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Arlen Specter just switched to the Democratic Party

 
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 04:47 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Parties have nothing to do with the constitution and in no place in it does it address the subject.

Most of the founding fathers was unhappy when the first parties was created


that is rather besides the point, except that by your own admission the Constitution does not specifically address this issue. The question on the table is whether switching parties after one is elected is breaking faith with the voters who put them in office, and if so is this ethically bad enough behaviour that removal from office under existing rights for Congress to remove members on ethics grounds would pass Supreme Court scrutiny.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 04:50 pm
@hawkeye10,
Well as this had happen many times in the history of the country and no one had been thrown out as a result I would said the answer on it face is hell no.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 05:07 pm
Quote:
What Specter's switch says about him, the Democrats and our political spectrum
(updated below - Update II)

I just contributed my thoughts on Arlen Specter's party switch to the New York Times' "Room for Debate" segment, so I'll post the link to that once that is available (see Update II), but for the moment -- and since this, presumably, is what many people want to discuss -- I'll note a few brief points:

(1) The idea that Specter is a "liberal" Republican or even a "moderate" reflects how far to the Right both the GOP and our overall political spectrum has shifted.

Consider Specter’s most significant votes over the last eight years, ones cast in favor of such definitive right-wing measures as: the war on Iraq, the Military Commissions Act, Patriot Act renewal, confirmation of virtually every controversial Bush appointee, retroactive telecom immunity, warrantless eavesdropping expansions, and Bush tax cuts (several times). Time and again during the Bush era, Specter stood with Republicans on the most controversial and consequential issues.

(2) Democrats will understandably celebrate today’s announcement, but beyond the questions of raw political power, it is mystifying why they would want to build their majority by embracing politicians who reject most of their ostensible views.

Reports today suggest that Democratic officials promised Specter that the party establishment would support him, rather than a real Democrat, in a primary. If true, few events more vividly illustrate the complete lack of core beliefs of Democratic leaders, as well as the rapidly diminishing differences between the parties. Why would Democrats want a full-blooded Republican representing them in the blue state of Pennsylvania? Specter is highly likely to reprise the Joe Lieberman role for Democrats: a “Democrat” who leads the way in criticizing and blocking Democratic initiatives, forcing the party still further towards Republican policies.

(3) Arlen Specter is one of the worst, most soul-less, most belief-free individuals in politics. The moment most vividly illustrating what Specter is: prior to the vote on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, he went to the floor of the Senate and said what the bill "seeks to do is set back basic rights by some 900 years" and is "patently unconstitutional on its face." He then proceeded to vote YES on the bill's passage.

(4) Today is the best day to watch Fox News since the election -- mass grieving flavored by impotent bitterness.



UPDATE: In his Press Conference, Specter just reiterated that he opposes the nomination of one of Obama's few truly excellent nominees: Dawn Johnsen as OLC Chief. What a great Democrat Specter will be. Specter also just detailed how key Democratic officials promised to support him and raise money for him in the 2010 election if he switched, so now Democrats -- Harry Reid and the rest -- are committed to keeping him in power for another 8 years, committed to keeping the Pennsylvania Senate seat in the hands of Arlen Specter.

Specter is also complaining incessently about the fact that Lieberman lost his primary and Specter only won his 2004 primary by 1%. This apparently demonstrates all sorts of bad things about our political process. They really do believe that they are divinely entitled to keep their seats forever, and anything which threatens that is intrinsically illegitimate and wrong.




http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/28/specter/index.html
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 05:15 pm
@hawkeye10,
Hawkeye10 I take it you are somewhat annoy over Mr. Specter switching parties?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 05:19 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Hawkeye10 I take it you are somewhat annoy over Mr. Specter switching parties


ANY switching of a seated representative. My hope is that every single person who pulls this stunt will forever more be unelectable to any office. We need to discourage the practice, it is bad for democracy.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 05:37 pm
@hawkeye10,
Why is it bad for democracy?

Our system of government is base far less on parties then the english system and people even in that system from time to time change parties or even form break away parties for that matter.

The gentleman will be up for election in less then two years and if the people of PA are unhappy with him the matter will be address then.

My money is on the side of him being relected as a democrate by the people of PA.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 05:56 pm
@BillRM,
There are two teams, operatives work for one or the other not both, legislation is moved by one of the teams not by individuals. A sitting Congressmen signed up for a team, they were elected based upon the team they said that they belonged to, there should be no right to join the opposition without voter approval.

