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(R) Sen. Arlen Specter is switching parties

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  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Also it appears Specter supports Coleman to win the MN senate seat.
    specter wrote:
    "There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner,"

    What a jackass.

    CommunistCow on
    No, I am not really communist. Yes, it is weird that I use this name.
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    And it looks like Specter's support for Coleman might not be clear cut, as shown by the newly released context for the quote:
    With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

    I sure do. There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

    Which seems about as likely at this point as Jerry Seinfeld's joining the Senate.

    Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat.

    This didn't stop Ried from rolling over:
    "Well, on that one we are just going to have to disagree, because as far as Senator Reid and the people of Minnesota are concerned, Al Franken is going to be the next Senator from Minnesota."

    Scalfin on
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  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The term "to do justice" seems to make it a pretty clear statement even with the full context.

    CommunistCow on
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  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You mean "Disregard the will of the people"?

    Crimsondude on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Specter's seniority on his committees was bumped down today: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/05/senate_democrats_deny_specter.html?hpid=topnews

    I was hoping for something like this. Dude needs to earn his bonafides before he gets choice positions on committees.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Well, at least he was right when he said he wouldn't be a loyal Democrat.

    Man, if you're going to switch, your new party does expect you to actually vote their way more often than you did in your old party. Especially if they have a bench full of people that WILL vote their way clawing for your seat.

    Gosling on
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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    That's one of the weirder consequences of a two-party system. Someone who becomes too radical can switch off to a less mainstream party, but since the big two parties usually fight over the center, there's nowhere to go if their own party becomes too radical for them. Ideally, Specter would switch to a smaller moderate party, but as far as I'm aware none exist and none are likely to any time soon under more normal conditions.

    This whole thing is pretty unusual. The Republican party really shouldn't be doing what it's doing now, they're leaving a substantial gap in the center that the Democratic party isn't willing to fill. The end result is that the Democratic party is getting people joining it who probably shouldn't be Democrats based on their political preferences.

    jothki on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    jothki wrote: »
    This whole thing is pretty unusual. The Republican party really shouldn't be doing what it's doing now, they're leaving a substantial gap in the center that the Democratic party isn't willing to fill. The end result is that the Democratic party is getting people joining it who probably shouldn't be Democrats based on their political preferences.

    God, if only there were a party that championed the traditional conservative fiscal viewpoints without promoting such a Draconian social policy.

    They could be called, "The Libertanians!"


    Man, oh man . . .

    Atomika on
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    jothki wrote: »
    This whole thing is pretty unusual. The Republican party really shouldn't be doing what it's doing now, they're leaving a substantial gap in the center that the Democratic party isn't willing to fill. The end result is that the Democratic party is getting people joining it who probably shouldn't be Democrats based on their political preferences.

    God, if only there were a party that championed the traditional conservative fiscal viewpoints without promoting such a Draconian social policy.

    They could be called, "The Libertanians!"


    Man, oh man . . .
    Actually, I think some group of crazies are already using that name.

    Bama on
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    jothki wrote: »
    That's one of the weirder consequences of a two-party system. Someone who becomes too radical can switch off to a less mainstream party, but since the big two parties usually fight over the center, there's nowhere to go if their own party becomes too radical for them. Ideally, Specter would switch to a smaller moderate party, but as far as I'm aware none exist and none are likely to any time soon under more normal conditions.

    This whole thing is pretty unusual. The Republican party really shouldn't be doing what it's doing now, they're leaving a substantial gap in the center that the Democratic party isn't willing to fill. The end result is that the Democratic party is getting people joining it who probably shouldn't be Democrats based on their political preferences.
    Specter in the end didn't really switch because the GOP became too radical though. He switched to save his own ass, because he couldn't satisfy a majority of GOP voters in PA and the GOP money machine on one side and a majority of PA voters in general on the other. He figures all he has to do now that he's "switched" is play the same center-right card to garner some GOP votes, and that he'll win the D vote by default and he'll win in a landslide. Hopefully a primary will correct his assumptions by way of ending his career

    The Democratic positions are pretty widely popular though so I'm not sure where this theoretical center is.

    PantsB on
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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I dunno why he thinks it'll be any easier to get through a Democratic primary than it will be to get through a Republican one. Primaries are generally the domain of the most committed voters, and the most committed are fairly partisan and usually very aware of where the candidates stand on the issues relative to the general party platform. The Democratic primary is less of a purity litmus test than the Republican one, but Democrats will remember which of their choices voted against the party the most. Specter has going for him the fact that he's a known quantity and that the Democratic leadership wants to hold onto that filibuster-proof majority, even if that majority is in name and not practice. The example of Lieberman, though, shows that activists do have the power to oust an established name, so, again, I don't see why he thinks he's going to be spared the very real threat of being primaried out.

