Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Spector: A Man Without a Party...

If He Thinks He's Just Saved His Job, He's Kidding Himself....

Big news in the GOP today, as 29 year Senator Arlen Spector (R-Pa.) announced that he is leaving the Republican Party, and will run in 2010 as a Democrat. A long time moderate, Spector's leaving the GOP is being viewed as a sign that the GOP is too far right. Personally, I think this has very little to do with the GOP being far right. This is political opportunism.....

Not everyone agrees that I'm a moderate Republican, but I am... There is a certain knack to being a moderate. Often, it's wrongly accused as a sign of weakness - that you don't believe in anything. Wrong. Moderates do believe in compromise in tough situations, but they do have their limitations, and they stick to them when ether side goes too far. Lindsey Graham is a fine example. He tries to find middle ground solutions to the country's problems, but when things like the Economic Stimulus come around, they say enough, and stand firm. That is not Spector....

Spector saw the winds shifting left, he saw that he would either be bloodied or lose in his own primary, so he switched sides. If he would have become an independent, I would have respected him leaving more. Spector has no moderate spine......... he has a spine of Jell-O, and his spine snapped....

For now, the GOP has suddenly hit the 60-40 / no veto override possibility - once Al Franken is named Minnesota's Senator. Yes, Franken will eventually be the Land O'Lakes Senator. The patient (aka Norm Coleman) is dead... But, next year, things will change dramatically... The GOP will surely abandon Spector, but give the Democrats some credit here too. They're not stupid. They will find a real Democrat, and they will kick the crap out of Spector in the primary - and Arlen Spector will be all done.

On the local level, we have all seen what November did to much of the GOP leadership. Spector sees it as well, and he's attempting to triangulate his position to save his job - nothing more. He believes in the Democratic platform about as much as Fidel Castro. For some of us in the GOP, the axe came pretty quick. For Spector, it will take longer. He may have a 'D' next to his name, but he is a man without a party from now on....

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20 comments:

Memphis MG said...

I was expecting this awhile back. We do need to quit pushing our Moderates in the party to the breaking limit. Not that this is the case but it scares me to think that the GOP may truly be a small regional party one day if we are very careful in what we do and who we accept.

Mike Reino said...

I agree about opening the tent, but Spector wasn't pushed - he jumped.

I have plenty of my own critics within the party, but I don't let them push me out the door on my own volition. I was never afraid of losing a vote, Spector should too. He would have earned more respect that way.

Anonymous said...

Spector a moderate?
More like a RINO....remember the republican creed...live up to it or jump ship...he was gonna lose folks...so it was move over or get run over...like the good politician he is...he didn't waste any time doing exactly what was best for him. Now the pottery Barn belongs to the Dems...they can take full responsibility for the broken pots.

Earl Capps said...

He was pushed. Club for Growth and other conservative activists had a hard-on for him and made it clear they were going all-out to get him.

Those Republicans who think that getting rid of the northeastern moderates will accomplish something are right. When the Democrats have a filibuster-proof majority, we'll see what will be accomplished.

But I don't think we'll like it very much.

pluvlaw said...

He was pretty damn candid in the presser. Said he looked at internals Friday and jumped Tuesday.

I agree with Earl. Whether you thought he was true-blue GOP or not, he's been the face of moderatism (is that a word) in the Republican National Party for almost thirty years. All those things "real" Republicans hate him for, helped some think the GOP could be home for them as well. He had lasted all that time and built up seniority and that meant something.

Now, after getting their teeth kicked in in November, the party has veered hard right. Turning into the skid may work on ice, but I don't think its gonna help bring the GOP back into power. In fact, it further and further alieanating people. Being a contrarian doesn't win people over if you don't have a point. And right now, who is the GOP spokesperson out there making a point?

Look at the race to fill the Congressional seat in NY. Remember...the GOP was pretty far ahead in that race just a few weeks out. Steele was running his mouth about how it was gonna show the country was coming back home and all that crap and...what? The national party had misstep after misstep and helped cost Tedisco that seat. The national party certainly seems to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

No matter how excited you get about the tea parties...those are people who were voting Republican anyway. The party is not reaching out to new or moderate voters and as long as they don't, you're staying in the wilderness.

I heard a good quote this morning: people think republican is synonymous with conservative and its not. If the GOP became a party of strictly conservative philosophy, I would be worried. But as long as its appealing to the its own base, so what? You can keep those votes. They ain't enough.

Matthew said...

I agree that this was all about political opportunism by Specter in order to get re-elected. At least Lieberman stood for re-election in his party's primary before leaving the party and going around it to win.

I think the more troubling thing this shows is that these Washington pols think they have a certain entitlement to these offices. If he didn't think he could win re-election in the primary than he could have gracefully decided not to seek re-election. He's old, not in the best health, and he could leave the Senate, relax, and enjoy the great pension and the same great federal health care.

Anonymous said...

Pluvlaw...I always love it when you Dems tell the GOP how to gain more voters...this is the crap that got the GOP party where it is today...you always have to be careful where you get your legal advice...don't ya know.

west_rhino said...

ditto Matthew, Lieberman was pushed and punsihed by the moveon.org brown shirts for being moderate and not staying lock step on the neo-leftists party line.

