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Question: What's your opinion of Arlen Specter changing party affiliation?
Good!  He was a RINO anyway, get that stinkin' liberal scum out of the Republican party! - 0 (0%)
Good!  Specter showed that he understands the Republicans have been hijacked by an extremist fringe! - 2 (20%)
Whatever.  Specter is just another pol, doing the expedient thing to ensure his reelection. - 5 (50%)
Does it matter?  Arlen marches to a different drummer -- sometimes good, sometimes bad.  In the bigger picture, nothing changes. - 3 (30%)
Wasn't there a Magic Bullet or Scottish Law party he could have joined? - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 0

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Author Topic: Specter becomes a Democrat  (Read 1186 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Apr 29, 2009 at 11:04 »

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otismalibu
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 29, 2009 at 13:57 »

Look at him checking out that hot MILF ass.

He's never going to top that moment, so he's movin' on.

Move along to the next trick.
See I'm the type a nigga that tell a ho
"suck dick!"
what if she's not suckin'
That's a waste of time, conversation and my fuckin'
I just put my fuckin' pants on
And tell the idiotic freak to take her tramp ass home!
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jonzr
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 29, 2009 at 14:25 »

fuckin' pants?  Is there some sort of flap in the front?
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Preacherman0
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 30, 2009 at 10:33 »

IMO, as someone who is stuck working in the purgatory that is a somewhat Southern Baptist church, I can tell you that it is easier to be the more conservative type in a group of liberals than vice-versa.
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jonzr
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 30, 2009 at 10:58 »

I can tell you that it is easier to be the more conservative type in a group of liberals than vice-versa.

Sir, there is no doubt.  Absolutely none.

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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009 at 22:21 »

I think this is indicative of how far right the Republicans have shifted in the last twenty years. He hasn't become more liberal, it's the Party that's become more "conservative". He also knew he couldn't win the primary.

Same thing for Justice Souter. George H. Bush appointed him when he was thought as more of a conservative judge, but now he is considered part of the "liberal" wing. He hasn't changed the way he thinks, its the priorities of the Republican Party that has changed.

Only 21% percent of Americans currently identify themselves as Republicans. Give them some more time, and they will be polling down with the Libertarians, and the Green Party.
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bamf16
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009 at 10:38 »

I think this is indicative of how far right the Republicans have shifted in the last twenty years. He hasn't become more liberal, it's the Party that's become more "conservative". He also knew he couldn't win the primary.

Same thing for Justice Souter. George H. Bush appointed him when he was thought as more of a conservative judge, but now he is considered part of the "liberal" wing. He hasn't changed the way he thinks, its the priorities of the Republican Party that has changed.

Only 21% percent of Americans currently identify themselves as Republicans. Give them some more time, and they will be polling down with the Libertarians, and the Green Party.


Bingo on the second sentence in your post.  THAT is the reason for the shift, plain and simple.  It's the same song and dance Lieberman gave when he went independent.  The talking heads on the right painted it as indication of the demise of the Democratic party, while it was merely so he could keep his job.  Specter wisely made the shift before losing the primary.

As for your first sentence, it is simply the echoing of a pretty popular sentiment that I find extremely difficult if not impossible to buy.  As with all social and political movements, there is never one answer as to why.  There is only the collision of a mulitude of reasons that we as educated citizens debate and discuss with each other to better understand the entirety of it.  While there is evidence that some in the Republican party have moved too far to the right, it is folly to embrace it as the sole reason or even the leading reason for Specters defection and the decline of party support among Americans.  For a lot of reasons (a couple posted below just to get some discussion) I cannot support that the party itself has moved too far to the right, or is in danger of becoming a fringe party like the Libertarians.  We heard the same arguments about the demise of the Democrats, a party that moved too far to the left in 2004.

1.  The presidency of George W. Bush.

I've posted this in the past, so I'll abbreviate it again by stating that as Bush proclaimed himself as a conservative, he increased the size and scope of the federal government through policies that directly contradicted conservative principles.  He didn't alienate people with a move too far to the right.

