Tweet Yet Another Politician With No Backbone and Questionable Ethics
In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania indicated his intention to leave the Republican Party to become part of the Democrat Party. Why you ask? It depends on who you ask.
If you ask Senator Specter, the reason would be that his philosophy more resembled that of Democrats (which may very well be the truth)and that Republicans have moved to far to the right. The reality is that Senator Specter stood ready to lose a primary challenge that would have been waged against him by a conservative Republican challenger. Unable to meet that challenge, why not be a politician and take the easy way out?
HARRISBURG, Pa.(April 15)—Pat Toomey, who as a little-known congressman nearly defeated Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2004 primary, announced Wednesday that he will mount another challenge when Specter seeks the Republican nomination for a sixth term next year.(Boston.com)
The additional Senate seat will put the Democrats in the position of the 60 vote majority that will make them filibuster proof. Thee fact is though that Specter, coming from a Democrat state and being what could be generously called a moderate Republican, was not a reliable vote for the Republican side anyway. The following pretty much sums up the position that Specter found himself in:
"...The precariousness of Specter's political position -- a Republican in a Democratic-leaning state -- was on display earlier this year when he was one of three GOP senators to back President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan. That vote was strongly condemned by conservative Republicans and Toomey used that vote as the launching pad for his candidacy.
Because of the shrinking Republican vote in the state, Specter was seen as a dead man walking politically in the primary with polling showing him trailing Toomey by ten or more points. The bar for Specter to run as an independent was also extremely high due to the rules governing such a third party candidacy.
That left a Democratic candidacy as Specter's best option if he wanted to remain in the Senate beyond 2010..."(WashingtonPost.com)
It is such a pathetically political move that the constituency in Pennsylvania should defeat him out of hand, but then one only has to look at the election of Hillary Clinton to a New York Senate seat as a carpetbagger to realize that won't be the case.