News of the dramatic defection of Arlen Specter from the GOP to the Democratic Party caused a brief, albeit intense media deluge causing many a head spin and eye roll from pundits, politicians and regular people on both sides of the isle. Accusations by the right that he had no chance to win the Republican primary in 2010 (thanks to the lunatics at The Club for Growth) and that he’s only switching to salvage what’s left of his career were pretty much expected. Also, the fact that they’re losing the only Jew in their ranks (Lieberman doesn’t really count) must have sent secret pangs of joy throughout the wingnuttia of the leadership. The Democratic side welcoming him with open arms, despite the fact that he doesn’t agree with them about 90% of the time, was also the predictable outcome of such an announcement. I see it as a lose/lose for both sides.
Right now the Republican Senate consists of not surprisingly twenty lawyers, two medical doctors, several business people, a couple of real estate brokers, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, an embarrassingly bad amateur musician and a former lawn equipment salesman. All proudly admit to practicing some form of Christianity – mostly of the Evangelical or goon variety. * All but six of these Constitutional mouth-breathers fall into the “Guns, God and Gays” category meaning that they are pro gun, anti abortion and total homophobes especially when it comes to marriage. It also attests to the fact that these three virtual non-issues (guns, God and gays) are the platforms on which they base their leadership. And a good many of them are guilty of providing a figurative blow job to Jack Abramoff. My personal favorite, David Vittner of Louisiana, was found to be one of the DC Madam’s best customers. He’s also one of the most vocal about the Family Values ™.
Specter leaving the party signals the demise of any hope of a rational discourse in the Senate. You can’t reason with a person who actually believes that God talks to them on a regular basis and that the jury is still out on Evolution. The loss of Specter is a loss for all of us. I don’t know about you, but I would love it if we as a nation could witness an intelligent debate in the Senate without invoking Jesus, the second amendment or “the definition of marriage.” None of these things matter to the vast majority of Americans who right now are screaming for some answers.
The club of semi-normal Republican senators is dwindling fast. All we’re left with are Lisa Murkowski, Mike Crapo, Dick Lugar, George Voinovich, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Keep in mind that Crapo ran unopposed in 2004. Is the Republican Party about to implode on itself? I’m sure many on the left are praying in a non-denominational way for this to happen. I say let’s not bust out the bubbly just yet.
*Full disclosure – I have absolutely no use for people who use religious dogma to dictate their moral decisions. Furthermore, the idea of using the Bible in any of its whacked out translations to enforce law is completely repulsive and should be ignored by anyone with the capacity for cognitive thought.