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View Full Version : Sen. Arlen Specter changes parties


Jae Onasi
04-29-2009, 01:37 AM
Sen. Arlen Specter announced that he was changing his party affiliation (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/28/AR2009042801523.html) from GOP to Democrat. There are a lot of implications to this move, both for Specter and Senate Democrats. Discuss. :)

Totenkopf
04-29-2009, 01:50 AM
Well, color me unimpressed. He was a dem before he switched parties to run for the Senate and now he's gone "home". Only real questions are who he'll run into as possible contenders in a dem primary and whether he can beat whoever the reps throw against him if he does win the dem nomination. Too much in the air. Will probably have to change his card check position. Doubt that will bother him greatly.

Q
04-29-2009, 05:06 AM
This is hardly surprising. The guy's a slimeball, even by politician's standards.

ForeverNight
04-29-2009, 09:49 AM
Add this to Franken getting to come from my neck of the woods... looks like the Dem's not only have the White House, they'll also have a supermajority... yippee! More power for Pelosi!

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 10:11 AM
As I said elsewhere. I don't like either party to have that much power. Now they can ram whatever they want down our throats without even consulting with what the other side wants. Oh well. Lets see what happens.

Darth Avlectus
04-29-2009, 07:24 PM
^^^
Good point, my friend. ;)

Hardly surprising. However I do not think that the founding fathers intended for career politicians and this shows exactly why.

Like a true Spectre, he's dashing from side to side. YOU P.O.S.!:swear:
It's not on principle, it was to further his career @ 79 years old. Should you be allowed to change? Sure. But not at a whim. I think the $$$ he got for his campaign from the republicans should have to be paid back in full.

I think he had planned this since he was all for voting yes on the stimulus despite the hell it was going to get him. He lied through his teeth to cover himself, and SURPRISE...here we go with this old fossil. This is case in point exactly why career politicking should be counterbalanced or in some way negated if not disallowed.

EnderWiggin
04-29-2009, 07:47 PM
I think the $$$ he got for his campaign from the republicans should have to be paid back in full.

:eyeraise:

Are you serious?

_EW_

Totenkopf
04-29-2009, 08:38 PM
If he's talking about any money for the upcoming election, it'd at least be honest. Spectre didn't just decide to do this on a whim. I'm sure his last bid demonstrated that his days were numbered w/in the party. Still, you'd have to be naive to think that he'd do it (give ANY $$$ back). Frankly, the pos is back where he really belongs.

Darth Avlectus
04-29-2009, 09:30 PM
:eyeraise:

Are you serious?

_EW_

Were it likewise in the opposite direction I would still demand the same thing.
Don't worry. ;)

I don't stand for that kind of thieving. OR I guess as they say in "the hood": I don't play that BULL-****.

If he's talking about any money for the upcoming election, it'd at least be honest. Spectre didn't just decide to do this on a whim. I'm sure his last bid demonstrated that his days were numbered w/in the party. Still, you'd have to be naive to think that he'd do it (give ANY $$$ back). Frankly, the pos is back where he really belongs.

:lol:

He didn't. If it were coming from the opposite direciton, I bet the dems would be screaming about it.

I know I'd be naive to believe he would give it back. My position is that he (and any other snaky politician) he should.

That's all I was hoping to point out.

mimartin
04-29-2009, 10:07 PM
Why did Senator Specter decide to change parties? I’d say he decided to change parties because it gave him the best chance to stay in office beyond his current term. He considers himself a moderate and is not going to agree with the Democratic position on every issue anymore than he has the Republican. He is changing parties for the same reason Senator Joe Lieberman decided to become an Independent. Their parties decided to back another candidate and leave them out to dry. If I were him I wouldn’t give a dime back that he was not required to under the law. They showed no loyalty to him; why should he afford them afford them that curiosity in return?

Instead of being upset with him, be upset with those that drove him out of the Republican Party. Same thing can be said for the Democrats with Lieberman. Personally I’m pulling for him the same way I pulled for Lieberman, don’t always agree with their politics, but like someone that doesn’t always toe the party line.

Q
04-29-2009, 10:38 PM
Yeah, I really enjoyed watching what happened with Lieberman. :D

Totenkopf
04-29-2009, 10:40 PM
Frankly, I'm not upset that he was "driven" out. I think that if he and even Lieberman think they'd be better off elsewhere, it's a free country. Snarlin Arlen started out in the dem party and is returning to it now for purely opportunistic reasons. The only principle is political survival uber alles. But frankly, he left the rep party long before it left him. He's only now making it official, c'est le guerre. ;) Besides, loyalty in politics (a quaint oxymoron) is almost always trumped by self-interest (regardless of affiliation).

