GOP’s Swing Rightward Responsible For Specter Decision

In the Mother Jones article, How the Far Right Handed Dems a 60 Vote Majority, Jonathan Stein and Nick Baumann explain Spector’s political calculus that led to his party switch.  Nationally, and especially locally in Pennsylvania, the GOP is getting smaller and more virulently conservative.  Spector would have had to face far right opponent Pat Toomey.  Specter beat Toomey in 2004, but as the GOP has shifted further right, the chances of Specter repeating that win (especially given Specter’s support of Obama’s stimulus package) would have been quite slim.  Recognizing his thin chances in winning among the wingnuts was what prompted Specter’s statement: “I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.”

The ‘Pubs could win, if they’d just get more conservative.  It’s always won for them hasn’t it?

Iggy Donnelly

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11 Comments

Filed under Elections, Life Lessons, Republicans, Wingnuts!

11 responses to “GOP’s Swing Rightward Responsible For Specter Decision

  1. Let the Conservatives go down fighting reality — they’re going down no matter what. Have you ever seen the word ‘conservative’ on any ballot? Didn’t think so. Even if you had, it has a meaning different from the one it held for many good years before being hijacked by the right-wing nutjobs who want to legislate morality, and then expect adult voters to buy into that.

    Arlen Spector changed parties to avoid losing at the next election, but underlying that is the reason he was in danger of losing. That is because what is left of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania are only those right-wing nutjobs.

    If the Republican Party wants to remain a regional entity and continue losing outside that ever-decreasing region, they’re on the right track!

  2. Thunderchild

    The “tell” if you will, for me at least, was the selection and ensuing and CONTINUING love affair with Sarah Palin. That was the first real sign that the cons have decided that they are going to live in their own reality. This is because the party is now being driven by people who just cannot be wrong. They’ve got God or some godlike ego reaffirming them.

  3. “They’ve got God or some godlike ego reaffirming them.”

    Isn’t God speaking to and leading them? Haven’t I heard that?

    It is the Republican Party ‘cross to bear.’ They courted them, promised them actions on issues that mattered to them (of course didn’t deliver on those promises!) and now they can’t win with them and can’t win without them. Karma.

  4. g-stir

    I didn’t realize it, but Specter started out in politics as a Democrat. Given what has transpired during the last 8 years, it’s not entirely surprising he opted to switch back. For 79 years old, he has a lot to offer, IMHO.

  5. lilacluvr

    When all is said and done, how do you think the majority of Americans are going to feel about Specter changing parties?

    For most people that I know, it is no big deal. They are too worried about keeping their jobs, keeping their kids fed, clothed and in school.

    So when these Republicans are whining and throwing their hissy fits, it just makes them look even more pathetic than they do already – doesn’t it?

    But the proof will be in the pudding. If Obama can get Democrats and any Republicans willing to work with him to get this economy stabilized, health care reform, energy independence, infrastructure and schools built or repaired, then I think all those bellowing the Radical Righties are doing will only help cement their fate as the Party of Nowhere.

  6. I agree, Lilac! The only way the Republican Party can come out of this deep hole they’ve dug for themselves is if President Obama fails. His failure means America fails by default. I have great confidence President Obama won’t let that happen without making every effort to prevent it!

    If we continue this deep economic recession for too much longer, then and only then will the confidence a majority of Americans have in Obama diminish. If things turn around, even if it’s slowly, I think President Obama and the Democratic Party will get the credit. Especially since the Republicans haven’t offered any ideas or solutions.

    My biggest question is how long will Americans be patient and supportive? My crystal ball says maybe until this fall / winter. I think if significant improvements and strong signs of recovery aren’t seen and felt within the next six months, we will see a lot more Americans who are plain ole angry. If we get to that point, I’m afraid we’ll have violence in our streets, and a situation that won’t be beneficial for anyone. I know this sounds both pessimistic and a little conspiratorial, but Americans aren’t patient people — we’re spoiled and well armed.

    As for how the majority of Americans will see Spector changing parties — I think most will see it as his way of staying in the game. This change increases his chances of another four years and by that time he will know whether its time to announce his retirement or not. That announcement will depend on how his chances for reelection look. He had already said he was up for reelection this time so he had to do what it took to stay viable. He wasn’t going to even get to the general election without this change to the Democratic Party.

  7. Bad Biker

    Sarah Palin: She is the “hot ticket” for Republicans, but do you really think that she would be held is such high esteem if she were flat-chested, had a big ass and saggy jowls?

    I think not.

    I will admit that she is an attractive woman (to a guy of my age – but Halle Berry is still my choice) but looks are meaningless when it comes to presidential politics.

    I HOPE and PRAY that she wins the GOP nomination in 2012.

    The election would make the Reagan – Carter vote look like a draw.

    Go, Sarah, go!!!!!!!!

  8. iggydonnelly

    Christine Todd Whitman’s unintended response to this thread. It is entitled “It’s still my Party [and, I’ll cry if I want to]” (the bracketed addition is mine, of course):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/opinion/30whitman.html?ref=opinion

  9. Meghan McCain also penned a response.

  10. Zippy

    I think it’s been pointed pretty well elsewhere what their problem is: the coalition-of-convenience that was forged in the the late 70s (held together largely through deceit and chicanery) is falling apart. The twice-born don’t command as large a segment as they once did (see the young people), and with the wholesale collapse of the economy, the wholesale greedheads no longer hold as much power over public opinion as they did (including the twice born, many of whom are re-reading the words of that carpenter guy, and wondering why they crawled in bed with such icky people in the first place–oh yeah, that’s right: Bible-based bigotry).

    The only semi-effective tool they’ve got left is faux libertarianism (my money and my guns, dammit!) which just ain’t selling hard these days. And, ironically, the same McCarthyist tools they used to consolidate their power during the Bush years are now working against them! Didn’t someone note elsewhere that if the purity-purges continue, the next GOP convention will held at a booth at Denny’s?

    The GOP, for now, is a dead elephant, and the Democratic party is motivated and more-or-less united toward some compelling goals (albeit is a less bold manner than I’d like).

    What’s unknown is what will happen after the economy improves.

  11. “…if the purity-purges continue, the next GOP convention will held at a booth at Denny’s.”

    No doubt that Denny’s will be located in Kansas! I know you’ve been gone a few years, Zippy, but you’ve kept up and surely recognize Kansas has way more than our fair share of those who consider themselves the most pure.