Arlen Specter's decision to "divorce" the Republican Party last week was a long time coming. Simply put, the GOP has spent the last decade ostracizing moderates and blackballing anyone in their brethren that dared to deviate from the conservative arete, and that insular and rigid idealogy is coming back to bite them in the ass. Specter is far from being the first victim; Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) was the first member of his party to openly express doubts about the War in Iraq, and Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) bucked party lines in regard to abortion and gay rights, and both paid dearly for their efforts. Sen. John McCain won his party's nomination for president by promising to be more open-minded than most mainstream conservatives, but the rascally radical was ultimately done in by caving into party demands and choosing maverick poseur Sarah Palin as his running mate. The only difference is that Specter had reservations about the direction of the party for years, than jumped ship before the GOP could pull out the knives.
With Specter turning blue and Al Franken's presumptive election following a prolonged court battle, the Democrats pretty much have a filibuster-proof majority in place. Though an all-encompassing liberal majority may seem like a novelty, it isn't rock bottom for the GOP. Real Clear Politics is quick to point out that the Dems had a 69-27 advantage from 1935-37 and a 68-32 edge from 1965-67, and both majorities unraveled when the economic agendas of a Democratic president (the New Deal and Great Society, respectively) lost the public's patience and support. As for now, President Obama's policies have given the country a sense of cautious optimism, and we'll take stability over nothing. Tax Day rallies aside, the GOP has bungled their attempts to poke holes into Obamanomics and the party's focus is more scattered and too concerned with special interests than ever. They almost seem committed to marginalizing themselves.
+ One month into my second year in fantasy baseball, I don't really have a "good" or "bad" team but simply two middling squads treading water. As I write this, both of my teams are right smack at .500 and the trend doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon. Having a lot of Royals players helped early on in the year, though Gordon and Aviles had to be dumped for obvious reasons. If only I had Zach Greinke on both teams instead of just one...
+ I really hope they throw the book at this lady.
+ You might be worried about swine flu, but I'm still preparing for monkeypox...
+ Less than two weeks until student orientation at Second City!