connecticut and then turn around and accept Arlen Specter as a Dem, then there is no Democratic Party any more. The one, the only party is being run by right-wing conservatives somewhat less extreme, fanatic, and just plain nuts than the Movement Conservative GOP but who have basically the same agenda, only slightly softened. IOW, we’ve been taken over, election or no election, by the Republicans we just overwhelmingly said we didn’t want.
And we’re celebrating??? Why, for dawg’s sake? Some mythical majority that will never materialize unless it’s far enough Right for Joe and Arly?
Is there anybody so far to the Right that Harry Reid and the Blue Dogs would NOT accept them with open arms? Like this:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Democrat-turned-Independent Democrat, Connecticut) put out this statement welcoming Sen. Arlen Specter (Republican-turned-Democrat, Pennsylvania) to the Dem caucus:
“I enthusiastically welcome my good friend Arlen Specter into the Democratic caucus. It will be very good to have the company of yet another independent minded Democrat in the caucus!
Hey, Rush! Play your cards right and in a few years you’ll be running both parties.