Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Specter Of Opportunism Jumps Ship

News of the day is Senator Arlen Specter is switching parties from Republican to Democrat. He was losing in the Republican primary polls and decided to save his political skin by changing parties:

I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans. ... Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable.
Translation: "Conservative and Republican opponents of bailouts and stimulus pork spending have bombarded me with criticism, and Pat Toomey is beating the tar out of me in the 2010 Senate Republican primary polls. "
On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate.
I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.
Translation: "I admit it; I've been a RINO (Republican In Name Only) the whole time and never was a Republican. I'm tired of pretending now. Now don't make me retire at 80, and let me stay in my cozy Senate office."

The self-serving baloney that Sen Specter serves up as an excuse for changing parties is short on principles and long on political opportunism. He is jumping ship because finally the Pennsylvania Republican electorate got tired of a non-Republican ruining the GOP brand with his big-spending left-leaning votes.

Pat Toomey, the conservative who ran against him in 2004 and is running again, responded: "For our campaign, not much changes."

The Hill is wrong. Conservative reaction is not 'furious', it is mostly: "Good riddance". In fact, ThinkProgress is "blaming" conservatives for Specter leaving the GOP with tidbits like: At an anti-Obama "tea party" protest in Scranton, the "loudest boos" were "reserved for Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, while the event emcee discussed the Pennsylvania senator's support for the federal stimulus.". Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Best reactions: “It would be more newsworthy if Specter finally became a Republican,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) Tweeted. And Mark Hemingway on NRO: "I read that he was switching parties, but I was disappointed to learn he’s still a Democrat.”

This change is good for the Republican party and conservatives long-term, but short-term it puts one Senator on 'the other side'. The Senate Republican caucus is now down to a mere 40 votes, giving the Democrats have their magic filibuster proof numbers. Now we are in the precarious position of not even having ANY Republicans in the northeast in the US Senate, save for two RINOs in Maine - Snowe and Collins. But we paid the price before trying to hold on to every Senate seat. It's time to rebuild the party, with real Republicans for candidates for a change.

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