Senator Arlen Specter announced today that he is switching to the Democratic Party. Assuming Al Franken is seated, Dems will have 60 votes in the Senate. This means that the GOP cannot filibuster anything without gaining a Democratic vote. This is a political earthquake. It assures Specter of re-election in the Senate. I wonder what he got for it. Committee chairmanship, perhaps? This is a failure of both high and low politics. High politics is the stuff we like to talk about - ideas, tactics, strategies. Low politics is about people. Obviously he could no longer stand Senators Cornyn and McConnell, while he likes Harry Reid. The fact that Specter is a Democrat and not an Independent is even more telling. He is not just defecting - a la Jim Jeffords of VT in 2001 - this is a real fork-in-the-eye move.