When Senator Arlen Specter became a Democrat today, he did a lot more than bring the democrats to within one seat of a filibuster proof Senate. It is expected that when the Franken/Coleman bout up in Minnesota finally sorts itself out, Democrat Al Franken will come out victorious. And that’ll do it. No more flipping through phonebooks to kill time, the Senate will be filibuster proof, at least for now.

If and when Franken finally takes the title, the Democrats will have achieved something that was drastically needed in Washington and in state, city and local governments, all politics and political parties aside. A wake up call.

The flipping of power from one political party to another happens every few years. It’s nothing new. One party falters; the other rises. This time around, however, something far more significant is brewing. The power shift reflects the voters’ real, concrete, dire need for a changing of the tides. The power shift alone does not necessarily represent a shifting to the left for our country, although the President’s policies and legislative measures have leaned that way, some would even say they brutally thrust their way to the far left of the political spectrum. Instead, the power shift reveals our desperate last ditch effort to muster up something new to bring us out of our lackluster domestic turmoil and international disarray.

As we enter this new era of Obama policies, the increasingly conservative Republican Party is taking it on the chin. President Obama’s policies and actions, whether or not you support them, represent a change in a tired political landscape that has long since begun to drag on the minds of the American people. Specter, a moderate Republican as a member of the GOP, found himself “more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party.” He also found himself staring at a difficult 2010 Pennsylvania Republican primary battle to win the party’s nomination for Senate.

When Arlen Specter announced his switch to the Democratic Party, he was essentially jumping on board with the rest of the government and the country. This is not to say that he will vote strictly on party lines, as he did not do so as a member of the Republican Party either, but with Specter, a senior member of the Senate, on their side, Democrats can chalk up the political scene of late 2008 and early 2009 as a sweeping victory. The old ways were not working. Here’s hoping this new ‘change‘ takes us somewhere special.

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