The pro-choice soon to be ex-Republican Arlen Specter has switched parties.  He was facing a tough primary fight, and the consensus was that he can easily win in a general election if he can survive a primary fight.  So the guy who generated the magic-bullet theory and acted like a cro-mag jerk during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings when questioning Anita Hill has some opportunities to make amends.

Fortunately for the Republicans, Norm Coleman is digging in his heels on their behalf and the Minnesota Supreme Court is indulging him with regard to the delay.

Addendum:  Finally got to read the article linked above.  It seems that Pennsylvania is going through a demographics change similar to that of California’s during the 1990s.  The Republican Party is shrinking, with the residual being hard right and bitter (just like Obama said) making it impossible for a moderate Republican to survive a primary fight (largely the reason Schwarzenegger needed to bypass the primary).  According to the article the last straw, and a classic example of unintended consequences, may have been a poll indicating that 80 percent of the state’s remaining Republicans had positive impressions of the “tea parties” of two weeks ago, suggesting Specter had serious problems as one of the three Republicans voting for the stimulus, even with all the concesssions they extracted for the votes.

Libs might not want to be too sanguine about all this.  With all the moderates bolting the Republican Part, it means the Democrats in office are less dependent on the base for reelection.  Specter is expected to defeat any liberal primary challenge, probably because many liberals will want to reward the switch with the hope of encouraging further crossovers.  Obama’s biggest problems right now are coming from Blue Doggers and DLC types, as the GOP cluelessly slides into at least temporary irrelevency.  It’ll probably ease up when the base gets tired of losing elections and you start reading about RLC’s, or red dog Republicans – a window of opportunity can be lost if the Liebermans, Bayhs, and Specters have their way.

Okay, glass can be half full.  Leave it to me to view the filibuster-proof, or at least filibuster-resistant, Democratic majority as bad news.  Besides, the “don’t cite us” US Supreme Court majority still hasn’t chimed in on the Franken/Coleman race.  I wonder if they’ll be pissed at the Coleman camp for ignoring their admonition and citing them anyway.

Meanwhile, there’s lots of coverage at TPM, including statements from reps of both parties.  Apparently Biden brokered the switch.

Addendum: It was quite an MSM show yesterday.  The Republican response:  “freedom is the biggest tent.”