Or rather, he's with me, since I ditched the Republican Party something like 6-7 years ago. He's been a Republican in the Senate forever... and now he's a Democrat. What's more, the article has this choice quote from Olympia Snow:
But Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), a fellow moderate, didn't seem surprised. On the national level, she says, "you haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words of how [the GOP] views moderates. Either you are with us or against us."
As I observed back when Bush took off his "compassionate conservative moderate" mask shortly after the 2000 election, the Republican Party has increasingly become the party of homophobia and creationism. (And, yes, also of rationalizing incompetence and of torture. We knew in 2004 that Bush was the Torture President, and yet somehow we re-eledcted him.) There are a lot of Republicans-- you know, people like Olympia Snow and Arlen Specter-- who have evidently been rationalizing that their party hasn't been taken over by certain extreme cultural elements. I know people who remained Republicans even though they are fully rational, because they aren't comfortable with a lot of what the Democrats are doing-- but they had to justify, somehow, that their party was more than the face that it has been presenting to the country and the world for the last decade. That facade may be falling apart. Anecdotally I know of Republicans who've fled the party because it has gone from being the fiscally conservative party to being the socially oppressive and scientifically ignorant party. And now we see at least one, and perhaps more to follow, senators who don't want to toe their party's line leaving the party.
It's very sad to me, because by and large people who aren't creationists or who don't hate homosexuals are left with effectively a one-party system. I don't by any means agree with everything that the Democratic party does. But the Republican party has too strongly celebrated and mainstreamed parts of it that I simply can't agree with. It will be interesting to see if Arlen Specter's switch is a wake-up call-- or if Snow will be next, and the Republican party will become increasingly marginalized as a result of having let itself be taken over by its religious extremists. But we do need more than one rational party in this country; if the Republicans aren't it, I would hope that, somehow, all rational people won't end up at the mercy of the power structure of the Democratic party.