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Arlen Specter’s words

Toss in the point at which Coleman stops making a fool of himself, and the Magic Number in the Senate is 60. Gee, the Republican party sure made a smart move alienating Specter, hey? One could almost imagine that they were working for the Democratic Party.

Hanging on like a dog with a rag in its mouth, even unto teeth falling out, the completely inflexible Republican Party continues to screw itself.

The ever-homophobic FOX, choosing the title Arlen Specter Comes Out of the Closet to cover the story, simply could not resist bashing two birds with one endearing title stone.

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, 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.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary. I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania’s economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy’s statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.

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

  • Portia Live-Free-or-Die Elizabeth

    With BO saying he’ll campaign for Specter in Pennsylvania, it pretty well assures there won’t be anyone to challenge him in the Democratic primary.

    It’s the Chicago way…

  • Juliet16

    Everyone criticizes Pennsylvania REPUBLICANS for preferring Toomey to Specter and claims that their DISLOYALTY is backfiring. Well, maybe, maybe not, we’ll see…

    But why does everyone IGNORE the all of the locan and national DEMOCRATS backing someone other than LIEBERMAN in CONNECTICUT during the last Senate race?

    Lieberman had to run as an INDEPENDENT …he didn’t defect to the opposing party.

    • I’m a Linda too

      It’s what the Democrats offered Specter. Look, now they’re burning their own loyal party Reps in exchange. But still, all their dealing and Specter didn’t vote for the Budget.

  • listing starboard

    I like Fox as well, my whole opinion of media and politics has drastically been altered since this election. Formerly a firm Dem, after watching the caucues fraud and treatment of Hillary, my eyes are permanently open. Anyone from any party willing to speak truthfully, act with integrity, protect our sovereignty and freedoms I will support. The two party system is now Socialist versus Capitalist.

  • Tom Cat “wodie j” Jefferson Esq

    Spector left the Republican party long ago. This was an obvious ploy to stay in Congress. He’s 79 yrs old, retire already. What is is w these men who hang on to this power until their deathbed!?

    Good riddance I say. I hope he ends up not being a Democrat in Congress either.

    I like Fox news, at least they report both sides and most of the time they are VERY FAIR towards Obama.

  • DeniseL

    How is Coleman making a fool out of himself. There are more votes than voters in some heavily democratic precincts. That means some votes were counted twice. Different precincts used different standards such as some requiring the required witness signature and some counting votes without it. Different standards for different precincts in the same state. How can anyone not have a problem with that?

  • http://noquarterusa No-nonsense-Nancy

    I’m from PA and I never thought too much of Spector. Sometimes I have agreed with him and sometimes not. I am very angry with his latest atempt to remain in power. I was against him voting for the stimulus package and some other bills that he sided with the radical liberals on. I wrote letters stating my desires to no avail. He shows no regard for his constituents at all. I have remained a dem because in PA you can’t vote in the primaries as an Independant. I will campain against him, and also the other PA Reps and Senators. All of them need to go. Spector is too old now, anyway. He needs to retire. This is why we need term limits. I don’t think anyone should be allowed to make serving in congress a career.

  • listing starboard

    Oh goodie, another post bashing Republicans and Fox News. Gee, how lovely it would be if there was no news show that offered some transparency about the Obama administration and no Republicans!

  • NomNomNom

    Great article.

    “One could almost imagine that they were working for the Democratic Party.”
    Yep. One could. I don’t think there are 2 parties anymore. Imo this is more of the deliberate attempt to fuse the two major parties into one, like the dogwhistle call for bipartisanship. All the more reason to stay/go Independent.

  • Judy L. NC

    I imagine his constituency in PA will get the last laugh about this. He’s a treacherous SOB.

  • viking

    Don’t you just want to say good riddance to any and all of Specter’s ilk? Don’t let the door hit you…

  • devildog666

    Specter was never a Republican and he will never be a Democrat, he’s a Prima Dona. Specter doesn’t do anything that doesn’t benefit Specter.

    • Pennsylvania Red

      He started out as a Democrat. He switched to Republican for political expediency.

      He’s a career opportunist.

  • I’m a Linda too

    And I laugh when Democrats hypocrisy talking about the demanding Republicans, when Democrats and their PACS, Democracy for America, MoveOn, Taylor Marsh and others joined forces to get rid of DINO’s.

    Anyone who isn’t “democratic” enough for the extreme lefties. You know, the ones who demonized Hillary. We remember when Obama team threatened any Congres critter who endorsed Hillary that they would be met with a Challenger and money to run. Real democratic, huh?

    Anyone who isn’t voting lock step with Obama. They really did drink koolaid and apparently think Americas turn for Hitler is a good thing-go figure.

    Daily Kos is already freaking out from what I hear and with Specter voting against the HUGE Budget yesterday, I’m sure the rest are freaking out. Apparently he did only look at his political life…any step to try to stay in power.

    • I’m a Linda too

      And, as Obama admitted yesterday, he is “Remaking America”. Indeed. But who wanted that. Didn’t he campaign on Americas values? Are Americans now happy they voted in a guy who wanted to remake her…to which country I might add?

      • viking

        United Soviet States of America.

      • skinny malinky

        He campaigned on bringing change to the country. If people are surprisd that he’s trying to bring about that change, that’s because they weren’t paying attention, not because he’s doing something he said he wouldn’t.

        • Delios

          No kidding.

          I can’t help but laugh at the idea that moving the top tax bracket from 36% to 39% somehow equals socialism.

          I’m honestly starting to wonder if the modern GOP is in danger of going the way of its forerunner, the Whigs.

          They’ve got a party chairman who is everything Howard Dean wasn’t, but his detractors said he would be.

