I received the following email message from Sen Bob Menendez a short while ago welcoming Pennsylivania’s Arlen Specter into the Democratic party:
“The Democrats welcomed Sen. Arlen Specter into our party today. He gave one simple reason for switching parties:
“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.”
The extreme right wing lost the American people in 2006 and 2008. Now, they’ve lost their hold on another moderate voice in the United States Senate.
This one’s a game-changer. Specter’s move immediately improves the prospects of President Obama’s bold change agenda.
But make no mistake – Republicans still have the votes they need to mount a filibuster. Sen. Specter’s decision will make our opponents even more desperate.
Norm Coleman will dig in his heels and fight even harder to deny us that filibuster-proof 60th seat.
Even when Coleman finally, finally has no more appeals and is forced to concede defeat, the Republicans will be plotting day and night to defeat our candidates in 2010. They know that beating just one Democratic incumbent would let them filibuster, delay, and deny the President’s agenda.
Today is a great day for all of us who want to help bring real, lasting change to this country….”
Note to Sen. Specter: I applauded your decision to join the Democratic Party, as the Republican party has shown there is no place in its ranks for a “moderate” Republican. As the nation leans more towards the left, neocon-conservative Republicans have taken control of all that is left of the party of Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan.
While the Republican party has dwindled and became known as the “Party Of No”, the Democratic ranks have swelled. Democats are the leaders of change that have and will, see this country through the current economic crisis and lead the way in the fight for healthcare, social security and tax reform.
By Carl Hulse
New York Times
Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday he would switch to the Democratic party, presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters as they try to advance the Obama administration’s new agenda.
In a statement issued about noon as the Capitol was digesting the stunning turn of events, Mr. Specter said he had concluded that his party had moved too far to the right, a fact demonstrated by the migration of 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans to the Democratic Party.