Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter a Democrat! In Other News, Water Wet

Arlen Specter just announced that he's switching parties. The cynical view would be that he's a waffler and an opportunist. There might be something to that, although it's likely that Specter will just keep on voting like he's been voting. This isn't Specter compromising his principles, this is Specter seeing the writing on the wall and making the most politically sensible choice. The real question is why he didn't do it sooner.

At least now the senator is being open about the fact that he's not recognizably conservative. My only worry is that Rick Santorum will try to run against him. I've got a year to keep that from happening.

From the article:
Specter faced an extraordinarily difficult re-election challenge in his home state in 2010, having first to confront a challenge from his right in the Republican primary before pivoting to a general election campaign against a Democrat.

"I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate," he said in the statement.

"I don't have to say anything to them. They've said it to me," Specter said, when asked in a Capitol corridor about abandoning the GOP.
Maybe there's some hope of the Republican party finding itself after all. The way I read this is that Specter was more or less sure that he couldn't win reelection as a Republican--he'd have to lean too far right in the primary to run successfully against a Democrat. Well, what do you expect, Senator? You keep voting for bailouts and bigger government. I love the massive condescension in his statement, too. "Unwilling" to be "judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate?!" Willing or not, you have been, and you will be. You may have had an "R" by your name, but you've been voting like a "D" for years. Then again, you aren't alone.

I hope this is a wake-up call to the Republican rank-and-file that having an "R" after your name simply isn't enough. How long until we demand conservatism from Republicans? How many more usurpations and abuses will it take? How long until we see through the two-party illusion and perceive this country's entrenched monolithic power structure for what it is? Donkeys and Elephants are putting on a dog-and-pony show while the country slips further and further towards tyranny and economic oblivion. Labels don't matter, actions matter. This is the lesson to take from Specter's otherwise irrelevant switch.

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