Darth Avlectus
04-30-2009, 12:18 AM
Why did Senator Specter decide to change parties? Iíd say he decided to change parties because it gave him the best chance to stay in office beyond his current term. He considers himself a moderate and is not going to agree with the Democratic position on every issue anymore than he has the Republican. He is changing parties for the same reason Senator Joe Lieberman decided to become an Independent. Their parties decided to back another candidate and leave them out to dry. If I were him I wouldnít give a dime back that he was not required to under the law. They showed no loyalty to him; why should he afford them afford them that curiosity in return?

The right thing to do is not to sink down to their level. Or so I was told once. :D

Going for another term and stating he'll be on one side not 2 weeks ago, then suddenly changing to the other like it was abrupt whim...nah-ah. A thing like this had to have been premeditated. So he basically lied about his intentions in advance to get the $$$. So as all other politicians and that's what I hate.

I assure you if it were the other way around, I'd still be just a wary of him. FTR I'm independent.

I don't see how this is essentially any different from what I was saying. Maybe you think I'm being harsh b/c I'm to the right of center...To clarify I treat all politicians with the same sort of cold regard. I think they all should be keelhauled, personally.

Instead of being upset with him, be upset with those that drove him out of the Republican Party. Same thing can be said for the Democrats with Lieberman. Personally Iím pulling for him the same way I pulled for Lieberman, donít always agree with their politics, but like someone that doesnít always toe the party line.

Fair enough point I guess. However this is _exactly_ what bothers me about career politicians. If he was snake in the grass once or twice before...I don't see how there is anything stopping him from doing it again when it is in his best interests.

While it may well be understandable that he never got much support, I see it also as criss crossing b/c it suits him since he has done it before. Were it the first time, I assure you I would not take *as* harsh a tone. It just doesn't look good after repeating it. Just my :twocents:.

mimartin
04-30-2009, 01:10 AM
So he basically lied about his intentions in advance to get the $$$. What money? He wasn't just elected, his last election was 2004 and does not run again until 2010.


Maybe you think I'm being harsh b/c I'm to the right of center... My comments were not directed directly at you. I was sharing my personal thoughts on Senator Specter and the situation in general. I try not to make anything personal. I donít always succeed, but I try. :xp: While it may well be understandable that he never got much support, I see it also as criss crossing b/c it suits him since he has done it before. Were it the first time, I assure you I would not take *as* harsh a tone. It just doesn't look good after repeating it. Just my :twocents:. Perhaps he isnít the one that changed, but it was the party that he represented that changed.

Yes, he was a Democrat before. He switched from being a Democrat to a Republican in 1964. You do know Ronald Reagan was once a registered Democrat. Over time people change and there is nothing evil or low about that.

Jae Onasi
05-01-2009, 09:58 PM
Specter was facing an extremely difficult challenger in the GOP primary, and he was a good 15 points behind in the polls. The Dems have promised not to put up a serious challenger against him for the Dem primaries. He may still lose in the general election, but he at least makes it to the dance this way. The Dems are eating it up--once the Franken issue is cleared up (or muddied, depending on your POV), they'll have 60 seats in the Senate, making it filibuster-proof if Harry Reid can pull enough strings and keep all his people in line.

Darth Avlectus
05-05-2009, 08:45 PM
My comments were not directed directly at you. I was sharing my personal thoughts on Senator Specter and the situation in general. I try not to make anything personal.

Oh, okay. just seems like sometimes you chime in after me or even respond to me. Just making sure.

[quote]I donít always succeed, but I try. :xp: So you're another goofball then? :xp: That's certainly okay, this place needs a little humor.


Perhaps he isnít the one that changed, but it was the party that he represented that changed.

Maybe, maybe not. I still maintain though, that to change from one side to the other and back again doesn't look good for that person. I don't think it's *just me* grinding the metal, as a bit of skepticism never hurts.

Yes, he was a Democrat before. He switched from being a Democrat to a Republican in 1964. You do know Ronald Reagan was once a registered Democrat. Over time people change and there is nothing evil or low about that.

Not initially, but it does raise eyebrows at the least.

mur'phon
05-06-2009, 02:33 PM
Maybe, maybe not. I still maintain though, that to change from one side to the other and back again doesn't look good for that person.