    Also, would it kill him to act like most other defectors? They tend to embrace their new party's platform with gusto, trying to prove their new loyalty. Specter may as well have gone independent for the usefulness he's given to the Democrats.

    wwtMask on
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  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    Specter in the end didn't really switch because the GOP became too radical though.

    But didn't he?

    "Moving to the center" and "leaving because his party became too radical" is basically six of one, half dozen of the other.

    Voters in his district no longer identified with the GOP. If Specter doesn't think fellow GOP members identify enough with his views to re-elect him, I don't see what the confusion is.

    Atomika on
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    I dunno why he thinks it'll be any easier to get through a Democratic primary than it will be to get through a Republican one. Primaries are generally the domain of the most committed voters, and the most committed are fairly partisan and usually very aware of where the candidates stand on the issues relative to the general party platform. The Democratic primary is less of a purity litmus test than the Republican one, but Democrats will remember which of their choices voted against the party the most. Specter has going for him the fact that he's a known quantity and that the Democratic leadership wants to hold onto that filibuster-proof majority, even if that majority is in name and not practice. The example of Lieberman, though, shows that activists do have the power to oust an established name, so, again, I don't see why he thinks he's going to be spared the very real threat of being primaried out.

    Also, would it kill him to act like most other defectors? They tend to embrace their new party's platform with gusto, trying to prove their new loyalty. Specter may as well have gone independent for the usefulness he's given to the Democrats.

    Reading DailyKos, they were giving him the benefit of the doubt, but that's all gone now. Say what you will about the site, but it's a good bellweather as to whether or not action is going to be taken in a primary. Unlike the "lol, worthless bloggers" meme of old, people on DKos actually put their money where their mouth is (just ask Joe Lieberman).

    DoctorArch on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    Specter in the end didn't really switch because the GOP became too radical though.

    But didn't he?

    No. He left because he was going to lose a primary to Pat Toomey. That's the long and the short of it. If the GOP could ensure no primary challenges against him he'd still be a Republican.

    moniker on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    No. He left because he was going to lose a primary to Pat Toomey.

    And why is that?

    Atomika on
  • GorelabGorelab Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Because the base of moderate Republicans within the PA Republican Party became Democratic during 2008. He basically couldn't win because the remaining Republicans within the party were too purity driven. Which is bad for them. Both parties in PA seem to often forget that PA is a pretty moderate state. They like Specters and Bob Caseys and Ridges a lot more than ideologues.

    Gorelab on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    No. He left because he was going to lose a primary to Pat Toomey.

    And why is that?

    Because of how the Pennsylvania primary system is setup.

    moniker on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Gorelab wrote: »
    Because the base of moderate Republicans within the PA Republican Party became Democratic during 2008. He basically couldn't win because the remaining Republicans within the party were too purity driven. Which is bad for them. Both parties in PA seem to often forget that PA is a pretty moderate state. They like Specters and Bob Caseys and Ridges a lot more than ideologues.

    Ergo . . .

    Specter no longer appeals to the yellow-dog GOP. They've radicalized and marginalized their party into obsolescence.

    Say what you want about the man cynically trying to keep his job (and he is), but if the GOP hadn't devolved into the cesspool it's become and was still riding on the '04 wave of popularity, his moderation would be tolerated.

    Atomika on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Gorelab wrote: »
    Because the base of moderate Republicans within the PA Republican Party became Democratic during 2008. He basically couldn't win because the remaining Republicans within the party were too purity driven. Which is bad for them. Both parties in PA seem to often forget that PA is a pretty moderate state. They like Specters and Bob Caseys and Ridges a lot more than ideologues.

    Ergo . . .

    Specter no longer appeals to the yellow-dog GOP. They've radicalized and marginalized their party into obsolescence.

    Say what you want about the man cynically trying to keep his job (and he is), but if the GOP hadn't devolved into the cesspool it's become and was still riding on the '04 wave of popularity, his moderation would be tolerated.

    Except none of that would matter if Pennsylvania were an open primary state, and Specter would still be a Republican.

    moniker on
  • DelzhandDelzhand Venitah, Satariel! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    Well, at least he was right when he said he wouldn't be a loyal Democrat.

    Man, if you're going to switch, your new party does expect you to actually vote their way more often than you did in your old party. Especially if they have a bench full of people that WILL vote their way clawing for your seat.

    Damn, Gos, I know your book is going to have a rule for Specter, but this keeps getting better and better.

    Delzhand on
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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Gorelab wrote: »
    Because the base of moderate Republicans within the PA Republican Party became Democratic during 2008. He basically couldn't win because the remaining Republicans within the party were too purity driven. Which is bad for them. Both parties in PA seem to often forget that PA is a pretty moderate state. They like Specters and Bob Caseys and Ridges a lot more than ideologues.

