Today, Sen. Arlen Specter made it official and got on board the Hopenchange express, leaving the Republican party and becoming a Democrat senator from Pennsylvania.
Yes, it is not great news, but this turncoat has been a valuable education for Republicans who keep pinning their hopes on guys like the Benedict Arnold of Pennsylvania.
It should be noted that this guy, Sen. Specter, when he first ran for public office did the same thing.
Sen. Specter ran for district attorney of Philadelphia county in 1965 and was a Democrat. But, he could not win the Democratic primary and thus switched to the GOP and won election and eventually won the senate seat he now occupies in 1980.
So, Sen. Specter notes he went to Washington under Ronald Reagan's "big tent" and leaves the GOP because he voted for the so-called economic "stimulus" bill of President Obama. If Sen. Specter even grasped how and why President Reagan won two terms, it was not by supporting mindless "stimulus" bills.
Here is a telling line from Sen. Specter's statement on his party switch:
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. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.
That is some of the most disingenuous crap to come out of any politician's mouth in a long time.
So, when the Republican electorate voted for you, and did so even though there were disagreements, all was well. But, because you are being challenged and you may lose the GOP primary, you will not take your case to Republican voters and let the chips fall where they may. That is a profile in being a worthless Chicken S---!
And, let us take a look at the "moderate" voting record of Sen. Specter.
According to the latest stats from the American Conservative Union, Sen. Specter has a lifetime ACU rating of 44%. That puts him to the left of the other senate moderates. The Maine gals, Sens. Collins and Snowe are much more in the middle than Sen. Specter. Sen. Collins is in at 50%. She is right in the middle. Sen. Snowe is in at 48%. And among his new Democrats, Sen. Specter is right in the middle of the Nelsons. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska has an ACU rating of 47%, making him the most conservative Democrat in the senate. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida has an ACU lifetime rating of 37%. Without a doubt, Sen. Specter fits more in the Democrat party than the Republican party.
The GOP has not learned the lesson.
In 2000, the party went all out for Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont. Sen. Jeffords was to the left of Sen. Specter. The reward after his reelection win was to become an "independent" and caucus with the Democrats. That gave the Democrats control of the senate.
In 2004, the Bush White House under Karl Rove lined up to support Sen. Specter's reelection bid. If not for the help of the White House, Sen. Specter probably would have lost the challenge that former congressman Pat Toomey gave for the GOP nod. Even then Sen. Rick Santorum came out to support Sen. Specter.
We now know the result of that.
In between, there was former Sen. Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island.
Once again, the Rovians lined up to support Sen. Chaffee and he held off a strong challenge from a conservative. And, of course, Sen Chaffee lost his bid and thanked the GOP by leaving to become an "independent" and supporter of then Sen. Messiah Barack.
Now that there is not a Bush White House interferring with primaries, people have to run on their merit. And in the case of Sen. Specter, there is no merit when you can not even face the people that you claim to have been supporters over the years.
The irony will be this.
That there is a possible challenge to Sen. Specter within the Democrat party. That even a win there leads to a loss in the general election to GOPer Pat Toomey. That is eternal justice for turning your back to those that have supported you over the years Sen. Specter.
I for one am glad to see Sen. Specter where he belongs. On the other side. Where he has been for a long time now.
Some additional thoughts on Sen. Benedict Arnold Specter.
I already have the obligatory comment from Mr. Snarkle. First, I am glad you have this guy. He is as slippery as a tub of Jello.
Secondly, I do not want just a conservative party. But, it would be nice to be on the center-right rather than on the center-left. That is where Sen. Benedict Arnold Specter is.
Thirdly, I think that Sen. Benedict Arnold Specter should resign and be appointed by Gov. Big Ed Rendell. I do not like when politicians switch parties this way. Do it clean as did former Sen. Phil Gramm did when he went from Democrat to Republican. He resigned his House seat as a Democrat and ran for the same seat as a Republican. That is a clean switch. I did not like it when some Dems switched after the Republican landslide of 1994 the way Sen. Benedict Arnold Specter is doing.
Here is the Full Metal Jacket wrap-around of center-right bloggers on Sen. Benedict Arnold Specter:
As always, The Other McCain has a spot-on analysis of the Sen. Benedict Arnold Specter jumping the GOP ship.
Ol' Ace gives the Sen. Ship-jumper the flaming skull treatment.
Over at The Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty asks the obvious question. Why would the Democrats want this guy?!
Professor Douglas over at American Power points out Sen. Ship-jumper's claim to fame before becoming a senator. The man who served on the Warren Commission and came up with the one-bullet theory of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Betsy Newmark at Betsy's Page points to the obvious cravenness of the senator's switch to the other side.
Gay Patriot points out that Sen. Benedict Arlen's major constituency is. . .Arlen Specter!
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out the obvious. That Sen. Benedict Arnold Specter voted for President Obama's so-called economic "stimulus" plan. And that is why former congressman Pat Toomey is 21% ahead in the latest polling.
The Gateway Pundit says it simply. Good bye!
Paul over at PowerLine has a good take on the lie about the Republican party moving too far to the right.
Hugh Hewitt has the right tone. TOOMEY FOR SENATE!
But, there is always the fly in the ointment and that is the irrepressible David Frum saying how terrible it is that Sen. Ship-jumper showed his true colors. Oh, and of course blame the Club for Growth.
By and large, most center-right people realize that the Specter defection was but a matter of time. And that it is a good thing. And, I just want to remind you the real reason he jumped the shark:
I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate.
A real profile in courage. . .NOT!