Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Democrats Are One Step Closer To A 60-Seat Majority In The Senate

(Guest posted by JFein from Fire Andy Reid Now!)

Assuming that the reason for my substitution today is the same as all the others, JC is watching the WFCs take on the Washington Natinals at Citizens Bank Park tonight. And while I am sure Keith will cover it on tonight's Countdown (I'll try my hardest to be here for the 8:00 live blog, although you'll have to excuse me if I miss something as I will be toggling between the Sixers and watching streams of the 2 NHL game 7's), I wanted to break it to you personally the HUGE story of the day and that is the defection of PA Senator Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party.
From Reuters.

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter abandoned the Republican Party for President Barack Obama's Democrats on Tuesday, putting them within reach of a 60-seat majority that could give them absolute control of the Senate.

"This is a painful decision," Specter told reporters of the stunning decision which boosted his 2010 re-election chances to a sixth six-year term by sidestepping a tough challenge in the Republican primary from conservative Pat Toomey.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promptly welcomed Specter, 79, into the ranks of Democrats, who together with him now control 59 seats in the 100-member Senate. Democrats will reach 60 if they hold on to a contested Minnesota Senate race.

A 60-vote majority would be enough to override Republican procedural hurdles and muscle through key parts of Obama's agenda, including measures to provide health insurance to all Americans and combat global warming while moving the nation toward energy independence.

The last time either party held 60 Senate seats was in 1978, when the Democrats had 61. Democrat Al Franken, who won the vote tally in Minnesota, would be the 60th but Republican incumbent Norm Coleman is challenging the count in court.

"Since my election in 1980 ... the Republican Party has moved far to the right," Specter said in a statement explaining his decision. "I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."

Talk about shocking! And now a 60-seat majority rests in the hands of the courts if Al Franken gets admitted into the Senate, but alas, Norm Coleman just will not give up the fight.

Assuming that Specter survived the Republican primary in 2010, I would have voted for him in the general election as a Republican. I've always really liked him as a moderate Republican. And I will obviously still vote for him as a Democrat (and I can vote for him in the primaries now as well because I'm a registered Democrat) for I do not think that he will change his idealogy and even though several political talking heads will try to spin it as absolute control, that may not necessarily be the case as Specter will most likely now be more or less known as a moderate Democrat instead of a moderate Republican. And chances are, you can thank George Bush (or as JC calls him, Adolph XLIII; I'll try to stay away from his nicknames in order to avoid being billed for them on a later date) for this, for it is him and his far-right administation which forced the rest of the party to be far-right that has ultimately ran a once great political party straight into the toilet.

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