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Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter Changes to a Democrat

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I am mildly shocked. Thanks for posting this, Akuma. I look forward to the new direction this country is gonna take. Red Revival in 2010? ROTFL.



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This will make things interesting ...

Every political ideology is flawed, and when executed without strong opposition it tends to result in very negative outcomes for most people. The question isn’t "If" we will see negative outcomes from Washington being controlled by one party (and one ideology), its "When" ... As in "When will we start to see these outcomes?" and "When will the voters hold the Democrats accountable?"

Now, I could be wrong but I suspect that the answer to those questions really depends on when the Republican party will return to its small government roots ...



HappySqurriel said:

This will make things interesting ...

Every political ideology is flawed, and when executed without strong opposition it tends to result in very negative outcomes for most people. The question isn’t "If" we will see negative outcomes from Washington being controlled by one party (and one ideology), its "When" ... As in "When will we start to see these outcomes?" and "When will the voters hold the Democrats accountable?"

Now, I could be wrong but I suspect that the answer to those questions really depends on when the Republican party will return to its small government roots ...

The Goldwater family made if very hard by cremating Barry. No ressurection, no return to the roots.



HappySqurriel said:

This will make things interesting ...

Every political ideology is flawed, and when executed without strong opposition it tends to result in very negative outcomes for most people. The question isn’t "If" we will see negative outcomes from Washington being controlled by one party (and one ideology), its "When" ... As in "When will we start to see these outcomes?" and "When will the voters hold the Democrats accountable?"

Now, I could be wrong but I suspect that the answer to those questions really depends on when the Republican party will return to its small government roots ...

 

There's no real evidence that Americans prefer small government. They'll answer yes to a hypothetical, of course, but when it comes to cutting Social Security, Medicare, military and intelligence spending, or education, which account for about 70% of spending, they change their minds.

They don't even dislike discretionary spending - only when it's spent on other people. Ask them about financing infrastructure in another state, and they won't like it. But when the question is rephrased to include their own district, they're all for it.



HappySqurriel said:

This will make things interesting ...

Every political ideology is flawed, and when executed without strong opposition it tends to result in very negative outcomes for most people. The question isn’t "If" we will see negative outcomes from Washington being controlled by one party (and one ideology), its "When" ... As in "When will we start to see these outcomes?" and "When will the voters hold the Democrats accountable?"

Now, I could be wrong but I suspect that the answer to those questions really depends on when the Republican party will return to its small government roots ...

I agree with you.  A lot of it has to do with how much the party in power can control themselves.  Sometimes you don't even need a good ideology if you aren't really pushing one aggressively and aren't abusing your power.

Obviously, Democrats have not had this kind of power in a long time, so expecting them to move tepidly in the beginning is just foolish from anyone's standpoint.  And they have good reason to be aggressive now.  If you want to get the difficult things you want done, there is no better time than on the heels of just getting voted into office in an election that was a rout for the other party.

The real question is what the Democrats will do after they get the "big ticket" things done, which everyone, including the American public, expects them to go after.  A good parallel is how the Republicans handled themselves in Congress after they won back the majority in 1994.

 



We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.  The only thing that really worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. –Raoul Duke

It is hard to shed anything but crocodile tears over White House speechwriter Patrick Buchanan's tragic analysis of the Nixon debacle. "It's like Sisyphus," he said. "We rolled the rock all the way up the mountain...and it rolled right back down on us...."  Neither Sisyphus nor the commander of the Light Brigade nor Pat Buchanan had the time or any real inclination to question what they were doing...a martyr, to the bitter end, to a "flawed" cause and a narrow, atavistic concept of conservative politics that has done more damage to itself and the country in less than six years than its liberal enemies could have done in two or three decades. -Hunter S. Thompson

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Here is a great article by Olympia Snowe written today.  Contains a lot of useful information for the Democrats too if they want to keep power:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/opinion/29snowe.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

We Didn’t Have to Lose Arlen Specter

IT is disheartening and disconcerting, at the very least, that here we are today — almost exactly eight years after Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party — witnessing the departure of my good friend and fellow moderate Republican, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, for the Democratic Party. And the announcement of his switch was all the more painful because I believe it didn’t have to be this way.

When Senator Jeffords became an independent in 2001, I said it was a sad day for the Republicans, but it would be even sadder if we failed to confront and learn from the devaluation of diversity within the party that contributed to his defection. I also noted that we were far from the heady days of 1998, when Republicans were envisioning the possibility of a filibuster-proof 60-vote margin. (Recall that in the 2000 election, most pundits were shocked when Republicans lost five seats, resulting in a 50-50 Senate.)

I could have hardly imagined then that, in 2009, we would fondly reminisce about the time when we were disappointed to fall short of 60 votes in the Senate. Regrettably, we failed to learn the lessons of Jim Jeffords’s defection in 2001. To the contrary, we overreached in interpreting the results of the presidential election of 2004 as a mandate for the party. This resulted in the disastrous elections of 2006 and 2008, which combined for a total loss of 51 Republicans in the House and 13 in the Senate — with a corresponding shift of the Congressional majority and the White House to the Democrats.

