April 28, 2009
Republican overlords not so all-powerful anymore
Arlen Specter came out as a Democrat! Hooray. He's the 59th Democratic Senator, so that will put the total to 60 if you count Al Franken, who will hopefully get seated one of these days (though Norm Coleman will keep stalling for all eternity if he can.)
Specter is the big hero today for Democrats and especially for moderates. Unfortunately, that makes the other left-leaning Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine, the big losers in this scenario. For the last few months they could call the shots and effectively decide what legislation got passed by how they voted, but that overlord-like power that Cushie noted earlier this year just evaporated like Rick Santorum's political career.
Senator Snowe sounds like she's just about ready to follow her mavericky Republican colleague to the other side. In the Times article, she says "We haven’t certainly heard warm, encouraging words about how they view moderates, either you are with us or against us... Ultimately we are heading to having the smallest political tent in history."
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