Daily archives: April 28th, 2009

GOP Sen. Arlen Specter to Switch Parties, Run as a Dem. in ’10

Talk about your seismic shifts!

From WTAE in Pittsburgh:

Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, a move intended to boost his chances of winning re-election next year that will also push Democrats closer to a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.

“I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,” Specter said in a statement posted on a Web site devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office.  Several Senate officials said a formal announcement could come later in the day or Wednesday.

Specter, 79 and in his fifth term, is one of a handful of Republican moderates remaining in Congress in a party now dominated by conservatives.  Several officials said the White House as well as leaders in both parties had been involved in discussions leading to his move.

With Specter, Democrats would have 59 Senate seats. Al Franken is ahead in a marathon recount in Minnesota, and if he ultimately wins his race against Republican Norm Coleman, he would become the party’s 60th vote. That is the number needed to overcome a filibuster.

I have always liked Sen. Specter, even if I’ve disagreed with him in the past.  If I still lived in Pennsylvania, I would have supported him many times over.

Welcome to the Democratic Party, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter!

Sanctimony Incarnate: Glendon Declines Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal

The University of Notre Dame’s Observer has the news:

Mary Ann Glendon declined acceptance of the University’s Laetare Medal in a letter to University President Fr. John Jenkins Monday, saying she was “dismayed” upon hearing Notre Dame is conferring an honorary degree upon President Barack Obama.

Her decision marks the first time the award has been accepted and then declined, according to Julie Flory, a University spokesperson.

In the letter, which was printed on “First Things,” an online journal about religion, culture and public life, Glendon said she was “profoundly moved” when she was selected to receive the Laetare Medal.

This is sanctimony incarnate.  Where were all of these pious Catholics when Torturer-in-Chief George W. Bush was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame,  George W. Bush who started a war for oil, George W. Bush who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis?

I’ll tell you where they were: these “Drill-Baby-Drill” Catholics were cheering when Bush came to Notre Dame.

As a Catholic and an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, I offer three cheers again for Fr. Dan Jenky.  The Faculty Senate at Notre Dame supports Jenkins. The Notre Dame faculty has traditionally stood on the side of common sense, long ago expressing support for ND’s gay and lesbian students.

The Observer editors also blew it in the lead headline for this story: “Former U.S. Ambassador to Vatican ‘dismayed’ that Notre Dame will honor pro-abortion Obama.”

Nowhere does the story reference Glendon referring to President Obama as “pro-abortion.”  She may have said so in her letter to Jenky, but this is not a part of the story.

Here’s a wake-up call to the right wing: President Obama is not pro-abortion.  He’s pro-choice, a political position many believe is the best avenue to bring down the abortion numbers.  I have yet to meet the politician, pro-life, pro-choice, or moderate, who is pro-abortion.  No one wants to see more abortions.  No one wants to see a woman in the position where she even considers abortion, or feels compelled to get an abortion.

I’ll pray for Ms. Glendon, but make no mistake: this is pure, old-fashioned political grandstanding, a ploy of movement conservatives.

Maybe Glendon just wants to run for office.