He has changed party once before, 45 years ago, which means he has spent more time as a republican than you have spent alive, hardly flip-flopping. Personally I usually find party hopping to be perfectly fine, at least when your political views fits roughly with several parties.

Totenkopf
05-06-2009, 02:48 PM
I'm pretty sure that the party flipping isn't the issue so much as the timing. Spectre is what is often referred to as a RINO (Rep In Name Only). He'd have been much more honest to have flipped his official allegiance years ago. As it is, even as a Rep he'd have likely voted more w/BO than against. So, it only made sense to officially switch with his upcoming re-election bid. Hard to find a bridge to cross when you've burned so many of them. ;)

mur'phon
05-07-2009, 02:36 AM
I'm pretty sure that the party flipping isn't the issue so much as the timing. Spectre is what is often referred to as a RINO (Rep In Name Only). He'd have been much more honest to have flipped his official allegiance years ago.

Looking at his voting record, I'd say that he fits both parties about just as well. Yes, he could have switched parties before, but why? Politicans usually believe their point of view is correct/being in the senate is good for their wealth, either way, it makes sence to switch parties if you think it'll increase your chances in an election. As for it being honest, as long as he spelled out his views when he got elected, and sticks (roughly) with them, I don't see him as being dishonest.

Totenkopf
05-07-2009, 02:57 AM
Well, a voting record is a tricky thing. It may not reveal what you really believe on an issue, but rather be a record of expediency. If your going to have the support of the party you're in come election time, you may have to compromise yourself on some issues. I think it's rather fitting that Reid and company may have 2x crossed Arlen and sent him to the back of the bus. If he is given seniority AFTER a successful reelection bid, there will be many disgruntled dems.

Darth Avlectus
05-07-2009, 03:21 AM
^Actually, that was something I was going to say. Voting or being with a party doesn't necessarily reveal an individual's beliefs.

I do not believe, even though a politician might stay within his philosophy (and commit possibly acts of deception to support it which may or may not be acceptable), that ultimately they do it for the greater good of the country they are supposed to represent. I don't believe they do it out of duty so much as career politicking for their own interests.

So while in some situations, yea, you guys got me on the inconsistency part (maybe/maybe not)...the part of extending your career by any means possible just to stay in the political race just doesn't seem like it is necessarily/absolutely doing good for the country. Sure you can stick by your beliefs, or you can do whatever you believe is right for the country. If you can manage both, so much the better; however, it still does not necessarily ensure you have your country's interests at heart first. That's all.

If you all think I'm just beating him up b/c he went to the dems, I'll have you know I scathe politicians as a whole, and I'll find any reason I can to do it. There are some republicans I don't like as well.

mur'phon
05-07-2009, 04:26 AM
Well, a voting record is a tricky thing. It may not reveal what you really believe on an issue, but rather be a record of expediency. If your going to have the support of the party you're in come election time, you may have to compromise yourself on some issues.

Of course, but asuming your views fits somewhere in betwen the parties, it only means that he was more "republican" than he'd like before, and will become more "democrat" than he'd like afterwards. Not a huge difference/big deal imo.

I do not believe, even though a politician might stay within his philosophy (and commit possibly acts of deception to support it which may or may not be acceptable), that ultimately they do it for the greater good of the country they are supposed to represent. I don't believe they do it out of duty so much as career politicking for their own interests.

How many thieves think they are evil? How many yakuza think they are doing things out of greed? I only said they believe they are doing the right thing for the country. I didn't say that it is their primary motivation, only that they think so.

Talk to some drunk politicans once, you'd be amazed at how convinced many of them are that they do the right thing.

Totenkopf
05-07-2009, 04:55 AM
Of course, but asuming your views fits somewhere in betwen the parties, it only means that he was more "republican" than he'd like before, and will become more "democrat" than he'd like afterwards. Not a huge difference/big deal imo.

Funny thing is, many people here feel that the dems and reps are little more than 2 wings of the same party anymore....the big govt party. So, in a way you may not be all that wrong. It would almost be interesting to see how politicians would vote if they actually voted their consciences and not had to worry about party politics.


Talk to some drunk politicans once, you'd be amazed at how convinced many of them are that they do the right thing.

Lie to yourself often enough and you'd believe it too. :D

mur'phon
05-07-2009, 05:03 AM
Funny thing is, many people here feel that the dems and reps are little more than 2 wings of the same party anymore....the big govt party. So, in a way you may not be all that wrong. It would almost be interesting to see how politicians would vote if they actually voted their consciences and not had to worry about party politics.

