Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Goodbye, Farewell, So Long, See Ya, Bon Voyage, Aloha, Shalom, Adios, Peace Out: Senator Specter
It came as no shock to me today to hear that veteran GOP Senator Arlen Specter switched parties from Republican to Democrat. The Senator's actions merely solidified what I, and many other Conservatives already suspected, or knew: Sen. Specter is a Liberal. Previously a Republican in name only (RINO), Sen. Specter took intense heat for breaking with the Republican Caucus in voting for President Obama's economic stimulus bill. Sen. Specter faced a challenging re-election bid in 2010 and faced Republican opposition in the primary. The move to the Democratic Party has ensured Sen. Specter the support of President Obama and potentially the advantage of having no opponent in the primary. This may seem like it was a clever move by the Senator, and maybe it was, but I think this was just the ticket to outrage Republicans enough to defeat Specter in 2010 and get a true Conservative elected to the Senate. Sen. Specter's move to caucus with the Democrats, puts the Democratic Party one seat closer to the magic number of 60 seats, which would essentially make the filibuster a worthless option for the Republicans. It's worth it! A strong GOP candidate should be able to beat Specter in 2010 and a real Republican will finally hold the seat. Sen. Specter's action is good for the GOP on one side of the spectrum, but disgraceful on the other side. The Senator was elected as a Republican, presumably by a Republican base of constituents, and the act of switching parties undermines the election process, and defies the will of the people who elected him. The act of switching parties because of a disagreement with the caucus is contrary to the belief that American voters have, that the official that they elect will reflect the views that they campaigned on, and the views of the party. Maybe this view of a representative elector is naive in this day and age, but it is, in my view, essential to the democratic function of electing our public officials. The fact that an elected official can so easily switch parties to try to save face does nothing to strengthen the faith and the trust that Americans have in the election process and it is little wonder why so few Americans actually go out to vote. Still, I think this is a positive step for the GOP, and time will tell if this was a smart move on Specter's part, 2010 is coming fast.