I suppose I should have some thoughts on Senator Specter's switch to the Democrat party, so here are a couple:
It's not a surprise. He's been a very liberal senator most of his career. The Democrat party, by gaining Specter, has not changed its ideological complexion, but the Republican party, by losing Specter, has just grown more conservative. If he was going to do it, though, I wish he hadn't promised just a month or so ago that he wouldn't jump parties.
I do respect him for the courage with which he has battled his cancer and for his stalwart defense of some good Supreme Court nominees. He was an ardent defender of Clarence Thomas against the calumnies of the Left and Anita Hill and was a key player in getting Roberts and Alito through Senate confirmation. Other than that he's been a millstone around the neck of the GOP.
I've never voted for him in the primary and never voted against him in the general election. Now I can.
His move was pure self-interest. He would've lost to Pat Toomey in the GOP primary. I can't imagine aspiring Democrat office-holders not being a little miffed at his horning in on their political ambitions. It'll be interesting to see what kind of a primary challenge he'll face. It'll also be interesting to see what Harry Reid offered him in return for making the switch.
Now that the Democrats have the 60 votes they need for cloture there's no reason not to encourage Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to follow Specter into the Democrat party.