Okay, moderate Senator Arlen Spector is no longer R-Pennsylvania, but D-Pennsylvania. Again. We've seen the headlines and the news clips, President Obama endorse him and Vice-President Biden court him. What difference does this make? The answer, none. The all important 60 in the Senate refers to 60 votes, not 60 people with a D after their name. While Republicans have historically been a voting block and currently seem be moving in lock-step with "Obama, not just 'no', but 'Hell No," Democrats have always been an independent lot. This is, after all, the bunch Will Rogers was talking about -- "I am not a member of any organized political party, I am a Democrat."
I welcome Senator Spector as a Democrat, but, realistically, he is a political creature who left the Democrats so he could win a primary and now he's come back so he can win a primary. He has no party loyalty, he has a keen sense of personal preservation. He is not a 60th vote to make that fillibuster-proof situation.
Quite honestly, I think that is fine. I like that we are not robots, but free to have our own opinions. I could never fit in with a political party that required my unconditional loyalty. I want to be represented by people who think about what is best for me as a constituent, not what is best for a political party. (I am certainly not represented at the state level and only partially represented at the national level, but I am not looking to participate in a tea party.)
Welcome, Senator Spector, to the party where free thought is encouraged and celebrated, even if it means we lose a few to the robot, er, Republican, party.
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