Following up on yesterday's look at divided Republicans grappling with Arlen Specter's party switch, here's more reaction from the GOP faithful, mixing up the concerned with the crazy.
Olympia Snowe, writes in an op-ed in the New York Times:
It is disheartening and disconcerting, at the very least, that here we are today — almost exactly eight years after Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party — witnessing the departure of my good friend and fellow moderate Republican, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, for the Democratic Party. And the announcement of his switch was all the more painful because I believe it didn’t have to be this way. [...]
There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party.
While Newt Gingrich says:
Arlen Specter's decision to leave the Republican Party in name as he left it in spirit over the stimulus vote is further proof that high taxes, big spending and big government are unacceptable to Republican voters.
Former senator Lincoln Chafee remembers:
In 1964, at the Republican National Convention, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, I was an 11-year-old watching the full-throated booing of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller by the Goldwater delegates. It was memorable in its fervency. No matter that Goldwater would carry only six states later that year in a historic Democratic landslide; the message was one of ideological purity. Now, 45 years later, we are watching the same celebration of ideological purity at the cost of winning elections. [...]
That attitude signals the demise of the Republican Party as a viable national party. The ramifications of the collapse are especially acute in states such as Rhode Island, where presently there is no alternative to the Democratic Party. Everybody here agrees that that is not good for a healthy democracy.
And Michael Steele sent out an whining email:
"I hope Arlen Specter's party change outrages you," Steele wrote in a fundraising email. "Specter claimed it was philosophical—and pointed his finger of blame at Republicans all over America for his defection to the Democrats. He told us all to go jump in the lake today."
"I'm sorry, but I don't believe a word he said." [...]
"Some will use Specter's defection as an excuse to fold the tent and give up. I believe that you are not one of those people. When Benedict Arnold defected to the British, George Washington didn't fold the tent and give up either."
Meanwhile, Ed Rogers, a staffer under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, has words of advice for Republicans:
Notice to Republicans: Arlen Specter changing parties is good for the Democrats and President Obama and bad for us. If you think otherwise, put down the Ann Coulter book and go get some fresh air.
And finally, from Pat Toomey, the presumptive loser of the 2010 Pennsylvania senate race:
Well, Sean, for Senator Specter, it's not much of a leap. You know, he says the Republican Party has gotten too conservative. The Republican Party was too conservative for Specter in 1980. He didn't like what Reagan stood for, he never has. So, he's always been a fish out of water. Now he's gone home to where his sort of ideological home is, but again, the duplicity along the way, I think, really undermines his credibility with voters.
Please note that the delusional ones are considered to be voices of the Republican Party.