          They’re losing voters and self-ID’ed ‘Republicans’ at a breathtaking pace.

          For some reason, they’re trotting out tired retreads America never liked in the first place like Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich as chief spokesman.

          They run scared of offending dufuses like Rush Limbaugh — how many GOP officeholders and bigwigs is it now that have had to go crawling back to a guy 2/3 of America hates begging for forgiveness for daring say he’s counterproductive?

          I’d be worried about Pelosi and Reid’s approval ratings, but then I look at those of Boehner and McConnell.

          From torture to immigration to gay marriage to regulatory policy to even tax policy (for the first time in what… 50 years? A plurality of Americans say taxes are “just about right”) — the GOP seems to going out of its way to stake out the least viable ground.

          What a mess… but yeah, I’m sure tea parties and becoming more conservative will solve everything.

        • I’m a Linda too

          lol, well even then I feel sorry for his voters, because calling for change doesn’t mean apologizing about Americas past and wanting to Remake her.

          He did campaign on AMERICA’s Values, didn’t he?

    • JozefAL

      Sorry, Linda, but the GOPers have pulled the “demanding” card for a hell of a lot longer than the Democrats.
      There really WAS a time when a Republican could hold a fiscally conservative ideology while believing in socially liberal policies as well. Unfortunately, their numbers started dwindling, especially as a national force, once the GOP began allowing the Religious Right nutcases to take over the political base (the ones that most typically turn out in the primary elections).
      Hell, it’s sad to think that Bush the Elder was the last of the “old-school” GOPers to win the Presidency. Even McCain was roundly criticized by most GOPers until he selected Palin. (Let’s not forget the Coultergeist’s famous declaration that she’d vote for Hillary if McCain became the GOP nominee, and I don’t recall many of the FoxNews talking heads seeming too enthusiastic over McCain, even after he’d pretty much sewn up the GOP nomination. They also seemed to perk up only after the Palin announcement.)

      • I’m a Linda too

        You seem to be confused over the argument here.

        I never claimed Republicans didn’t and Do you really want to claim who started what first?

        I am stating fact that Democrats can be trying to claim Republican demands, WHEN THEY WERE DOING IT FOR YEARS BEFORE SPECTER claims pressure to change.

        And I gave examples. That’s reality.

  • viking

    The sole reason for Specter’s departure:

    The stimulus vote broke the republican elephant’s back.

    Sorry Uppity, but pretending that Specter’s decision was based on anything else is absurd.

    As a former dem, my sentiments mirror the republicans on the spending. I too will be voting out anyone who supported all of this grossly negligent spending. Tea anyone?

    As for the ‘out of the closet’ reference, it struck me as an obvious joke. I chuckled and I’m not a homophobe.

    • Pennsylvania Red

      Rasmussen had Specter’s likely primary opponent up by 21 points.
      Specter had the deciding vote that passed Porkulus. This angered Indpendents, Republicans, and even Democrats in Pennsylvania. The old coot had NO chance of winning the (R) primary. That’s why he jumped.

      And now top Dems are mad at the deal he struck with Reid:

      Several Democrats are furious with Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) for agreeing to let Specter (Pa.) keep his seniority, accrued over more than 28 years as a GOP senator. That agreement would allow Specter to leap past senior Democrats on powerful panels — including the Appropriations and Judiciary committees.

      • viking

        I suspect that the whole Specter departure will benefit none but the republicans. I don’t see anybody in PA re-electing him. The backlash within the dem party, as you point out, is going to embolden dissension on other risky/unpopular measures (health rationing, energy tax) or at least I HOPE!

        • MrMike

          Depends if Obama can muster his troops for an off year election. He promised Specter he would campaign on his behalf.

    • termo

      You’re not the only former Dem – so was old Arlen. he had been a Democrat until he switched parties because that was the only way he could elected to the Senate. He has no principles at all.

      • JozefAL

        Check your facts, you moron.
        Specter registered as a Republican in 1966; he didn’t even make his first bid for the US Senate until 1976.
        By the way, Specter was a Republican longer than Ronald Reagan. (Reagan became a Republican in 1962, at the age of 51, and was only a GOPer for 42 years. Specter became a Republican in 1966, at the age of 35, and remained a GOPer for 43 years. Of course, one might note that Reagan’s last 10 years as a GOPer probably don’t really count since he was suffering from Alzheimer’s.)

        • Pennsylvania Red

          Specter switched from Dem to R when the internal (City of Philadelphia) Dem wrangling got in the way of his political ambitions.

          Not only did his switch to Republican launch his political career, it helped him finally win the seat courtesy of Reagan’s coattails.

    • NoBamaNoWay

      no, viking, the “out of the closet” “joke” is in fact an anti-gay insult (more than likely). i am so tired of these little negative comparisons to women and gays being justified as “jokes.” every time i hear some dickweed “jokingly” calling another guy a bitch or a fag i want to slap the shit out him and say “what? you got a problem with women or gays? you think you’re better than a “bitch” or a “fag?” well, you ain’t.”

      look, if the “out of the closet” came from someone gay or very gay-friendly, it might be no big deal, but Susan is exactly right, the gay-bashing is one of the things that is 100% wrong with the republican party, but it is near and dear to their hearts, and they will not be giving it up any time soon.

    • Mary Pat

      All you need to know about Specter.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/29/AR2009042904016.html

      All you need to know about Fox News: it is destroying the Obama suck-up cable networks in the ratings. In EVERY time slot.

      Go ahead and dump on the Republicans. But if you care about the future of this country, I’d recommend you start pulling for their resurgence. Obama and the Dems are indeed out to “remake” the US. Be afraid. Be very afraid.