Arlen Specter’s stunning announcement that he is changing parties to become a Democrat is merely the latest example of the how the Republic Party is losing its grip on America.
"Since my election in 1980 as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right,” Specter tells reporters without a trace of irony in his voice as he overstates the obvious.
“Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats,” the Pennsylvania Senator goes on to note, adding, “I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."
Assuming Norm “Sen. Slimey” Coleman finally gives up the ghost of his increasingly desperate, ill-considered quest to upend the Minnesota election at some point in our lifetime that makes Don Quixote seem like a realist, Specter’s move coupled with Al Franken’s seating gives the Democrats a nearly rock-solid, filibuster proof, 60 seat majority in the Senate.
Certainly that will be the case on major Obama agenda items such as health care, energy, cap-and-trade and, hopefully, card check despite Specter's current objection to it.
More important, it exposes the single, most pressing, problem confronting the GOP: Moderates no longer have a place in the party. They’re not welcome, they don’t count and they’re seen as pariahs. Things are so bad on the right side of the aisle, I’m not convinced Barry Goldwater would be comfortable hanging around with today’s Republican honchos; his daughter, an accomplished filmmaker, wonders the same thing.
Personally, I wonder if Maine’s two Republican Senators, Olympia Snow and Susan “No Flu Shot For You!” Collins, hear footsteps in the hallway. Both are up for re-election next year.
Look Who’s Talking
What the party of Lincoln is left with are the voices of crazy people who are wandering aimlessly, totally lost in the hospital's wards.
There’s Bobby Jindahl decrying spending on volcano monitoring weeks before Mt. Redoubt ignites.
There’s Rick Parry and his Blago hair encouraging Texas sessessionists by decrying Washington’s “oppressive interference” while asking the federal government for nearly 40,000 vials of an anti-flu vaccine.
There’s Mark Sanford, who wants all of the stimulus money destined for South Carolna except for unemployment insurance that would actually help his many destitute, out-of-work constituents.
Don’t forget John McCain, the man who denounces torture but refuses to denounce the torturers.
Say hello to Michael Steele who has no more of an idea on how to turn the party around than he grasps why it’s fallen on such hard times.
Dick Cheney we shall always have with us, it seems, a man with less credibility than my Golden Retriever when it comes to issues of national policy speaking out on national policy.
The list is seemingly endless.
Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner. Don’t overlook Michelle Bachman, perhaps the goofiest, most unstable member of Congress in more than 100 years. Or Sarah Palin, to which nothing need be added as an explanation.
Look who’s talking, folks: The emotionally unstable, the mentally halt, the morally bankrupt and the just plain mean-spirited. Yet it is on the backs of these people that the Republican Party plans to stage a major comeback.
As Pres. Obama told him when he phoned Specter to contraulate him on the move, “We are thrilled to have you.”
*When I was young, oh so much younger than today, I believed that the United States would become completely unhinged at some point in my lifetime. This...