Arlen Specter is going to bat for the other team:
Mr. Specter, who provided President Barack Obama the critical vote for his $787 billion stimulus plan, faced a powerful challenge in 2010 from former Rep. Pat Toomey, who hoped to unseat Mr. Specter in a Republican primary.
Mr. Specter met personally with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada to inform him of his decision, a Reid spokesman said.
Based on his voting record in the past, I wonder if anyone will notice the difference?
Update: TNR says, “Welcome aboard.”
When a politician switches parties, it’s customary for the party he’s abandoned to denounce him as an unprincipled hack, and the party he’s joined to praise him as a brave convert who’s genuinely seen the light. But I think it’s pretty clear that Specter is an unprincipled hack. If his best odds of keeping his Senate seat lay in joining the Communist party, he’d probably do that.
To be sure, Specter is a real moderate on some issues, but his contortions are so comical that no principled read on his actions is very plausible. Specter favored the Employee Free Choice Act favored by labor, turned against it when he faced a primary challenge, and then abandoned his party altogether when it became clear he couldn’t win his primary. In the meantime, he came out in favor of a Hooverite spending freeze after backing the stimulus bill.
I’d find more cause for celebration, but it seems to me that this is emblematic of a hubris that doesn’t need former Republicans.