“It is true that being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of Survivor — you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you’re no longer welcome in the tribe. But it is truly a dangerous signal that a Republican senator of nearly three decades no longer felt able to remain in the party.”
– Senator Olympia Snowe on Arlen Specter’s party switch
Or, to put it another way…
Travis Johnson of Progressive Republicans says, “Well done, dummies.”
Iâ€™m appalled. Not at Senator Specter. At the Republican Party. You, me, all of us. Everyone one of us with an (R) behind his name on his voter registration card is responsible for losing Senator Specter and any chance of controlling the Senate again for a very long time.
Everyone who thought [that he needed to be driven] because the Senator occasionally used his own judgment and chose not to vote in lock-step with the Party […] is responsible.
Iâ€™m looking at you, Pat Toomey, the chair of the Club for Growth, who saw ever-shrinking, but more vocally conservative Pennsylvania Republican Party as an ideal vehicle to launch his career in elected office. Iâ€™m looking at you RNC Chairman Michael Steele who thought it would be a god idea to threaten to endorse Toomey in the primary, an unprecedented move for a national party chair. Iâ€™m looking at you, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the â€œconservativeâ€ media who think the ratings they build up by inciting their followers into a populist frenzy is more important than the advice of most major economists, even their fellow conservatives.
No, it’s not a good time to be a moderate Republican. But how will they get a seat back at the table when the more strident elements are running the show now?
Will Spectre be the wake up call?
I have my doubts…