The Specter Hangover
Arlen Specter's defection might be just a temporary crack hit for Democrats, a momentary high that falls flat once it's gone. Let's see, the Pennsylvania senator boasts that he won't be a guaranteed vote for his new party, can't be relied upon for Obama-style health reform and will reserve judgment on the President's pick for a Supreme Court vacancy.
"I did not say I would be a loyal Democrat"
-- Sen. Arlen Specter (NBC, 5/3/09)
So what is gained by Democrats clearing the field for the Republican turncoat in their 2010 Pennsylvania primary?
If Specter switched because he had no chance to win the GOP primary against an unelectable right-winger, there's a case to make that Democrats would be better off letting that happen and electing a more reliable real Democrat. That might be a more lasting high than smoking what Specter is pushing.