Two things are certain in my mind.
- This helps the GOP far more in the long run than it hurts it in the short term.
- Personally, I am excited, because I promised Sen. Specter that if he voted for the stimulus bill I would make my first ever political contribution for his opponent in the upcoming primary. Now I can spend my money on the general election instead!
Compare this situation to the way Sen. Lieberman handled his primary. Rather than switch parties for political convenience, he ran as an independent after losing in the primary. Seems far more principled to me.
Update: In celebration, I just made my first contribution to Pat Toomey's election campaign. It is important for conservatives to support Toomey because it is unclear that the Republican leadership will give him the support needed to defeat Specter. Please contribute to his campaign here.