2.  The nomination of John McCain.

The Obama/Clinton primary was so close and so heated it took much of the attention away from how early and easily McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination.  The Republican Party nominated a presidential candidate that was rumored to be considered a running mate for the liberal New England flip flopper in 2004.  When looking at Republican leadership over the past 20 years, are you intimating that McCain is MORE conservative?  Looking at other Republican candidates for the nomination in 2008, which were LESS conservative than McCain?  He beat Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee.  Rudy could be argued as less conservative than McCain, but other than that, the men that bowed out of the nomination early were further to the right than the Republican nominee.  Karl Rove gets a lot of praise from Republicans for orchestrating a Bush reelection in 2004.  Perhaps more masterful was Axelrod this past election.  He and others moved Obama towards the middle, and the Republicans nominated a Senator already there.  What happened was the young, energetic, charismatic "moderate" became the emblem of hope and change during difficult times for many, and happened to run against an old, not as well spoken "moderate" who was the emblem of the establishment and the "same old shit, different day" theory.

I know steelerfan mentioned a 20 year window and I've limited by analysis to less than half that period.  I'll bore you with that later!
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009 at 13:58 »

I will agree with you Bamf, that Specter is becoming a Democrat to lengthen his Senate career. He was always a somewhat moderate Republican though, and that kinda proves my point. Why couldn't he win his primary? Because he was going to face an extremely conservative opponent. What does that say about the people currently voting Republican? Seems like that if a longtime moderate would be ousted by a right winger, then the Party, at least in that State, is moving in that direction( right wingers staying; moderates becoming Independents).

I don't think the Republicans are in imminent danger of going away, but they are in danger of being marginalized as a national party. There are ,and have been for quite some time, more registered Dems than Repubs in the Nation. The coalition that formed in the early nineties (western Libertarians, evangelicals, southern whites, financial conservatives, national security advocates) to overcome the loss of the RR Dems all were promised different things, with none being eventually delivered.  The promise of States' rights and a smaller Federal government hasn't been delivered to the Libertarians. Certainly the divisive social wedge issues promised to the evangelicals haven't been made good on. A true financial conservative would have a hard time being Republican right now after what Bush did. The coalition is breaking up, and it seems to most moderates that the right wing(Limbaugh, Palin, Bachman) of the Party is speaking up more right now, then the other aspects of the Party. The media takes some blame here, but perception is reality.

Getting to your two examples, obviously there is no doubt that Bush and Co strayed from the Republican outline. But only in two area's, huge they may be( I won't get into the inept things like Katrina, 9/11, wars). Fiscal responsibility, and States' rights. He blew up the budget, and made the Feds extremely powerful. Other than that, he towed the line, as evidenced by his current approval rating which is eerily similar to the % of people admitting they're Republican.  Bush didn't do any favors for the Party because he alienated a couple pieces to the puzzle, but like I said before, perception is reality, and because there is a R next to his name, most people think that's what the Republican Party stands for. No?

McCain was a moderate for sure, but he was chosen by the actual constituency of the Party, not the leadership. If you remember, McCain wasn't favored by the leadership of the Party(RNC, Bush, Limbaugh, Dobson), nor the evangelical block. But when people actually voted, the more reasonable McCain beat out the others, which was a great thing IMO. I was/am an Obama supporter, but if he was going to lose to someone, I wanted it to be McCain. But then came the Palin nom. Such an obvious cave to the right leaning side of the Party and the leadership. You can't mention the McCain nom without bringing up Sarah, which pretty much cancels out the moderate aspect of McCain's nom.

This is all my conjecture of course, but I believe there still is a Republican Party out there, just that the moderate side isn't identifying itself with the likes of Bush, Steele, Palin, and Limbaugh. This is where I think the shift has happened. Not that more actual people have become increasingly right leaning, but the most vocal part of the party leadership has been primarily from the rightest of right. This is giving the impression that the Republicans as a group favor some the policies the leadership is advocating. This in turn is turning moderate Repubs, into Independents (because most are not going to pull a Specter). Being the Party of "No" isn't helping either.

I don't discount what you are saying about there being more than one reason for all this. It's a complex situation that fluctuates back and forth over the years. But there is somewhat of a mob mentality in America (ie: H1N1 insanity), and hopefully the Republican party can return to some of its admirable roots and reverse the growing perception of what the Party stands for. I hope they do, because the Dems are far from perfect.

Good discussion though Bamf, and I am interested to hear more from your perspective.
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