Arlen Specter went democrat. The democratic stronghold Massachusetts put a Republican into Teddy's old seat. Does it seem the excuses are engineered to explain away why his party isn't backing him?

No GOP votes needed in the House.

In the Senate, there are 57 senate democrats and also two "independents" that vote heavily with the democrats

Total is 59. The senate is one RINO vote short of complete passage of any partisan bill the democrats want.