Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter, Welcome Aboard!

The Republican “Big Tent” got a bit smaller today. The party managed to drive away Arlen Specter, who’s served as a Republican Senator for 29 years. Maybe alienating longtime members is a GOOD thing. The Republicans sure have been working at it.

It might take awhile for Arlen Specter to get used to his new surroundings; a new culture. So much to learn: a political opponent is not an “Enemy” who needs to be “Destroyed.” If somebody disagrees over a political issue, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this person burns American flags in his spare time and can’t wait for the next terrorist attack.

Democrats may not be any less petty or spiteful than Republicans. Joe Lieberman got called plenty of names when he voted with Republicans. But I don’t recall anyone accusing Lieberman of “hating America” or being “with the terrorists.”

On the other hand, Specter’s party switch has already been described as “a threat to the country” by Mitch “Still Searching For My Chin” McConnell.

People’s reactions to the party switch have been predictable. The Left is ecstatic. The Right is spewing out nicknames as fast as they can dream them up. Arlen Sphincter and Benedict Arlen are two of the more printable names I’ve seen on the Neanderthal end of the blogosphere.

But Arlen Specter’s switch is a symptom more than anything else. If the Republican Party doesn’t want to go the way of the Whigs and the Tories, they need to look at themselves and try to figure out why a high-ranking 29-year member of their party would defect to the other side.

The most visible (and LOUDEST) Republicans are basically a bunch of tiny-minded misogynistic bigoted assholes. If the party wants to be represented by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich, they’re headed for oblivion.

For the moment, it’s great to watch the Party of Bush-Cheney-Rove coming apart at the seams. But we need two viable parties. If the Democrats get too entrenched, they’ll end up just as corrupt and power-crazed as the Republicans were during Bush’s second term. And nobody will benefit from that.

Believe it or not, when the CIA was first created after World War II (it had a different name then), the loudest objections came from conservative Republicans. They were appalled at the thought of a government agency having that much power and secrecy. Sixty years later, look at what that party has mutated into.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Labels: ,


Anonymous Bee said...

I heard on NPR that Specter emigrated from the Dark Side mostly because in PA, he had a 70% approval rating with the dems, and a 39% approval ratings within his own party. That would be enough to make me say "screw you" and jump ship, too.

Specter...tough nut, that one. Man of the Magic Bullet, but like JR points out often, he did right by NIH. Someone else pointed out he had to get cancer himself before he gave a crap, but what the heck, at least he came around.

That's the difference between repubes and us dems...we dems tend to be a more forgiving group.

However, I may have accused Lieberman of hating america and being with the terrorists...

:) j/k.

April 28, 2009 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

For Specter to switch parties so easily and effortlessly proves there is no discernible difference between the tow. And while the GOP may have moved too far to the right, sadly, so have the Democrats.

April 28, 2009 at 5:52 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Specter was in imminent danger of being knocked off in a 2010 primary by his nemesis, a fringe-radical named Pat Toomey, whose campaign will be lavishly funded by radical-right groups.

This wasn't a matter of Specter setting his inner Democrat free. Count on him to vote with Republicans and Blue Dog Dems with nauseating regularity. This was about Specter keeping his seat and sticking it to a party he feels showed him no loyalty after all his years of being a safe vote.

April 28, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

I just don't recognize my adopted state anymore. TWO democrats as senators--it is just too wild.

In PA we all knew he was a Democrat anyway; I guess he waited until it became cool.

April 29, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

Specter will drift left; he's always been one to adjust himself to the mood of the day, and now will be no different. There are, and always have been, lines that he won't step across, but he'll adjust his general modus operandi to fit better with his new/old colleagues.

Anyone who says there is "no difference" in a Democratic political atmosphere vs. a Rushpublican one has been asleep for the last 8 years.

April 29, 2009 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I'm disappointed in Arlen. Where is the Pennsylvania For Specter party? What a chump.

April 29, 2009 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

Actually, SW does have a good point. Much of PA is Republican country and Spector is highly disliked there. Here in Philly we don't like him much either; I haven't forgotten all his votes on the Iraqi war, the funding, the extra funding and so on. I've been writing him or visiting his office since I moved here and he has yet to vote yes on anything I asked him to.

