One of the best discussions of the implications of Arlen Spector's move to join the Democrats is in the following story from the Washington Post newspaper:
Keep in mind that while Spector had been Republican for 43 years, he did start out in politics as a Democrat, by the way.
The future of the GOP will in the short run be heavily affected by extreme rightwing interest groups such as The Club For Growth. The above article
includes a link with more information on The Club For Growth, which bankrolled Spector's primary challenger in the last Senate election in
Pennsylvania. Several prominent moderate GOP senators and congress members have recently spoken about a repeated pattern in the last few election
cycles where The Club For Growth funded extreme right wing challenges to moderate Republican primary candidates. Ultimately, even where those
moderate Republicans won the primaries, they had to spend so much money staying alive in the primaries that they were at a financial disadvantage in
the general election and lost. For example, that is what happened to Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island last year, according to an interview with Chafee
last night on MSNBC.
Perhaps the current time shows the endgame of extreme right wing conservatism battling for control of the GOP. I remember when Lou Dobbs interviewed
Anne Coulter last year on his show, he expressed surprised that Anne did not support fiscal conservatism which Lou cited as a core Republican value.
Anne's answer was revealing: "Those were the Republicans who LOST elections."
Once the extreme right wingers go to the wall and fail, then and only then will the GOP have a chance to redefine itself. And I think that they will
more successfully redefine themselves. We sure could use a political party that would accept a politician like Abraham Lincoln once again.
I'm a political independent, but I notice that any party in power eventually gets into real trouble, and depends on outside reality checks (from
other political parties) to get them back on track. It seems to be a human thing.