Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Specter is haunting the Democratic party...

A few thoughts on today's volte-face by He of the Dangling Jowls:

* Specter's justification: "I am not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate — not prepared to have that record decided by that jury." Ergo, he will dissolve the people and elect a new one!

* I hope the Democrats of Pennsylvania are happy with having their political rights taken away from them, because Washington is going to serve them up a big, heaping helping of Arlen on the primary ticket, whether they like it or not. My heart goes out to actual progressives in PA who imagine they can win this thing.

* The idea that the Republican Party as an institution is "less welcoming" to a moderate now than in 1966 is an interesting one. Standing liver-spotted cheek-to-waddle-throated jowl with Jesse Helms for 40 years is apparently not that hard, while almost losing your Senate seat to Pat Toomey getting into trouble with your party over voting on a stimulus bill is.

* On the other hand, it may perfectly well be true that the Republican base is now willing to vote only for bat-shit crazy people. While it is their right to do so, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for such a strategy to succeed.

* It would have been nice if, in the wake of an enormous Democratic win and a progressive upsurge, the left of the Democratic Party had been strengthened to the point of scaring away an Arlen Specter. But perhaps that day will still come, after the Democrats have availed themselves of their new 60-seat majority, and I can look back on this period as a distasteful but useful stepping stone.


Blogger The Sheriff said...

goddamn it i came up with this title earlier today. It was the best of about seven puns i could think of on the subject.

11:25 PM  
Blogger scantron said...

If it makes you feel any better, I thought of you.

Hey, new Casiotone for the Painfully Alone album!

1:02 AM  
Blogger Robot said...

Hopefully it scares the bejesus out of Snowe and Collins, too. The Party of Bachmann is sure in a sorry state!

11:39 AM  
Blogger scantron said...

Who's going to scare them? The Republican base?

Snowe has a piece in the NYT today, which I expect you saw.

This part was puzzling to me:

"In my view, the political environment that has made it inhospitable for a moderate Republican in Pennsylvania is a microcosm of a deeper, more pervasive problem that places our party in jeopardy nationwide."

Now certainly Republican elites have stoked these fires for all they're worth and deserve much of the blame. On the other hand, some VOTERS in a STATE seem to be expressing the VIEW that they want a different, more right-wing candidate. How and to what extent the Republican elite are responsible for this new predilection is unknown to me, and it could in fact be very extensive, but it's interesting that the national conversation on this issue just assumes that it's ultimately up to them who their voters elect. (The Lamont situation providing a parallel.) The media assumes that the direction of causality is from party bosses to masses; maybe this is so obvious that it hasn't been remarked on.

8:57 PM  

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