Reason‘s Matt Welch on Arlen’s big move:
As a pox-on-both-houses type, and someone who genuinely believes that most interesting political developments will take place far outside the racket’s most “professional” arenas, I am always delighted to be reminded of the commonalities between the two big parties, particularly concerning their behavior in power. Throat-clearing aside, this strikes me as no favor at all to the Democrats. By choosing to die on the hill of the stimulus package of all things, Specter reinforces whatever notion there is that stimuli and bailouts are Democratic, not Republican, pet toys. Since professional Republicans are currently scattered in the wind, trying desperately to latch onto the anti-stimulus/bailout Tea Party movement, cementing that divide may come back to haunt Democrats when those policies (inevitably, I think) become so derided that even Barack Obama’s impressive popularity can’t rescue them.