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Archive for Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Specter’s switch may make Dems filibuster-proof

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., speaks at a news conference on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, in Washington. Specter switched parties with a suddenness that stunned the Senate, a moderate's defection that left Democrats one seat shy of a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority and many of President Barack Obama's key legislative priorities on the horizon.

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., speaks at a news conference on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, in Washington. Specter switched parties with a suddenness that stunned the Senate, a moderate's defection that left Democrats one seat shy of a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority and many of President Barack Obama's key legislative priorities on the horizon.

April 29, 2009

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— Veteran Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched parties Tuesday with a suddenness that seemed to stun the Senate, a moderate’s defection that pushed Democrats to within a vote of the 60 needed to overcome filibusters and enact President Barack Obama’s top legislative priorities.

Specter, 79 and seeking a sixth term in 2010, conceded bluntly that his chances of winning a Pennsylvania Republican primary next year were bleak in a party grown increasingly conservative. But he cast his decision as one of principle, rather than fueled by political ambition as spurned GOP leaders alleged.

“I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party,” he said at a news conference. He added, “I am not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate.”

Not long after Specter met privately with Republican senators to explain his decision, the party’s leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, said the switch posed a “threat to the country.” The issue, he said, “really relates to ... whether or not in the United States of America our people want the majority party to have whatever it wants, without restraint, without a check or balance.”

As a result of last fall’s elections, Democrats control the White House and have a large majority in the House. Specter’s switch leaves them with 59 Senate seats. Democrat Al Franken is ahead in a marathon recount in Minnesota. If he ultimately defeats Republican Norm Coleman, he would become the party’s 60th vote — the number needed to overcome a filibuster that might otherwise block legislation.

Comments

madmike 4 years, 11 months ago

Avoice, you are correct in that this country is tearing itself apart. Who knows what the outcome will be?

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avoice 4 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps it's the over-emphasis in this country on sports that makes so many citizens believe that everything is an us-against-them proposition. For decades (centuries, even), this country was able to support two or more political ideologies without things coming to blows and taking sides. As an independent voter, I am appalled that either Democrats or Republicans would say such things as "nothing like playing for both teams." Rather than meeting in the legislative chambers with a mind to discuss, debate and compromise, we now have "teams" squaring off on the legislative playing field to try to overpower the "opponent" in a herculean effort to be the victor and take the spoils. If we don't re-learn how to share and compromise, we could be headed for another civil war here.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"Sen. Mitch McConnell, said the switch posed a “threat to the country.”"

You just can't resist the fearmongering, can you, Mitch.

Sure, it's scary having the Democrats having an unchecked majority, but what's even scarier is the delusion that the Republicans could ever provide any sort of sane counterbalance.

And, anyway, the Democrats will likely squander this opportunity to make some long overdue drastic changes by being too nice to jerks like McConnel.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 11 months ago

Good, so now America can see the true nature of the demorats and vote some balance back to Washington in a couple of years. Arlen "Magic Bullet" Specter was always a liberal fence sitter anyway.

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XD40 4 years, 11 months ago

Arlen's a puke. He just proved he can't be trusted. Pat Toomey will be the next senator from Pennsylvania.

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Chris Ogle 4 years, 11 months ago

Nothing like playing for both teams.... Wonder if he was ever in the army? I can see it now..." I am odds with the current philisophy, so I going with them..".. " What do mean Sucide Bomber?? ....can I have a do-over"

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grammaddy 4 years, 11 months ago

No, it won't.He's already admitted to that. Don't count on him.

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