Lieberman IS a mensch and the people of Conneticut, as some may liken the Howie Rich backed folks in SC, weren't drinking the Soros Kool-Aid.

PS Mikey, Spector was indicted, Specter hopped parties. Maybe its bad scrapple in that burrito.

Jimmy said...

Mike...since you bring up you being a moderate Republican, I thought you would appreciate this:
Giuliani was on Fox News this AM and described himself as a moderate Republican--said that as a Republican the "non-negotiables" are being fiscally conservative (low taxes, less spending, smaller gov't) and national security conservative (strong military, offense on War on Terror, etc.) and that GOP needs to welcome people like him who are moderate to liberal on social issues like him. I know you supported Rudy in 2008, as did I, although I did so as a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-gun Republican. It was a difficult decision for me to support him given my disagreement with him over the "third leg" of the Republican stool, but I did so anyway. I'd love to hear your reasoning as to why you consider yourself a "moderate Republican" instead of a consevative one and whether you agree with Giuliani's description on Fox.

pluvlaw said...

Uh...I wasn't giving any legal advice, just an opinion. I charge for legal advice, opinions...those are free.

As for the opinion, I have said numerous times that I think, as a country, we need a truly strong adversarial party to whichever party is in office. What do you expect, I work in an adversarial system. And its my opinion that to regain any prominence, the GOP is gonna have to leave the BS social and moral stuff at the door.

There is one undeniable fact of all Americans: we don't like to be preached to. Just ask one of those missionaries or Jehova's Witnesses getting the doors slammed in their face. True conservatism is concerned with less government, not more. If the GOP ever truly becomes a party based on that, it would hold much greater appeal...(in my opinion).

Mike Reino said...

.....Which is why P-Luv thinks I am the Greatest Living Republican !


I'll give my rundown on Rudy's assertions when I get home tonight. I like all the comments today, guys....

Earl Capps said...

Pluv - I don't think you should have to leave the social conservative points of view at the door, but there needs to be respect for differing points of view and a greater sense of teamwork. The Democrats have made efforts to learn to embrace anti-abortion Dems, as well as those who are pro-Second Amendment. Maybe the main body of the party doesn't change their points of view, but they don't spurn them either.

A while back, I said this would be the challenge for the GOP to win the Catholic vote. They would have to accept that many of us Catholics may be comfortable voting for Republicans and willing to overlook differences on some issues at the polls, but that many Republicans would have to accept that Catholics come with some differences and respect that.

The Democrats have asked that question and tried to become more accomodating. Republicans could use learning about those things if they want to become a majority party.

pluvlaw said...

Earl, you're right. My belief that they should be completely checked are related to my beliefs period. There is only one thing I am sure of: I am often wrong. So who knows?

As for Rudy, talk about political opportunism...

The greatest line I ever heard about Rudy was at a Gamecock tailgating party when someone was talking about Rudy would get the GOP nomination, my buddy Kevin said: I just want to know what happend to the two gay guys and the shitszhu he lived with?

Now if you will excuse me, I need to find someone willing to pay for some legal advice...

Jimmy said...

Earl...interesting that you bring up the Catholic vote...I too am Catholic orig. from NY but here in SC for the past 16 years...on a state level, I think the majority of the Catholic vote goes GOP (from what I have gleemed from Catholics and politicos around the state). The reason the "majority" of the Catholic vote nationally went to Obama is because that stat includes both practicing and non-practicing Catholics...if you look at only "weekly mass going Catholics", they voted more fo McCain and tend to be more Republican.
On a related note, I read that Vince Sheheen is a practicing Catholic in Camden (I did not know this). I doubt this will amount much to anything, but I do wonder what his position is on abortion. I believe Tommy Moore was pro-life (not that it really helped him) but I still wonder about Sheheen, esp. since his chief opponent Mullins McLeod seems bent on running as a "progressive Democrat"...yeah like that will get you far in SC.

Mike Reino said...

Two gay guys, a shitzhu and a Presidential candidate - wasn't that the whole premise of 'Bosom Buddies'???

That sounds like a great sitcom... I'm gonna get started on a treatment immediately. Where is Paul Adams when you need him???

Anonymous said...

Hey... I am not preaching...I'm just sick to death of Democrats choosing the GOP candidates.... then having the nerve to look back at the GOP and tell em what they are doing wrong....real conservatism will win every time....and we have not had it in a very long time.....we elect Republicans and they go to DC and act just like Democrats...spend...spend...spend.

You actually want to put your mark of approval on our party and candidates...then of course when you have your chance to choose between a Rep or Dem you will choose the Dem every time...

I am sick of it...I hope all accross this great country others just like me are just as sick of it...If you think all I am doing about it is blogging...you are wrong.
By the way I have never slammed the door in the face of a JW or a Missionary...if you have... shame on you....you should be able to kindly defend your faith...without being preachy...

mg said...

cant we just all get along

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous 7:31 sounds like you are preaching to me.

Anonymous said...

Mikey, I hear Paul Adams has settled down (a little bit at least), though he may be resurfacing as a libertarian one of these days.

Mike Reino said...

I'm not sure about that, but I have a possible project with him in his new endeavor.. Stay Tuned.