Tuesday, April 28, 2009


That's the first thing I thought when I was gobsmacked by this:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

June? Forget June. Absent a full-court press by the Democratic Party -- and I mean one that includes the president -- Al Franken will not be seated (as the 60th Democratic senator) before the 2010 elections. The GOP hasn't begun to get lawyered up on this -- I don't know how they're going to do it, but they'll find a way. Oh, and expect a full-court press in the court of public opinion on a national basis -- by which I mean, expect to suddenly start hearing from every blowhard on Fox News that every brown-skinned Franken voter is an illegal alien Somali terrorist registered by ACORN as Donald Duck.

I don't care if all the GOP arguments are specious -- they'll be relentless, and the intimations of sinister doings will increase. And it doesn't really matter if they work on the general public, because there are a hell of a lot of judges on the federal bench appointed by Republican presidents.

And yes, all this is despite the fact that, as Specter says (and we know he means it):

I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture.


UPDATE: I see that Atrios is speculating about the possibility of a Democratic primary challenger for Specter. Um, good luck with that. Quinnipiac poll, March 25, 2009 (emphasis mine):

Voters approve 52 - 33 percent of the job Specter is doing, with a 71 - 16 percent positive score from Democrats and a 41 - 37 percent boost from independent voters, off-setting a 52 - 36 percent disapproval from Republicans.

Gee, I can't imagine why a guy would switch parties under those conditions, can you?


UPDATE: Oh, and just in case Specter doesn't have the Democratic nomination in the bag already, do you think possibly having two primary challengers will seal the deal for him? I'm not saying this with any joy; I'm just saying, um, game over.

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