On Tuesday, Pennsylvanian Senator Arlen Specter decided to take the coward’s way out by ditching the Republican Party to “run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary” or what I call riding the coattails of Obamafever.
He released a statement on why he decided to ditch the GOP because of the right, how most Republicans hate him now, and how he represents the people not the party, all of which made no sense whatsoever. There’s only one thing Specter represents and that is himself.
The best quote of the statement is; “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right.” The Republican Party couldn’t move more right than where it was during the Reagan presidency. The “Reagan Big Tent” attracted Democrats and Independents because it was based on conservative solutions that people, not government, should dictate how this country prospers.
Since Reagan, the Republican Party hasn’t moved to the right and when they did they got back in power. Bush 41 blew it for the party with his country club liberalism, and then the GOP didn’t get it together until 1995-96, which they ruled until 2006 because they decided to act like Democrats and got thrown out of the majority. Was Bush 43 conservative? Maybe socially, but damn well not fiscally. So don’t give us "this party has moved so far to the right" nonsense because it hasn't and if it did you would be riding our coattails.
This coward’s act is based on convenience and fear because he knows that he will not win the Republican primary in the 2010 election. He would have faced challenger Pat Toomey, who’s a conservative and has major support from party officials. Back in the 2004 primary, Toomey got screwed by Bush and former Senator Santorum because they threw their support behind Specter last minute as a favor. If they only knew how he would return the favor.
He has every right to fear losing his seat. Republicans are pissed at him for voting with the Dems on the stimulus act. He acknowledges the dismay in his statement: “When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. 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.”
While I’m never one to begrudge people for being independent thinkers, actually I support it, but what did he think was going to happen to him for voting for the biggest spending bill in the country’s history? His party is the one who wants smaller government and individual freedom and responsibility, not the other way around. Its one thing to not follow party lines on some issues, see: McCain, John, but the bill represented what being a Republican is all about.
While Obama may be “thrilled to have” him, it’s going to make for an interesting caucus. Specter is a classic northeast Republican, who will support Democrat ideals such as increased government growth, higher taxation, and pro-choice, but he may hold the line when it comes to protecting businesses from Big Labor. When the Employee Free Choice Act arises for debate, Specter’s vote will be crucial to either side that will be battling for it with whatever Arlen decides is the best offer.
So I say to the Democrats of the Senate, enjoy the new old guy until January 2011 and now your filibuster-proof majority, once Al Franken arrives. But be wary of Specter because he’ll use the party for his own gain. To Mr. Specter, thanks for angering me with your threats of investigating the Patriots for Spygate and don’t let the door hit you on your way out, jackass.