April 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: I'm sure political survival was Specter's motive. But that says something about the Republican Party; the party has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans have to become Democrats if they want to stay in office.

Lew: I think there's a difference between the 2 parties. It's true that both parties have moved to the right; mostly because the Republicans have pushed the envelope so far in that direction that the "center" has moved too.

SW: Specter's "inner Democrat" LOL. I'm not expecting him to vote with Democrats automatically, but I'm still glad he jumped ship. And there are even rumors that one of Maine's Senators might do the same thing. Even if that isn't true, I'm enjoying the spectacle of moderate sensible Republicans being driven out of the party by Rush O'Hannity.

Enemy: Pennsylvania is hard to categorize, politically. I'm from Pittsburgh originally (I was ten when we moved). I think a lot of swing states haven't gotten more liberal; they just haven't followed the Republican Party as it keeps stabbing rightward.

JR: I'm sure Specter will do whatever he has to do to survive politically. After 29 years in the Senate, his political instincts have to be pretty sharp. I'm glad he jumped ship, whatever way he ends of voting.

Randal: Joe Lieberman was a friend of mine. Senator Specter, you're no Joe Lieberman.

April 29, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

My favorite bit of comedy lately is listening to loudmouths like Hannity and Laura Ingraham pound their desks and claim the GOP should steer harder to the right.

They'll gladly sacrifice their party for ratings.

April 29, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J: Yup, that's definitely one of the funniest comedy bits out there. A close second is the comments section at rightwing blogs, where all the commenters try to be further to the right than everybody else.

"I think all Moslems should be burned at the stake!"

"That's too quick, you moonbat pussy! Crucify them, that's even more painful."

April 29, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

J. is right, the new GOP thing is to cut off its nose to spite its face!

Specter was probably getting increasingly tired of things like this:


April 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: So the Swine Flu epidemic is Obama's fault? Hmmm, I thought it was the fault of them damn Meskins, sneaking over our border and infecting decent Americans with their icky germs. That really is what some rightwing bloggers are saying.

April 29, 2009 at 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that Spector and Bob Dole grew up together in the same home town in Kansas?

Two things I've observed that seemed to change Spector's leanings.

One was the Anita Hill testimony. He took a lot of heat for his persistent grilling of her and many blame that on an increase in women legislators the following election year.

Second: He throw his hat in the primaries for president. He withdrew partially because he got thousands of pieces of Hate Mail from the right wing of his own party saying they could never support him.....because he is a Jew!

Up to then he had been a good Conservative and a good Republican but as we've all seen you can not do anything nationally in the Republican Party (dominated by hard line Christians) without the support of the Hard Right and they showed him, now matter what you do.."you are just another Jew!"

He seemed to moderate right after that!


Not to offend anyone of the Jewish faith but I'm showing that the Christian Right are the most anti-semantic in the country.

April 30, 2009 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

It is interesting for me to read your opinions and that of your commenters. As someone that hails from right of center, I would say that to us it feels like the country has become more radical left. I feel battered at every turn by the radical left media. And the world of blogging is especially full of vitriolic, hateful, condemning people who call republicans the most awful names. I, nor anyone I know, is a bigot, nor do we condone torture (as Nancy Pelosi et al did when they okayed waterboarding) and most of us do care about the economy and the environment.

PS - We've been called a lot of things but I'm pretty sure anti-SEMANTIC isn't one of them.

May 1, 2009 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

CaraBee: Well, judging by your blogs and Blogger Profile, you don't seem to be part of the Sean Hannity/Michele Malkin brigade. But I see lots of hatred coming from them, and there are some rightwing bloggers who are even worse.

It's too bad everything is so polarized. I personally don't pay much attention to most of the pundits, Left or Right. Michele Malkin's column appears in our small town paper once a week; other than that I see the occasional link or YouTube clip of Sean Hannity or Michele Bachman spewing out their drivel.

Who exactly is the "radical left media?"

May 1, 2009 at 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

November 12, 2009 at 4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 9, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home