THE BLOG
05/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA)

Newly-minted "Democratic" Senator Arlen Specter's decision to abandon his party rather than face an ignominious defeat in the Republican primary is a welcome development that illustrates once again the rot that is currently eating away at the innards of the GOP. Senator Specter (D-PA) switched parties for the same reason Joe Lieberman became an "Independent" in 2006: He was going to lose his high perch in the United States Senate. Now Specter must change his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) or else the Democratic base in Pennsylvania (meaning working people) is going to give him a lot of grief in the upcoming primary. Specter knew he couldn't face the fire-breathers in the Republican primary so he pulled the Ole Switch-a-roo. Political genius I say!

You got to hand it to these guys who've been in the Senate since the Spanish-American War: They sure have staying power and know how to maneuver. No wonder nothing bold or visionary ever seems to come out of the Senate. They're too busy most of the time ironing their togas and offering stentorian speeches than leading the country. We're fortunate that President Barack Obama served less than a single term before he made a move on the White House.

We'll have to wait and see what happens both in the Democratic primary and whether or not when Specter's re-election campaign heats up President Obama is willing to go down to Philly and rock their world for him. Specter's move gives Obama a lot of negotiating strength on lining up votes from the newest member of the Democratic Senate majority.

Be forewarned: If you're gonna caucus with the Democrats, Arlen, you better start voting like one.

Now watch the Limbaughs and the Hannitys and the Becks and the Coulters and the Roves go into full-throated character-assassination mode against Specter. "Specter Never Was A Republican Anyway!" "He Was Always a Baby Killer!" "He Never Defended Torture or Sarah Palin Enough!" The base of the Republican Party is eating its young (and in Specter's case its old). It's a joy to watch and we can thank Barack Obama for extricating the Democratic Party from the icy grip of the Blue Dog Clintonites and finally offering America a real choice -- and look how America is choosing!