I was talking to my 82 year old Republican friend (who voted for President Obama) about the future of the Republican Party. She is not happy with the Party. An Independent, my friend only switched to the Republican Party some years ago because she was upset with the Democrats, was nostalgic about the Party of Lincoln and she is pro-life.
That said, she still voted mostly Democratic in the last election. She was particularly outraged at the negative mail and corrupt voting practices conducted by the Republican Party in her city and county (Rensselaer County - upstate New York). By the way, she is thrilled that Scott Murphy won the congressional seat (20th district).
Anyway, back to Specter and what could cause a schism in the Democratic Party. With more and more moderate Republicans coming over to the Democratic side, I fear that some of the progressive positions that Democrats take, will be suddenly cast by the wayside. This will cause a major schism within the Party. The major Parties may start evolving into something akin to Great Britain's Parties.
I predict that eventually the schism will bring about another Party to be aptly named, "The Democratic Progressive Party" or simply "The Progressive Party".
The make-up of "The Democratic Progressive Party" will be unions, young, west-coast, parts of the east-coast, pro-choice, anti-war, those who want equality and justice for all, those who want economic and political reform; want gun control (esp. a ban on assault weapons), restoration of civil liberties, education and health care reformers, environmentalists, those who believe in a "GREEN" economy, and those remaining on the far left.
The traditional Democratic Party will morph into those who are Independents, those who lean more center-right and some center-left. The traditional Democratic Party will lose labor to the Democratic Progressives 1. Because labor (the unions) have been consistently ignored by traditional Democrats 2. If EFCA is defeated under the Obama administration they will become disillusioned with the traditional Democrats 3. Unions will be an essential part in moving towards a "Green" economy.
What that means in terms of winning elections? I have no idea.