Still thinking Specter

Specter says that the Republican party had changed. Fair enough. But the guy is 79 years old and has been in the Senate since 1980. Why not just retire?

I know, I know. Power. He says its for the people of Pennsylvania. Well, I just hope my state has a senior Senator when the immortality treatments come along.

Chew on this. Specter is the ranking member on the judiciary committee. Suppose he doesn't get that chairmanship. What does he get? Anything? Nothing??

Discussion of the defection's impact on the filibuster seems to be missing the point a little bit. Specter made it clear that he's still not obligated to vote for cloture. So the difference isn't that there can't be a filibuster.

The difference is that now a filibuster requires that Republicans talk to Democrats.

The Republicans are clearly the losers here, but that doesn't mean that the Democrats are the winners. The main winners, I think, are the self-styled moderates. Now the McCain-Lieberman gang of n are the defacto holders of the filibuster card.

Just saying.

Looking to 2010, the latest scuttlebutt is that Tom Ridge is nosing around and thinking about jumping into the race. Ridge is a moderate pro-choice Republican like Specter, but he was a popular enough governor and he's got some blood on his knuckles from his time at DHS. Given the presence of blood and the lack of baggage, you'd have to like his chances in the Republican primary. And then it's Ridge versus Specter in the general and a likely pick-up for the Democrats becomes a toss-up or worse. Wouldn't that just beat all?

All and still, as things stand it's a lost seat and the wingnuts don't seem too upset about it. They seem to prefer ideological purity, thinking that voters need to be assured that Republicans hew to a narrow ideological line.

Not an unreasonable view, if you don't mind being in the minority.

And maybe they don't.

It has occurred to me, while reading those awful torture memos, that in the Republican worldview control of the Executive Branch looms a lot larger than a Senate seat hear or there. And who's to say that being on the outs in Congress isn't going to give the next Republican candidate for President a leg up? It says here that Palin, at least, will be running against Washington.

Yeah, yeah, I should be a good Democrat and be happy. It's just that I don't much like Specter, never have, and never plan to.

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