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Pundits & Editorials

Toomey admonishes Specter, while Snowe and other Republicans lament the GOP's loss. Plus: Gingrich on Obama's first 'radical' 100 days.

• "Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties is more about the shifting sands of his political survival than a sudden embrace of Democratic principles," the Philadelphia Inquirer contends.

• "Washington found itself in the grip yesterday of two contagions: swine flu and Specter fever," Dana Milbank quips.


• "The maverick Pennsylvanian [is] doing more than trying to save a political career jeopardized by the increasing conservatism of the Republican Party. He [is] also ratifying a decisive shift in American politics," E. J. Dionne Jr. declares.

• "His surprise defection was a crushing setback for the GOP, instantly reducing what limited power Republicans have in the Senate," Fred Barnes asserts in the Wall Street Journal.

• "Much has been written about the sad decline of the Republicans' moderate wing, which Mr. Specter's move both confirms and accelerates," the Washington Post remarks.


• "Republicans have cause to consider this a betrayal, especially after President Bush helped him win a GOP primary against" former congressman Pat Toomey "with a final-days endorsement in 2004," the Wall Street Journal maintains.

• "By switching parties, Mr. Specter guarantees the very thing he has vocally warned against: a one-party Democratic monopoly of the federal government," sneers Toomey in the Washington Times.

• "The announcement of his switch was all the more painful because I believe it didn't have to be this way," Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, laments in the New York Times.

• "Specter was never much of a Republican. He won't be much of a Democrat either," Doyle McManus argues.


Eleanor Clift believes that "for Specter, the decision to switch parties is a no-brainer."

• Former Sens. William Cohen, R-Maine, Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., and others weigh in on Specter's switch in the Washington Post.

• The New York Times assesses President Obama's first 100 days in office, looking at how he's progressed on world issues, the economy, civil liberties and energy.

USA Today gives the president an "incomplete" for his first 100 days, but argues that he has shown "promise."

• "In just 100 days," Obama "has been devastatingly effective in swiftly moving forward the most radical, government-expanding agenda in American history," counters former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an opposing view.

• The Chicago Tribune dismisses the value of grading presidents after only 100 days but evaluates him anyway.

• "Out of respect for pro-life Catholics and their beloved institution," Obama "should politely" decline the invitation to speak at Notre Dame's commencement ceremony, Kathleen Parker contends.

• In honor of Mother's Day, Ruth Marcus examines the larger-than-usual number of working mothers in the White House.

• Why won't Congress investigate Wall Street? Thomas Frank thinks it's because it "would require our political leaders to examine themselves."

• In Politico, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, explains what he sees as the true cause of the housing crisis.

• "Call it a bailout or restructuring. What you're seeing is not a new beginning for the homegrown auto sector. It's the culmination of a decades-old, dishonestly peddled auto policy," Holman Jenkins Jr. argues.

• "Weighing everything," Obama "got it about as right as one could when he decided to ban the use of torture, to release the Bush torture memos for public scrutiny and to not prosecute the lawyers and interrogators who implemented the policy," Thomas L. Friedman opines.

Maureen Dowd imagines former Vice President Dick Cheney testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding his administration's torture techniques.

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