Tuesday, April 28, 2009

PA to have 2 Democratic Senators as of later today, Democrats to have even bigger less filibuster-prone majority!

Wowzers... so PA has played big this year... the Phillies won the World Series, the Steelers the Superbowl... the Sixers and Flyers made the playoffs (at least I think the Flyers did, right?) but no sports action can quite rival what's going on in Washington today thanks to the Keystone State. With almost 30 years of service in the Senate, stalwart independent/moderate Republican Arlen Specter is announcing later today that he will switch party affiliations to join the majority and (once the whole Minnesota debacle is settled) provide a filibuster-proof margin to the Democrats in the US Senate.

Now, Specter has been facing up with the prospects of a concerted challenge from right-wingers in PA come the next round of elections, and while he enjoys a high degree of popularity back home the state laws are such that only registered Republicans can vote in their party's primary for the Senate seat. If Specter lost the Republican primary he would not be able to run as an independent like Lieberman did up here in CT... so there certainly is some smart political calculus behind the decision. Anyway, this is a pretty monumental day in politics, PA state politics and a big day for Democratic priorities up on Capital Hill!
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans. - from a statement released by Specter today
Thanks, Arlen!

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