    Maybe, but primary voters are more likely to be partisan than the general electorate. Specter being a stonewalling DINO isn't going to work for him in the Democratic primary. A reasonably well known state Representative or Senator from PA that is a bit more to the left of Specter could oust him, even without the DCCC on their side. The netroots, perennially at odds with the DCCC, would ensure that Specter's opponent has the resources for the challenge. Specter would then have to rely on heavy hitters to campaign for him (basically Obama, Casey, or Rendell). If it comes down to that, I'd imagine that being a cockblock on the Democratic agenda would put the heavy hitters in a tight spot, and he'd be stuck with tepid support from them at best.

    wwtMask on
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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Sestak, who is a centrist Dem, has all but announced that he will challenge Specter and has been his most vocal skeptic. He's a former Vice Admiral, he beat a 10 term incumbent Republican in the Philly burbs in 2006, and endorsed HRC. He seems like Specter's worst nightmare and as of yet the worst thing I've seen about him is that he voted for telcom immunity, and a few other prominent Dems did that as well.

    PantsB on
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  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    Sestak, who is a centrist Dem, has all but announced that he will challenge Specter and has been his most vocal skeptic. He's a former Vice Admiral, he beat a 10 term incumbent Republican in the Philly burbs in 2006, and endorsed HRC. He seems like Specter's worst nightmare and as of yet the worst thing I've seen about him is that he voted for telcom immunity, and a few other prominent Dems did that as well.

    While the telcom immunity will be a hangup for Dems, he is still the lesser of two evils.

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  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I seem to recall one young Dem senator in particular whose career went nowhere after that.

    Crimsondude on
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I seem to recall one young Dem senator in particular whose career went nowhere after that.

    As I said, lesser of two evils. The Democratic party activists may not like the fact that Obama voted for Telcom immunity, but that doesn't mean they don't think he's a great choice. It's nice that some of them are steering away from the "No True Scotsman" argument.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I seem to recall one young Dem senator in particular whose career went nowhere after that.

    Dude was out of the Senate the very next election and his term wasn't even up
    Archgarth wrote: »
    As I said, lesser of two evils. The Democratic party activists may not like the fact that Obama voted for Telcom immunity, but that doesn't mean they don't think he's a great choice. It's nice that some of them are steering away from the "No True Scotsman" argument.

    Exactly it'd be awesome if there was always a candidate you agreed with on every major issue. But Sestak would be perfectly acceptable to most major groups in the Democratic party (unions and progressives alike).

    I would point out most of the "netroots" hasn't suffered from the No True Scotsman problem among candidates. More than a few Blue Dogs are in office because of support from those groups. Its just that the netroots will also try to sway those candidates to better positions and don't want Blue Dogs in left leaning districts or DLCers in strongly Democratic districts

    PantsB on
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Archgarth wrote: »
    I seem to recall one young Dem senator in particular whose career went nowhere after that.

    As I said, lesser of two evils. The Democratic party activists may not like the fact that Obama voted for Telcom immunity, but that doesn't mean they don't think he's a great choice. It's nice that some of them are steering away from the "No True Scotsman" argument.
    Crimsondude was referring to Obama, btw.

    Fencingsax on
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  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    Well, it looks like Specter is at least Specter is having some fun with not having to give a crap about what his old party thinks:
    Well, I was sorry to disappoint many people. Frankly, I was disappointed that the Republican Party didn't want me as their candidate. But as a matter of principle, I'm becoming much more comfortable with the Democrats' approach.
    And one of the items that I'm working on, Bob, is funding for medical research. I've been the spear carrier to increase medical research. And I've even established a Web site, Specterforthecure.com, to try to get people to put more pressure on Congress to join me in getting more funding. This medical research has been a reawakening--the ten billion dollars. We were about to lose a whole generation of scientists. And now they're enthused. There are fifteen thousand applications to be granted. If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today. And that research has saved or prolonged many lives, including mine.

    Now, as the New York Times pointed out in a column today, when you talk about life and death and medical research, that's a much more major consideration on what I can do, continuing in the Senate, contrasted with which party I belong to.

    Yes, he seems to be saying that the Republican party killed Jack Kemp.

    Scalfin on
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  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    I seem to recall one young Dem senator in particular whose career went nowhere after that.

    Dude was out of the Senate the very next election and his term wasn't even up

    HA! Touche.

