No it's the switching of parties by Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Specter said in part:
As the Republican Party has moved farther and farther to the right, I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party, Specter said in announcing his decision Tuesday.
There's a big to do over the fact this brings the Democrats one seat closer to the 60 super majority. That assumes that the Democrats can always vote as a block which I mean come after all they are Democrats. How often is that really going to happen?
The reaction from the Republicans:
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele ripped Specter, calling him a Republican in name only who was out of step with the rest of the party because of his "left-wing voting record."
Weighing in on one side yesterday was Rush Limbaugh. "He's not a moderate," Limbaugh said of Specter. "He is a liberal Republican, and this is a natural winnowing process that is taking place. . . . Within the Republican Party, people who are not really Republicans are now leaving. People who are not really conservatives are now really leaving. So it's going to be not much smaller, but it's going to be a little bit more focused a party and a base."
These statements speak volumes about where the Republican Party is going. At some point when they the only people remain in the party are "real Republicans" there aren't going to be that many people. Because it seems that only real Republicans are conservatives it seems even moderates are no longer welcome.
It's interesting to see a party self-destruct before you eyes. Of course a great deal can happen before the next election. But I don't see how they recover in New England. There grip on the Midwest continues to slip. The same for out west. California hasn't voted for a Republican since 1988. I can't see that changing in the future. In fact the Democrats are adding states out west.
Where does this leave the Republicans? A very white, very southern party. The demographics they represent are not expanding; they are only contracting.
So in some ways it is a summer movie. A comedy to some; a horror movie to others.
But no doubt a Specter Shift.