OK

Wednesday, and there's always something for the pundits to talk about. if it ain't swine flu, it's Hurricane Specter.

NY Times editorial:

Is the new swine flu virus that has killed many people in Mexico and has spread to the United States and other countries the start of a much feared pandemic? Or is this yet another false alarm — the latest in a long history of worrying that some day a hugely lethal flu strain might sweep through the world and kill tens of millions of people, much as it did in 1918-1919?

It's nothing like 1918 as of now. But it bears close watching. And all that H5N1 preparation is a huge help.

NY Times expert opinion on swine flu (yeah, we still call it that).

Politico:

Arlen Specter’s break from Republicans is the latest in a trip-hammer series of reversals that leaves the GOP more beaten and less popular than either major party has been in decades.

Tim Fernholz: The big fights come next.

James Oliphant:

Some party leaders see [Specter's] move as purely election-driven, others as a signal that they need to be more inclusive. But a recent poll says GOP voters want to move further right.

How can they? They already break the right margin.

WSJ:  

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to become a Democrat underscores his former party's political downward spiral.

In losing control of the House and Senate over the past four years, congressional Republicans have also lost much of their ideological and geographic diversity -- raising questions about the GOP's viability as a national party. The party has suffered in particular in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, and among moderates.

Chron Editorial:

The number of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans has slipped to a quarter-century low of 21 percent.

Arlen Specter is not the only one who has grown disenchanted with a party that once prided itself as a "big tent" that welcomed divergent views.

No one wants to be a Republican.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 04:23 AM PDT.

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