Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter's Party Switch

Today Senator Arlen Specter, R-PA, announced his decision to switch to the other party. Specter has consistently voted with Democrats in the Senate and was a known target for the switch by the Democrats on behalf of Barack Obama.

So be it.

Senator Specter is up for re-election in 2010. He is facing a serious challenge from Pat Toomey. Specter is down in the polls by more than 20% according to a Rasmussen poll released on 4/24/09. Specter began his career as a Democrat when he ran for Prosecutor in Philadelphia, calling himself a "Kennedy Democrat." He turned on the Democrats as a means of political expediency. Now he turns on the Republicans. He claims the Republican party left him. He has proven to be not just a social liberal but also a fiscal liberal by casting his vote for the Obama spending bill, with only two other Repubicans in the Senate. Seems he left the party himself.

Toomey is the former president of Club for Growth, a group promoting anti-tax positions. Specter's unfavorable numbers rose when he became one of only three U.S. Senators to vote for President Obama's massive spending bill, full of earmarks. Rasmussen Reports called Specter's numbers as "stunningly poor" for a long time politician. 55% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Specter.

Specter, fearing loss in the Republican primary, began running an ad this month blaming Toomey for supporting privatization of social security and limiting oversight of Wall Street as a congressman. Specter certainly sounds like a Democrat by his own advertisement.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and he released the following statement:

"Senator Specter’s decision today represents the height of political self-preservation. While this presents a short-term disappointment, voters next year will have a clear choice to cast their ballots for a potentially unbridled Democrat super-majority versus the system of checks-and-balances that Americans deserve.”

That sums it up nicely. Specter decided to put his own political survival over the best interests of his own party. He claims he was a strong Republican for the past 30 years. He certainly enjoyed riding the coattails of Ronald Reagan's popularity and being in the majority thanks to Reagan. Now the times are tougher and he bails.

Good riddance. Let's see how long the glow lasts with the Democrats. Can anyone say "Jim Jeffords"?


Anonymous said...

For someone who loves to have his tookus kissed, Benedict Specter has placed himself in an ideal position. I know, the mental images are overwhelming. But let us not assume that Specter leaped into the Democrat's lap ... it was more of a baby step.

I agree with you: good riddance. I have hopes that Pennsylvania conservatives will defeat Mr. Specter, but given ACORN's hold on Philly and Pittsburg, I'm not holding my breath.

Specter is typical of politicians. His decision isn't about principle, it is about retaining his power in the Senate. Is this the best Pennsylvanians can do? Probably. Gad ... how did the people of this country ever get so stupid?

Karen Townsend said...

I think the low bar set for what goes as intelligence today began in the late 60's, early 70's with the older of the baby boomers going into the university system as teachers. Then the socialism filtering down to high school and then even lower grades of the public school system. Private schools have always leaned liberal, in my lifetime anyway. It's all reached the boiling point.

srp said...

"How did the people in this country get so stupid?"

By having things handed to them for so long that they feel entitled.
For wanting Daddy Government to make them happy and give them everything... instead of taking personal pride in working hard.
By forgetting their moral standards, the idea of responsibility for their families, their jobs, and for their freedom.
Simply put... by becoming lazy... in all aspects of their lives.

Jess said...

Yep I say good riddance too and I'm an independent!

Specter gives me the creeps. His magic bullet theory, his representing the murderer Ira Einhorn, his sneaking out of the chamber just in time to NOT have to vote on certain "conservative" issues, and his recent party switch not based at all on "beliefs" but to stay employed. What an ass. With any luck he'll be defeated in the next election. The Dems shouldn't be proud to have someone like that on their side. I loathe the way Obama and Biden were all smiles at the press conference with him. Barf!

Reaganite Republican Resistance said...

The cynical, self-serving move by Specter had absolutely nothing to do with values, policy, or any high-minded thinking of any kind--- though President Obama surely would like for you to think that.

Everybody knows he did it because he was down 21% in the polls leading-up to the GOP primary for his seat- and Joey Pluggs made a deal with him, he already admitted as such. The sad truth is that this hack has spent three decades in the Senate, while accomplishing very little.

And Barack and him have a lot in common- as unprincipled political opportunists, I’m sure they’ll get along just great.

Just a little over a month ago, the Senator said in an interview that he wouldn’t switch parties due to the importance of checks and balances.

And back in 2001, Sen. Arlen Specter, then a Republican, proposed a rule forbidding party switches… he was upset when Vt Sen. Jim Jeffords’ left the GOP to become an independent.

Who knows what the truth is with this guy, you’ll never get it from him.

With all due respect, Senator- don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out. Nobody on our side’s going to miss you.