Good riddance, Arlen

From Power Line. I say good riddance. He was the quintessential RINO.

Arlen Specter, having concluded that he likely will not win the Republican primary next year, will switch to the Democratic party. As he explained:

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.

Specter added:

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats than I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

We can probably take Specter on his word that he will not change his position on “card checks.” I think it’s also true that he will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. But it seems quite likely that Specter will vote with the Dems on important issues more often than he would have done absent his “switch in time.”

In the short-term at least, this looks like a coup for the Democrats.

Update (Val): I couldnt resist.

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16 thoughts on “Good riddance, Arlen”

  1. But of course, this is all about, you know, principles. Political expediency and opportunism have nothing to do with it. If politicians were any slimier, they’d be maggots.

  2. And I love what Jim DeMint said regarding his exit

    “I would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than to have 60 that don’t have a set of beliefs.”

    Amen to that.

  3. This was inevitable. It wasn’t worth staying with the party if he was going to have to keep fighting his right flank. He’s a moderate that leans left. I thank him for blasting Anita Hill but he did little else for us. I didn’t care much for him either way but he showed a lack of class by not coming to Rick Santorum’s aid the way he did for him when the Conservatives were gunning for him in the last re-election campaign.

    Specter is where he belongs. Hate to see them go to 60 but things are they way they should be now.

  4. At least he was finally honest about something… Ciao, baby, have fun with your next new arrival, Al Frankenstein…

  5. “I would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than to have 60 that don’t have a set of beliefs.”

    Counterpoint care of David Frum:

    For years, many in the conservative world have wished for an ideologically purer GOP. Their wish has been granted. Happy?

    Let’s take this moment to nail some colors to the mast. I submit it is better for conservatives to have 60% sway within a majority party than to have 100% control of a minority party. And until and unless there is an honored place made in the Republican party for people who think like Arlen Specter, we will remain a minority party.

    http://newmajority.com/ShowScroll.aspx?ID=13e86822-61d6-459a-9aab-4fc32fc9acef

  6. I think he should have to pay back the GOP for any/all campaign money they gave him to run in the last election. Call it “breach of contract”.

  7. Guys, one thing that hasn’t been mentioned here is that Specter’s transition mirrors the transition in his home state. In 1999, registered Republicans accounted for 42% of the Pennsylvania electorate compared to 49% for Democrats. By 2009, Republican voters accounted for 37% of the electorate compared to 51% for the Democrats. What is more startling is that in the last decade, Republicans added just under 73,000 voters to their party compared to a gain of 784,868 voters for the Dems. I haven’t looked at the numbers but I have a gut feeling this same thing is happening in many states in the Northeast and the old Rust Belt. Given these numbers it’s a wonder Specter survived this long. Instead of blaming Specter, the GOP voters in states like Pennsylvania are avoiding them like the plague.

  8. Sorry. “Given these numbers it’s a wonder Specter survived this long. Instead of blaming Specter, the GOP should try to understand why voters in states like Pennsylvania are avoiding them like the plague.”

  9. I have a ton more respect for Specter than I do for Frum. Specter has always remained infuriatingly inconsistent. Frum is a punk who goes whichever way the wind blows. Writes a book on how crappy the conservatives are doing…which comes out just before they start doing well. Has his wife running all over town bragging about “Axis of Evil” is a line he wrote for W, writes a hagiography of W, writes a totally worthless and wrongheaded book with Richard Perle which calls out all squishy Republicans and when the going gets tough goes squishy and rips W. Frum is a worthless piece of S###.

  10. Arlen Specter’s only “party affiliation” is to himself. First a Democrat then a Republican now a Democrat again. Hopefully he’ll be voted out of office in 2010.

  11. I didn’t realize Frum was persona non grata as I never liked him and never really paid attention to him even when he was a wunderkid that people loved.

    But you can dislike someone and still recognize that they may have a point.

    I guess some here think that exorcising the RINOs from the party will some how allow it to regroup and regain its former glory? Well, good luck with that but I think it more likely to put the GOP in perpetual minority party territory and hand the Dems control for many years to come. 16+ more years of this crap? You really want that?

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