Arlen Specter to Be A Democrat, Probably Not a Progressive Though

So word has it Arlen Specter is set to switch parties for his 2010 run. This was a wise move on his part, and shows why it was stupid for hard right wingers to support Pat Toomey, who has no realistic shot of winning in moderate Pennsylvania.

There seems to be much rejoicing among the liberals in my office, but I’ll take this time to point out that Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh are also, at least in the titular sense, Democrats, but that hasn’t exactly made them steadfast supporters of President Obama’s agenda. I would expect much of the same from Specter. Indeed, there was a lot of talk after Specter came out against card check that he was gearing up to tack hard to the right. We’ll see how this plays out, but my guess is that even if Al Franken is seated anywhere in the near future, there will still be a healthy amount of poopy-pantsing within the Democratic caucus as to significantly weaken legislation on climate change, health care, and indeed, any proposal where conservative democrats can flaunt their “fiscal conservative” bona fides (which of course doesn’t include military spending or tax cuts for the wealthy).

UPDATE: I suppose the wild card is if Specter had been significantly reigning in more Democratic instincts in an effort to maintain favor with the farily popular Republican party of 2004. I think it’s possible — especially given his heavy support from unions — but the preemptive “no” on card check doesn’t exactly portend well. Ezra Klein seems to think this is a distinct possibility, and one with historical precedent.


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