How do you know that Specter will face the voters in any meaningful way? The state is overwhelmingly Democratic, and the Democrats have promised Specter that he can have the Democratic nomination. This means that they will not put up against him anyone good, nor will they allow their wealthy donors to finance any democrat who would oppose Specter. If there is not a rebellion in the ranks the choice the state voters will face is Specter or else the conservative Republican option. For any Liberal or moderate this is no choice at all.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 06:43 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Love it love it love it. Politics hasn't made me this happy in a while.

Now let's get some **** DONE!
ehBeth
 
  6  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 07:10 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
How do you know that Specter will face the voters in any meaningful way? The state is overwhelmingly Democratic


if the state is overwhelmingly Democratic, the voters were already voting for Specter the person - not Specter the Republican

good luck arguing both sides of the argument
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 05:24 am
@hawkeye10,
Hawkeyes10 I do not mean to hurt your feelings but you seem to have a very simple and almost child like viewpoint of our political system.

We are not talking about football teams here and the voters for the most part vote for the person not the label of his party.

In the case we are now talking about it was not he who abandon the party but the party who became far more right wing as it membership decreased over the last few years and abandon him.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 10:04 am
@sozobe,
Specter the Defector
By David S. Broder
Washington Post
Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's been more than four decades since Arlen Specter, senator from Pennsylvania, earned the nickname "Specter the Defector." With his decision this week to leave the Republican Party, he confirmed that it is indeed an accurate description of his political character.

I was a kid reporter for the New York Times back in 1965, when Specter's flip-flopping first attracted attention, and the report I filed recounts the circumstances that led to his unflattering nickname.

Specter, then a Democrat, had been an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, and he harbored an ambition to run against his lackluster boss, James Crumlish. The Democratic bosses of Philadelphia were not encouraging Specter because, as one of them told me, "We don't want another young Tom Dewey," the reform-minded New York prosecutor who launched himself into the governorship and two presidential nominations by sending a string of prominent officeholders of both parties off to jail.

So Specter, with the encouragement of such prominent Pennsylvania Republicans as Sen. Hugh Scott and Gov. William Scranton, said he would run against Crumlish on the GOP ticket. To hedge his bets, and to help himself gain Democratic votes, he waited until he won the race to change his party registration.

Over the decades since, Specter has become one of the senior Republican senators and the best Republican vote-getter in Pennsylvania. But his frequent defections from GOP orthodoxy, not just on abortion but also on labor issues, taxes and spending, have made him vulnerable to challenge in the state's Republican primary.

Former representative Pat Toomey, a right-wing ideologue, came close to upsetting Specter in the 2004 primary, and next year, Toomey looked to be a better-than-even-money bet to knock off the incumbent.

On one level, Specter's decision is symptomatic of the narrowing of the GOP spectrum, a sign of the increasing dominance of that shrunken party by its most conservative, Southern-accented members. There are no Republican House members left in New England. A traditionally Republican House seat in Upstate New York has flipped to the Democrats, and both coasts, the Southwest and the upper Midwest are increasingly voting for Democrats.

That is why Republicans have lost their majority and their veto power over legislation in the House and why they may soon lose the ability to filibuster and delay Democratic measures in the Senate, after Specter's switch and once Al Franken finally claims the Minnesota seat.

But much as Specter's decision reflects an increasingly serious weakness in the Republican Party, there is no escaping the fact that it is also an opportunistic move by one of the most opportunistic politicians of modern times.

The one consistency in the history of Arlen Specter has been his willingness to do whatever will best protect and advance the career of Arlen Specter.

In 2004, when some in the GOP caucus challenged his elevation to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Specter assured them that he would not use the post to block any of President Bush's Supreme Court nominees. And despite his sometimes liberal record, he voted for both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

Just a few weeks ago, when he was still calculating how he might survive a Republican primary against Toomey, he announced that -- despite his friendship with labor -- he would not support the so-called card check legislation that is the No. 1 priority of the unions.

This is the man who now has the strongest claim upon the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania.

Specter has been welcomed to the Democratic Party by President Obama and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, the most influential Democrat in Harrisburg. That makes it unlikely that Specter will face any serious challenge in next year's Senate primary. And, if his health holds up, he will be a strong favorite against Toomey in the November election.

So, once again, Specter is likely to reap political rewards from his maneuvering. But the Democrats should be open-eyed about what they are gaining from his return to his original political home.

Specter's history shouts the lesson that he will stick with you only as long as it serves his own interests -- and not a day longer.

BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 10:50 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Sorry BumbeeBoggie but I am sure all this information was known to the voters for decades.

They are the ones who place him in office and kept him in office and I will bet a large sum that they will re-elect the man.

Now as far as going aganist the right wing on aborton ect that is the reason that the party is slowly dying as if you are not humdred percent for the far fringe then you are no welcome.

It is amusing after telling people who does not follow the line that they are not welcome you are crying when they do leave!
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 05:46 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Hawkeyes10 I do not mean to hurt your feelings but you seem to have a very simple and almost child like viewpoint of our political system.

We are not talking about football teams here and the voters for the most part vote for the person not the label of his party.

I suggest that your understanding of politics is overly colored by high school civics class myth. In the real world Washington in my lifetime has worked (and not worked) by way off the two parties are constantly challenging each other, and that to them the game between themselves has been more important than Americas best interest. What you take as my child like view is actually a much more sophisticated and realistic appraisal of how politics works then yours is.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 10:01 am
@BillRM,
Arlen Specter is probably the most arrogant man in the Senate. I've never liked his personality.

I would like to see him defeated by a Democrat in the 2010 primary and general election who will support the Obama agenda.

BBB

BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 10:16 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Sam Stein [email protected]
Dean, Carville Warn Specter: Shape Up Or Face Primary stumble

Less than a week into his tenure as a Democrat and Sen. Arlen Specter is already stepping sharply on the toes of party elders. Key Democratic figures warned on Monday that their newly minted colleague, despite having the backing of the White House, could face a tough primary challenge should he continue to oppose key tenets of the party's agenda.

"I'm pleased that he saw the light and decided he would be a better fit for the Democratic Party and I think you have to allow for his political views to evolve," said former DNC chairman Howard Dean in an interview with the Huffington Post. "But he won't win the Democratic primary by taking the position that you should not have [the Employee Free Choice Act] or a public option for health insurance... If he takes these kinds of views, of course there is going to be a Democratic primary."

In a separate interview with the Huffington Post, Democratic strategist James Carville was equally sour on Specter's recent party switch, calling the defection a potential "major event in terms of how the Senate conducts its business," but "a relatively minor event in political history."

"[Specter] was the least reliable Republican. So he will just switch to become the least reliable Democrat," said the longtime Clinton confidant and author of the upcoming book, "40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation." "I wouldn't try to make much more out of it than the political survivor comes up with one more act in a long running play of political survival... The one thing I will give him is I will give him some points for candor for being so upfront about [his switch]."

"I'm not sure this is going to have a great ending," added Carville, who has worked extensively in Pennsylvania politics. "He could get primaried, you know... If [Rep. Joe] Sestak runs, [Specter] will have to fight."

The remarks come a day after Specter, appearing on Meet the Press, insisted that he had not pledged to be a "loyal Democrat" as a pre-requisite for switching party affiliations. He also restated his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, which he came out against while still a Republican, and said he would not support a public option for health care insurance as part of a reform package.

Specter's position on the former issue is shaping up to be the linchpin to whether the labor community would support him in a Democratic primary. And on Monday, a major official with the AFL-CIO warned that if the Senator didn't change his view on the legislation (perhaps, in the form of a compromise bill) he wouldn't get the union's support.

"Those decisions will be made by people in the state, and our members in the state know who will stand with them," Richard Trumka, the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, told ABC's Top Line. "And if Arlen Specter -- he stood with them in the past -- if he continues to stand with them, they'll support him. If he doesn't, they won't support him."

Meanwhile, another union official, in a conversation with the Huffington Post, noted that " both AFSCME and Teamsters endorsed Tom Ridge over the Democrat in [the gubernatorial race in] 1998," pointing to the recent discussion of Ridge putting his hat in the ring for the 2010 Republican senatorial nomination. "Union support for Ridge is not unprecedented in the state," the official added.

As it stands now, Specter's chance to be the Democratic nominee in that race seems relatively solid. The White House has committed itself to campaigning with and raising funds for the Senate veteran. And his poll numbers against Pat Toomey -- the only Republican candidate to official in the race -- are rock solid.

That said, in his interview with the Huffington Post, Howard Dean scoffed at the notion that other Democrats in Pennsylvania will cede the race to Specter if they believe he is vulnerable.

"You don't clear the field in a place like Pennsylvania," said the former Vermont Governor. "You only clear the field by merit. Pennsylvania is too big to have some of these people put your arm round you and say it is not the right time.... and labor is a powerful force in that state."
0 Replies
 
 

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