Thank you, Arlen Specter. We appreciate that you finally joined the party you seem most likely to support on key issues.
This is the continuing of the purifying of the Republican party, and while losing a seat in this time when the Democrats are close to a super majority is painful, I think it is the beginning of the rebuilding of a truly conservative party. Senator Specter has for years frustrated true conservatives like myself, and has kept more conservative people from winning the seat he has held for 28 years. I recall when he ran back in 2004, and I was frustrated the President Bush campaigned for him against Pat Toomey in the primary. Specter won the primary, obviously, then the rest of the party had to bite their tongues, hold their noses, and vote for him, as the local standard bearer for the GOP. I thought that was bad then, and wonder how far it really got the party, in the long run.
I guess Senator Specter didn't like being in the minority this late in his career, and was neither sure he would win the primary, nor that the GOP would regain the majority during his next term. He may be right, but nothing in politics is certain these days.
So what can we learn from this? From Senator Specter's own words, he intended to stay with the GOP as late as March 17, 2009. As with President Obama, watch his actions, not his words. That is lesson one. Also, the GOP should not interfere with primary battles, but rather let the local people make a local choice, without outside heavy hitters influencing outcomes. I bet Toomey would have won Specter's seat if he had won the primary, and held it now, rather than switching parties for personal political gain.
Lest it seem that I am disparaging Senator Specter, I am saying he is doing this for personal gain base on his own words, that there needed to be a balance, not just a one-party representation for the Northeast. When he was appearing to be a committed Republican, Specter said all the right words when asked, but voted for higher spending, bailouts, and other things that are not conservative. Which words represent the true Specter: those that he said as a Republican, or those that he said as he switched to be a Democrat? One set, take your pick, was said for pure personal political gain.
So, Senator Specter, thanks for the help, and don't let the door hit you on the way out. Next?