Specter Disappoints Democrats Now

It appears Arlen Specter is being received by the partisans of his new party about as well as he was by those of his old one. On “Meet the Press” this morning, he denied reports that he told President Obama “i’ll be a loyal Democrat.”

He’s demonstrated that, in fact, he’s not going to be a loyal Democrat by voting against Obama’s budget and promising to continue his opposition to Dawn Johnson, Obama’s nominee to be head of the Office of Legal Council.

Nicole Belle wonders, “Is it any clearer that this Faustian bargain made for those fabled 60 votes is no bargain at all for the majority party?”  Steve Benen calls Specter a “DINO.” Ben Armbruster‘s commenters are not pleased.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. An Interested Party says:

    It’s almost as if Specter is hoping to get a primary opponent…if he thought that Toomey was bad for him, how does he feel about, say, Sestak or Murphy…

  2. Tlaloc says:

    I don’t see the down side for the Dems. Even if Specter was so contrary that after becoming a Dem he voted with them less, then he’s still only got a year and a half before the election. And unlike the GOP the Dems can most definitely primary Specter and still win the general.

  3. jack fate says:

    No surprise, what-so-ever. Specter’s defection is a bigger blow to the GOP than it is a gain for the Democrats.

    Here’s to a vigorous Democratic primary for Specter’s seat.

  4. just me says:

    I don’t think it hurts the dems that much. So he throws a “no” vote here or there, it is likely on most issues that aren’t going to make the blue dogs balk too his “no” isn’t going to matter. he willl, however, most likely be the same thorn in their sides that he was to the GOP.

    Where he helps them is that he is likely going to help them when it comes to voting for cloture. Specter was already a help to the dems, when the GOP tried to filibuster, and he will likely be an even bigger help to them. As long as they can break a filibuster, I don’t see where the “no” makes a difference.

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    The same poll that some have been touting lately as a sign that the Republican Party has been marginalized showed that only between 30 and 40% of the American electorate self-identified with either of the major political parties. Neither should take much solace in that.

    The system ensures that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party will continue to dominate elected offices overwhelmingly. As the proportion of the people who consider themselves Democrats or Republicans dwindles, I see no way for them to maintain legitimacy.

  6. Bithead says:

    As the proportion of the people who consider themselves Democrats or Republicans dwindles, I see no way for them to maintain legitimacy.

    Oh, I think I can cover that one.
    They could endevor to understand why thei’re losing favor. A chat with the people on the front lines of the tea parties would be my frist move to answering that question.

  7. HiItsNino says:

    Here are Specters choices:

    Run as a republican and loose the primary
    Run as a indepenent and loose the general
    Run as a democrat and stay in the old boys club.

    He is a DINO, and I hope primary voters don’t forget that.

  8. Rick Almeida says:

    just me nailed it on the head…with 60 seats, Specter and 8 others can vote no to their hearts’ content as long as they vote for cloture.