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2 comments   Listen   Print   article:271683:6::0
In the Media

article imageSen. Arlen Specter Defects To Dems, Causes GOP Internal Problems

By Can Tran
Apr 28, 2009 in Politics
2 more articles on this subject:
Apr 28, 2009 - Senator Arlen Specter to Switch Parties - 7 comments
On an interesting note, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is no longer a Republican. Now, he has changed his political affiliation to a Democrat. So far, Democrats are happy to have him.
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has made a move which could be considered a critical blow to the GOP as it tries to recover from the losses suffered during the 2008 Elections. Specter is considered a GOP ally to the Democrats in the United States Senate. He has been US senator for over twenty years. Specter was elected back in 1980.
In the US Senate, Specter’s seniority is 12th. For the longest time, Specter’s political affiliation was Republican. He is a moderate Republican that lends to lean towards the left on certain hot button issues. At the same time, he is conservative about issues such as 2nd Amendment Rights (a currently ongoing hot button topic as of late).
Specter dropped an interesting “bomb” on the GOP. He has announced plans to switch party affiliation. In that respect, Specter is planning to change his party affiliation to a Democrat. With that respect, the GOP will probably be one short of a senator let alone a senator.
In an article on BBC news, Specter explains that the GOP moved way to the right. In addition, he said that his views are more aligned with the Democrats. However, Specter still plans to take his moderate stance on the issues.
This could be considered a major score for the Democrats. This could be a major plus for United States President Barack Obama as tomorrow is the last day of his first one hundred days in office. In regards to the United States Senate, it would bring Democrats one step closer to the “Magic 60.”
What is the Magic 60? That’s the 60 votes needed to negate filibusters.
So far, it seems that Obama is happy to have Specter in the party. In an article in the New York Times, it seems unlikely that Specter will vote down the party line. The piece also has words from Specters in regards to “rolling back Presidential power.”
A Reuters article highlights some interesting stuff about Specter’s defection to the Democratic Party. It does imply that this move is a painful blow to the GOP. This article points out that Specter may have made the switch because he is up for reelection in 2010. He would be up against conservative Republican Pat Toomey. For reelection, if Specter remained a Republican, there would be much ammo to use against him.
The article also gives the implication that Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is also to blame for Specter leaving the GOP and joining the Democrats.
A brief AFP article explains that Specter will run for reelection in 2010 as a Democrat.
One can ask this: What will be the magnitude of this political fallout?
Also, what is the fate of Specter’s political career?
How will the reelection race turn out with Specter running as a Democrat instead of a Republican?
The GOP has wasted no time in attacking Specter in his move. It is confirmed in a Newsweek article. One such Republican attacking Specter is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. GOP Senator John Cornyn of Texas accuses Specter of trying to “save himself.” According to what the Reuters article explain, Cornyn does provide a valid case. Again, Specter is up for reelection in 2010.
In a Politico article, it explains that this is a sign of hostility within the GOP. It is pretty much moderates vs. the conservatives. In the article, moderate GOP Senators Olympia Snowe of Maine and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina give the implication that the GOP could be completely full of conservatives. Snowe and Graham are considered one of the few moderate Republicans in the party.
In regards to Specter’s defection, Snowe and Graham blamed the conservatives. Overall, this could be another sign of possible internal conflict within the GOP. With this turn of events, this could be an internal battle between moderates and conservatives. In regards to Specter's reelection bid, this is one race to carefully pay attention to.
article:271683:6::0
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