RNC Chairman Michael Steele sent out an email to supporters late last night outraged over Specter’s “defection”:
I hope Arlen Specter’s party change outrages you. It should for two reasons:
First–Specter claimed it was philosophical–and pointed his finger of blame at Republicans all over America for his defection to the Democrats. He told us all to go jump in the lake today.
I’m sorry, but I don’t believe a word he said.
Arlen Specter committed a purely political and self-serving act today. He simply believes he has a better chance of saving his political hide and his job as a Democrat. He loves the title of Senator more than he loves the party–and the principles–that elected him and nurtured him.
Second–and more importantly–Arlen Specter handed Barack Obama and his band of radical leftists nearly absolute power in the United States Senate. In leaving the Republican Party–and joining the Democrats–he absolutely undercut Republicans’ efforts to slow down Obama’s radical agenda through the threat of filibuster.
Two thoughts on this: 1) It’s a little hard to take Steele’s outrage seriously since he effectively threatened to drum Specter out of the party after the stimulus vote. And, 2) If Specter’s handing the Dems “nearly absolute power” is Steele tacitly giving up on Coleman?