Our alert staff already tipped you off to the breaking Arlen Specter story today, (see Holly and Patrick for details) but I have a few more brief thoughts to add. Pennsylvania is a perfect microcosm of what I’ve seen going on in my former party for some time now. The land of Rocky is a swing state which has been swinging in precisely the wrong direction for the GOP for several cycles now. To see how this illustrates the future of the GOP – at least in its current story arc – we need look no further than the twin stories of two Republicans from PA…. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum.
Rick was (and remains) a darling of the far Right – a fire and brimstone social conservative, thumping a bible with one fist and pummeling lily-livered liberals with the other. He is still a featured speaker at prominent conservative gatherings and his name is spoken wistfully in GOP chat rooms. Specter has, for some time now, received nothing but the back of the hand from his own party. His willingness to work with “the enemy” and to try to find some bright spots in Obama’s policy plans have earned him the hatred of the conservative base and a list of names not fit for publication at TMV.
Now pause to ask yourself the Big Money Questions. Where is Santorum now? And where is Specter? That should tell you all you need to know. The GOP base and some of their vocal spokespeople have treated Specter worse than they do the Maine Sisters for some time now. As a reward, they apparently will get what they have desired. Arlen will now officially give the Democrats their filibuster-proof 60 vote margin in the Senate as soon as Al Franken is seated.
Good job, GOP. Way to keep driving us RINOs out of the party.
(Track reactions across the spectrum at Memeorandum today.)