Agreed, hence why I like Norwegian politics more, we even have a party that (until a couple of years ago) was in favor of armed revolution :D

Totenkopf
05-07-2009, 05:15 AM
What changed that?

mur'phon
05-07-2009, 05:45 AM
They A got tired of having to defend that position in every debate, and B realized that starting a civil war is unlikely to be popular in an almost pacifist country. Luckily, several of the parties in Russia is still in favor of it, so I can still enjoy politics :P

Jae Onasi
05-07-2009, 12:25 PM
A lot of politicians take on the job because they really enjoy it, and if they get to the Senate, some of them actually have quite a talent for doing it. They stay in the job because they like the opportunity to influence the laws that are getting made and have an impact on the people both in their district and in the entire country. Sure, a lot of them like the money from lobbyists, too, and might have the ethics of dead flea, but I think the opportunity to have a direct say in the laws of your own government has tremendous appeal for many of these politicians, too. It's an opportunity only a fraction of a percent will ever have.

Darth Avlectus
05-07-2009, 02:32 PM
^^^True enough...however it smacks of potential vested interests of sorts.

How many thieves think they are evil? How many yakuza think they are doing things out of greed? I only said they believe they are doing the right thing for the country. I didn't say that it is their primary motivation, only that they think so.

Nobody who is doing wrong actually believes they are in the wrong. I thought the SW films taught us that. :D

Well, yeah, that's what I thought you were saying but thanks for clarification. I was not sure.

Talk to some drunk politicans once, you'd be amazed at how convinced many of them are that they do the right thing.

I have, thank you. And I like to really mess with people's heads when they are drunk, too. You should try it some time--it's great fun. In fact, I'm known for being the guy who is sober at drunk parties so I can watch and help the drunks make fools of themselves.

But yeah, they all believe they are god's gift to...or the best thing to happen in... politics. Isn't it just nauseating?

Agreed, hence why I like Norwegian politics more, we even have a party that (until a couple of years ago) was in favor of armed revolution :D

Say whut?

They A got tired of having to defend that position in every debate, and B realized that starting a civil war is unlikely to be popular in an almost pacifist country. Luckily, several of the parties in Russia is still in favor of it, so I can still enjoy politics :P

Heheheh. Careful, some people here might call you a nutcase. :lol:

Yeah, it does make for interesting times.

Say, if you ever come to the states...can we go out shooting sometime? I know several arms from russia might be illegal here, but...well we are home of the shotguns. :D

So far as Arlen...hey, he believes he's doing right...the only way we could track him and what effect he's actually having is if we went in depth on him. Politicians...are still cannon fodder to me for the most part.

mur'phon
05-07-2009, 02:59 PM
But yeah, they all believe they are god's gift to...or the best thing to happen in... politics. Isn't it just nauseating?

Why? Don't we all believe we are doing the "right" thing? And aren't we in the end motivated by self interest?

Say, if you ever come to the states...can we go out shooting sometime? I know several arms from russia might be illegal here, but...well we are home of the shotguns.

Actually, Russian gun laws are fairly strict, in most of the federation even a hunting rifle is uncommon, doesen't mean that you can't get ahold of military grade stuff (especially in Chechenia and its suroundings), just that it isn't legal. Anyway, I still plan on getting some education in the states, so sure.

As for politicans, I'm scared of party hacks more than anything, I find party changers (unless they go to United Russia:swear:) to be more pragmatic, and thus more likely to get things done "right". Only thing about this change is that it'll likely give the dems a fragile majority, which isn't bad if they use it to deal with the crisis, though I doubt that's all they'll do.

Trench
05-07-2009, 04:15 PM
But yeah, they all believe they are god's gift to...or the best thing to happen in... politics. Isn't it just nauseating?

What? God's gift to politics? Politics are of the devil;)

Darth Avlectus
05-07-2009, 04:18 PM
Why? Don't we all believe we are doing the "right" thing? And aren't we in the end motivated by self interest?

I try not to assume that I am always right. Though a bit proud, and perhaps even cocky (or severe) due to my work ethic, I will consider that I may be wrong...and eventually admit to it. Or that at least I do not know/am not as informed as maybe I should be. I try to practice what I preach.

I realize you cannot be humble like that in politics...or business for that matter if you are to survive long. However, it does tend to rub me the wrong way. ;)

Actually, Russian gun laws are fairly strict, in most of the federation even a hunting rifle is uncommon, doesen't mean that you can't get ahold of military grade stuff (especially in Chechenia and its suroundings), just that it isn't legal. Anyway, I still plan on getting some education in the states, so sure.