It was as though beginning with Senator Jeffords’s decision, Republicans turned a blind eye to the iceberg under the surface, failing to undertake the re-evaluation of our inclusiveness as a party that could have forestalled many of the losses we have suffered.

It is true that being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of “Survivor” — you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you’re no longer welcome in the tribe. But it is truly a dangerous signal that a Republican senator of nearly three decades no longer felt able to remain in the party.

Senator Specter indicated that his decision was based on the political situation in Pennsylvania, where he faced a tough primary battle. In my view, the political environment that has made it inhospitable for a moderate Republican in Pennsylvania is a microcosm of a deeper, more pervasive problem that places our party in jeopardy nationwide.

I have said that, without question, we cannot prevail as a party without conservatives. But it is equally certain we cannot prevail in the future without moderates.

In that same vein, I am reminded of a briefing by a prominent Republican pollster after the 2004 election. He was asked what voter groups Republicans might be able to win over. He responded: women in general, married women with children, Hispanics, the middle class in general, and independents.

How well have we done as a party with these groups? Unfortunately, the answer is obvious from the results of the last two elections. We should be reaching out to these segments of our population — not de facto ceding them to the opposing party.

There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party. Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised land of governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.

It is for this reason that we should heed the words of President Ronald Reagan, who urged, “We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.” He continued, “As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”

I couldn’t agree more. We can’t continue to fold our philosophical tent into an umbrella under which only a select few are worthy to stand. Rather, we should view an expansion of diversity within the party as a triumph that will broaden our appeal. That is the political road map we must follow to victory.

Olympia Snowe is a Republican senator from Maine.



We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.  The only thing that really worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. –Raoul Duke

It is hard to shed anything but crocodile tears over White House speechwriter Patrick Buchanan's tragic analysis of the Nixon debacle. "It's like Sisyphus," he said. "We rolled the rock all the way up the mountain...and it rolled right back down on us...."  Neither Sisyphus nor the commander of the Light Brigade nor Pat Buchanan had the time or any real inclination to question what they were doing...a martyr, to the bitter end, to a "flawed" cause and a narrow, atavistic concept of conservative politics that has done more damage to itself and the country in less than six years than its liberal enemies could have done in two or three decades. -Hunter S. Thompson

Fiscal policy should be our primary focus. Social conservatism, while inherent in our blood, can lead to more losses. Also, the GOP will win the VA and NJ gubernatorial races this year.



If he stays Independent, this won't make too much of a difference. But it's great publicity for Democrats and bad publicity for Republicans. It's just more news about the Republican party shrinking into a regional party, and chasing out its own members. That's an image that the Republican party needs to fight, but they seem to be tripping over themselves trying to find out how.

They really need to get some diversity going on. Right now the Democratic party is the only party with Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, and a lesbian in Congress. Only one openly gay man has won a senate seat, and he's a Democrat too. (All other gay or bisexual Congressmen have been outed after their elections, including both Democrats and Republicans.) Democrats had the only Sikh b ack in the day. The majority of women in Congress are Democrats too.

It's no secret that the only demographic that Republicans totally dominate in is white men, and that with immigration and the changing religious landscape, that that demographic is shrinking while ALL other demographics are growing.

So uh.. why are Republicans chasing white moderate men out of their party?



The Ghost of RubangB said:
If he stays Independent, this won't make too much of a difference. But it's great publicity for Democrats and bad publicity for Republicans. It's just more news about the Republican party shrinking into a regional party, and chasing out its own members. That's an image that the Republican party needs to fight, but they seem to be tripping over themselves trying to find out how.

They really need to get some diversity going on. Right now the Democratic party is the only party with Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, and a lesbian in Congress. Only one openly gay man has won a senate seat, and he's a Democrat too. (All other gay or bisexual Congressmen have been outed after their elections, including both Democrats and Republicans.) Democrats had the only Sikh b ack in the day. The majority of women in Congress are Democrats too.

It's no secret that the only demographic that Republicans totally dominate in is white men, and that with immigration and the changing religious landscape, that that demographic is shrinking while ALL other demographics are growing.

So uh.. why are Republicans chasing white moderate men out of their party?

Bull.  We have former Hindu now Catholic Gov Piyush "Bobby" Jindal of Louisiana, Muslims, women, youth, tech-savvy, the first Vietnamese Senator Anh Cao (R-LA) and an black former Lt. Governor of the blue state of Maryland--Michael Steele as Chairman.  We need to get out and focus on fiscal policy more, imo.

 



If the republican party really does go down and aren't a real threat to the democrats anymore a splinter group will leave the democrats and take them over.

It happens everytime.

That group? You heard it here first....

Blacks/Hispanics.

Sounds hilarious... but it seems the most likely. I mean they do agree with the republicans on just about everything morals wise. Which is why Bush tried to court them by pushing his Illegal immigration plan. Which failed due to his own party.