    Crimsondude on
  • psychotixpsychotix __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2009
    Scalfin wrote: »
    Well, it looks like Specter is at least Specter is having some fun with not having to give a crap about what his old party thinks:
    Well, I was sorry to disappoint many people. Frankly, I was disappointed that the Republican Party didn't want me as their candidate. But as a matter of principle, I'm becoming much more comfortable with the Democrats' approach.
    And one of the items that I'm working on, Bob, is funding for medical research. I've been the spear carrier to increase medical research. And I've even established a Web site, Specterforthecure.com, to try to get people to put more pressure on Congress to join me in getting more funding. This medical research has been a reawakening--the ten billion dollars. We were about to lose a whole generation of scientists. And now they're enthused. There are fifteen thousand applications to be granted. If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today. And that research has saved or prolonged many lives, including mine.

    Now, as the New York Times pointed out in a column today, when you talk about life and death and medical research, that's a much more major consideration on what I can do, continuing in the Senate, contrasted with which party I belong to.

    Yes, he seems to be saying that the Republican party killed Jack Kemp.

    They went after him and now it's his turn for a pint of blood. I say have at it.:lol:

    psychotix on
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    I seem to recall one young Dem senator in particular whose career went nowhere after that.

    As I said, lesser of two evils. The Democratic party activists may not like the fact that Obama voted for Telcom immunity, but that doesn't mean they don't think he's a great choice. It's nice that some of them are steering away from the "No True Scotsman" argument.
    Crimsondude was referring to Obama, btw.

    Um, the fact that I referred to Obama suggests that I knew that he was referring to him, sarcastically too I might add. People didn't like that Obama supported telcom immunity, but in the long run it was an issue that was dwarfed by his positives.

    DoctorArch on
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  • DelzhandDelzhand Venitah, Satariel! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Anyone else think that "Specterforthecure" sounds ominous?
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Gorelab wrote: »
    Because the base of moderate Republicans within the PA Republican Party became Democratic during 2008. He basically couldn't win because the remaining Republicans within the party were too purity driven. Which is bad for them. Both parties in PA seem to often forget that PA is a pretty moderate state. They like Specters and Bob Caseys and Ridges a lot more than ideologues.

    Maybe, but primary voters are more likely to be partisan than the general electorate. Specter being a stonewalling DINO isn't going to work for him in the Democratic primary. A reasonably well known state Representative or Senator from PA that is a bit more to the left of Specter could oust him, even without the DCCC on their side. The netroots, perennially at odds with the DCCC, would ensure that Specter's opponent has the resources for the challenge. Specter would then have to rely on heavy hitters to campaign for him (basically Obama, Casey, or Rendell). If it comes down to that, I'd imagine that being a cockblock on the Democratic agenda would put the heavy hitters in a tight spot, and he'd be stuck with tepid support from them at best.

    I hope the netroots actually put up a good candidate and Specter gets ousted. Trying to game the system is a dick move, and I support the people who have no tolerance for it.

    Delzhand on
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  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    In response to his support of coleman and the backlash specter has started back tracking:
    "In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," Specter said. "I’m ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I’ve made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."

    So maybe he is just incompetent or forgetful that he just switched major parties.

    CommunistCow on
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    In response to his support of coleman and the backlash specter has started back tracking:
    "In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," Specter said. "I’m ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I’ve made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."

    So maybe he is just incompetent or forgetful that he just switched major parties.
    Is this that thing where the accuser goes 'you must be either (bad thing A) or (bad thing B)' and the accused replies 'I am not (bad thing A)'?

    Gosling on
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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    In response to his support of coleman and the backlash specter has started back tracking:
    "In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," Specter said. "I’m ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I’ve made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."

    So maybe he is just incompetent or forgetful that he just switched major parties.
    Is this that thing where the accuser goes 'you must be either (bad thing A) or (bad thing B)' and the accused replies 'I am not (bad thing A)'?

    When did you stop beating your wife, anyway?

    In all seriousness, I'd say give Spectre a while and see what he does before deciding if he needs to be ousted. (But then, I'm a fan of funding more scientific research, since it's one of the few things our country is still comparatively good at.)

    Daedalus on
  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    In all seriousness, I'd say give Spectre a while and see what he does before deciding if he needs to be ousted. (But then, I'm a fan of funding more scientific research, since it's one of the few things our country is still comparatively good at.)

    I'm fine with that but in the mean time I don't think he deserves seniority in his committees.

    CommunistCow on
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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Well, he got a subcommittee.

    Captain Carrot on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Some positive news: Specter is willing to renew his support for the EFCA. http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/15517/

    I'm sure some haggling will need to go on before he does. The diary on DKos talking about this also speculates on the small changes that could be made that might mollify the Conservadems.

    wwtMask on
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    TRANSLATION: Specter might have gotten the message.

    'Dude, why'd you take away my seniority?'
    'See, we give seniority to Democrats.'
    'But I just joined the-- ohhhhh.'

    Gosling on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Shocking how he flipped on that once he realized he might have to face a challenge from the left. I loathe him so much.

    enlightenedbum on
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