Cool!

As for politicans, I'm scared of party hacks more than anything, I find party changers (unless they go to United Russia:swear:) to be more pragmatic, and thus more likely to get things done "right".

Well, in America you will find more often than not that party switchers do it in the guise of pragmatism but in reality are little more than snake-in-the-grass-bastard types doing it for $$$$$$$$ or some other mutual interest--and party hacks are scary too.

My gripe is that, while yes people will do it out of self interest, they try to repackage it as "good for everyone". :dozey: It ain't fooling me. That's all.

That and I think it is amusing to imagine tying up these suited sleaze bags and hanging them by their thumbs and toes.

But maybe that's just me...:rolleyes:

Totenkopf
05-07-2009, 04:24 PM
But maybe that's just me...:rolleyes:

Maybe not. :devsmoke: Still, in the cases of Lieberman and Sphincter, the party changing was in large part related to their upcoming elections.

mur'phon
05-07-2009, 05:01 PM
I try not to assume that I am always right. Though a bit proud, and perhaps even cocky (or severe) due to my work ethic, I will consider that I may be wrong...and eventually admit to it. Or that at least I do not know/am not as informed as maybe I should be. I try to practice what I preach.

You misunderstand me, I was talking about motivation, and "right" as in how we convince ourself that we did it for "right" reasons, i.e a patriot might convince himself that he did it for the good of the country.

Well, in America you will find more often than not that party switchers do it in the guise of pragmatism but in reality are little more than snake-in-the-grass-bastard types doing it for $$$$$$$$ or some other mutual interest--and party hacks are scary too.

If a die-hard (as in voting record) party hack did that, I'd agree fully (though the person in question might well believe otherwise) however, when a person can fit both parties, it's less clear. In this case, the guy probably thinks he is doing something good for the country by making it likelier that he'll stay in office and affect laws (thus feeling good about himself, a reward), he also benefits from a greater chance to earn more (a reward). Which one matters most to him? Neither of us know, so I won't judge him for doing something he likely feel is the "right" thing.

Tommycat
05-07-2009, 05:28 PM
If a die-hard (as in voting record) party hack did that, I'd agree fully (though the person in question might well believe otherwise) however, when a person can fit both parties, it's less clear. In this case, the guy probably thinks he is doing something good for the country by making it likelier that he'll stay in office and affect laws (thus feeling good about himself, a reward), he also benefits from a greater chance to earn more (a reward). Which one matters most to him? Neither of us know, so I won't judge him for doing something he likely feel is the "right" thing.

It more or less reminds me of those who switch sports teams to the one who won the last championship. Jumping on the bandwagon more or less. Though I don't necessarily disagree with Specter leaving the Republican party. When your own party is planning on dumping you, it's time to leave the party. The only thing that worries me greatly is one party having that much control.

Not that I see much divergence between the parties as of late. One is tax and spend, the other is deficit and spend(though now it appears we can add tax and deficit and spend which I expect the other party to pick up).

Darth Avlectus
05-08-2009, 01:52 AM
You misunderstand me, I was talking about motivation, and "right" as in how we convince ourself that we did it for "right" reasons, i.e a patriot might convince himself that he did it for the good of the country.

No I'm pretty sure I got you: it's what is referred to as rationalizing. We all do it.

I was implying what you were saying before was merited. What you just said here is what I mean--there is what we think is right for the country, and what actually is right for the country: they may not be the same. And the only way to possibly know the difference I think is to be willing to stand corrected eventually. However, such may not be possible in a given profession without doing harm b/c your reputation may be on the line as a result.


If a die-hard (as in voting record) party hack did that, I'd agree fully (though the person in question might well believe otherwise) however, when a person can fit both parties, it's less clear. In this case, the guy probably thinks he is doing something good for the country by making it likelier that he'll stay in office and affect laws (thus feeling good about himself, a reward), he also benefits from a greater chance to earn more (a reward).
Did he (objectively) reconcile it with the real world and how it worked out, though? --Just saying.
Which one matters most to him? Neither of us know, so I won't judge him for doing something he likely feel is the "right" thing.
I try not to judge people, but I still hold opinions as do we all.
So far as knowing for sure, I can't say either, that any of us would.
However, I take into account what ultimately came of it all in actuality.
In all fairness I weigh in possible and likely unknowns and their likelihoods, too.