Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter switches parties

Wall Street Journal, MSNBC

Well, the news broke barely five minutes before I started writing this (hey, I think that's a new record on me covering something in this space), and already the wailing and gnashing of teeth has begun. Senator Arlen Spector, R-Pennsylvania is now Senator Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania, and I saw the complaints starting even before I had read enough to be able to open this tab and write about it.

My analysis: This is powerful symbolism, but ultimately it doesn't matter in practical legislative terms. Cloture will remain the same as it was before; Specter won't suddenly vote down every Republican filibuster because he's now registered as a Democrat. If he'd have done it before, he'd do it now, and if he wouldn't have, he won't. It really just doesn't change anything.

I really don't have a whole lot more to add, but thought I'd better get my (very small) voice of reason in anyway. Beyond the political ruckus, I don't care who's got what letter behind his name in media reports on Congress. Our representatives and Senators are individuals, and should be judged and elected as such. I know that's not what happens, thanks to both the primary system and the large proportion of the electorate who simply vote their party line when it comes time to go to the ballot box, but hey, I can dream.

1 comment:

Renegade Paladin said...

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