Benedict Arlen

The Democrats have a history of promoting this sort of thing. Arlen Specter, Like Jim Jeffords before him, betrayed the party members in his home state who elected him and crossed over to the Democrats. He did not do so with noble purpose from what I have read. He did so because he was going to lose a primary election:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter’s decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next senator from Minnesota. (Former senator Norm Coleman is appealing Franken’s victory in the state Supreme Court.)

“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” said Specter in a statement. “I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.”

He added: “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

Not a word of even feigned contrition for the voters he betrayed. And yes, I am using that word specifically and with intent. I have never been a big fan of politicians – from any party – doing this. Changing parties after one’s election is showing vast disrespect for the voters who stood by the politician and helped him get into office.

Changing parties prior to an election is perfectly acceptable, changing after the election is dishonorable.

Incidentally, Specter excoriated Jeffords for doing what Specter just did.

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4 Responses to Benedict Arlen

  1. twolaneflash says:

    Sometimes a party switch is a real winner. I have a nephew in Louisiana who dreamed of a big political career. He went to law school, joined the law practice of a career Democrat state senator, and was the heir apparent for the senate seat. However, the senator change parties and became a Republican before leaving office, burning his Democrat bridges, and destroying my nephew’s chances of winning an election. It was years and campaigns later that the nephew became a locally elected judge, still a Democrat, still stuck on stupid.

  2. Rich Horton says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    There was never really a difference between 59 and 60 seats when one of the “Republicans” was Spector.

    2010 is going to be a pivotal election, and not just in PA.

  3. martian says:

    “Incidentally, Specter excoriated Jeffords for doing what Specter just did.”

    Well, that just gives him more practice at being a Democrat. He already has his flip flops on.

  4. Ted Goldman says:

    I am (was) a Reagan Democrat. Leftish on social issues, rightish on security, spending, borders. And I am squarely in the middle on the litmus test (abortion) of conservative Republicans. Up to 3 months seems okay to this male.

    Where do I go with the Republicans? Arlen Spector did what he thought best for himself. Don’t most people?

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