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  • The Specter Defection Policy Ramifications

    Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter participates in a Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the public health response to the Swine Flu on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 28, 2009. Specter announced today he is switching from Republican to Democrat.

    Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the longest serving Senator in Pennsylvania history, has made some history today by switching from the Republican to the Democrat Party.

    Specter’s switch will have policy ramifications for conservatives. As of today, 59 Senators caucus with the Democrats, including Specter, socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Independent Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman.

    One Senate race is still in dispute, but comedian Al Franken seems to be close to securing the disputed Senate seat in Minnesota. If Franken is seated, then a caucus of Democrats would have 60 votes in the Senate.

    This is important on policy grounds for a few reasons. One issue that will be dramatically affected is Health Care. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon told CQ: “I think his decision is transformative. . . . This makes a very significant difference in the health care reform discussion.”

    Wyden is correct. It will change the debate dramatically, because Senator Specter was one of the chief opponents of so called Hillary-Care during the Clinton Administration and now will be on the other side of the aisle for the debate on comprehensive health care reform. Democrats will have a 60 vote majority and will not have to negotiate with the minority party when crafting a package of health care reforms.

    Judicial nominations are another issue that will be dramatically affected by the Specter decision. Senator Arlen Specter has always shown an independent streak on nominations. Specter supported Bush nominees Alito and Roberts, yet famously opposed Robert Bork, a Reagan nominee to the Supreme Court in 1987.

    A 60 vote working majority for Democrats could change the calculations by the Obama Administration on who they nominate for any possible openings to the Supreme Court. If President Obama does not have to worry about a nominee being moderate enough to pass with Republican votes, the President can choose somebody to the extreme left like Harold Koh, current a nominee to be the Legal Counsel for the State Department, or Attorney General Eric Holder who has already come under fire for calling America a “nation of cowards.”

    The bottom line is that the Specter decision may anger partisan Republicans and encourage partisan Dems, yet the policy ramifications for conservatives are real and something the American people should take a moment to consider.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to The Specter Defection Policy Ramifications

    1. Esther says:

      I like Pat Toomey a lot.It is too early for him to run against Spector. I do think it is crucial to keep Spector in "R". Since it is history now. God help America.

    2. Frank, Portland Oreg says:

      I do understand the policy ramifications with Spector changing parties. But as far as I am concerned he is just "officially" changing to the party that he has always been a part of. The only reason that he wanted to change is because he was worried about loosing to a conservative in the primaries. Maybe the republican conservatives in Pennsylvania will run a true conservative and run Spector out of the Senate!

    3. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The Republican Party has little for a true Conservitave to cling to anymore. The Party is full of Moderates and "swingers" who will go with whatever the going thought is rather than what morals and the Constitution say. Add to that, the constant "reaching across the aisle" to hold the hands of the Left (ala John McCain) and the "updating" of the Republican values to meet the moderate voters is stripping the Party of what it once stood for. So basicly, who wants to be a part of this Party anymore?

      You can pretty much forget the Republican Party – it's just a bunch of Leftists that haven't made up their minds yet!

    4. JH Scarboro, Ohio says:

      Spector just came out of the closet. A true political whore according to his own words.

    5. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      Specter was smart enough to understand he was going to be crushed and embarrassed in the primary. Since Obama invited him to the White House for the Super Bowl, Specter just picked up his party registration and sold it to the Democrats.

      For other reasons Specter defected, there is a good list at:

      http://firstconservative.com/blog/top-ten/specter

    6. Grace, Florida says:

      Ozzy – just a couple of comments – Politicians are supposed to reach across the isle and work together. You're right about one thing – who wants to be part of the Party as it stands right now. No leadership at all. My theory is we need a third party for true conservatives. I believe once people wake up in this country, and turn back to real morals this country will wake up and there needs to be a party in place for that group of folks. I believe true Christians will have to make a choice – God or their political preferences – the true Christians – God will win -

      if not they will continue to tell themselves that church and state needs to be separate – they can't be separate – our country was founded on faith and it needs to operate the same way. Wake up!

    7. kristine baker, NY says:

      UNFORTUNATELY, ONE CANNOT DENY THAT THIS DEFECTION IS NOT GREAT FOR REPUBLICANS. BUT SPECTOR WAS NEVER A RELIABLE VOTE. I DO WONDER WHAT OBAMA PROMISED HIM TO FACILITATE SUCH A CHANGE OF HEART IN 2 WEEKS, (OTHER THAT THE PRIMARY POLL NUMBERS.) WE MAY SUFFER IN THE SHORT RUN, BUT THE PARTY NEEDS TO EMBRACE TRUE CONSERVATISM WITHOUT FEAR OF CRITICISM, LEARN TO FIGHT BACK( DIRTY IF WE MUST) AND CLEAN HOUSE. THAT PROCESS ALWAY HURTS IN THE NEAR FUTURE BUTCAN ENABLE ONE TO REBUILD WITH A CLEANER SLATE. LETS HOPE WHEN AMERICANS BEGIN TO FEEL THE PAIN OF OBAMAS OPPRESSIVE PHILOSOPHY, CONSERVATISM WILL ONCE AGAIN BE THAT BEACON OF TRUE AMERICAN BELIEFS AND EVENTUAL SUCCESSES

    8. Robert, Corrales, Ne says:

      I have no problem with Arlen Specter moving to the Democratic party. Now all of the truly obnoxious, self possessed stinkers that trigger my gag reflex are in one party. That is not all bad.

    9. mrking says:

      What party is willing to get rid of IRS, UN, DoE, etc. and all the bogus laws that have been added to the books over the last 5 decades? I've been holding my nose to vote for the last 20/25yrs. Do i pick the devil or his imp? Can we get the FairTax enacted by calling a constitutional convention and will that wake up USA to all of the stupidity? I really think FairTax will be the 1st item to rob these lifers of their power. I don't know of any other item that is on the agenda that will bring a meaningful change.

      The Republocrats and DemSocialists have been doing this stuff for long.

      Heard that Gen. Patraeus will run. Hope he won't sign on w/Republocrats, but what else can he do?

      Would the Republocrats just sit down somewhere and give us the short list?!

      And would the folks from Minn get up? C'mon, ballots in the boot?! And the other 2 stooges, Collins and Snowe, why won't their constituents start screaming already?

    10. bill s, dallas says:

      Politicians should recall that telephone companies gave up "party lines" years ago. Now an elected official is critized for having independent thoughts, hammered for not holding to party lines.

      Eden is a congress full of independents.

    11. Paula Boston MA says:

      Regarding Benedict Arnold – Arlen Spector.

      It will hurt now, but it is always darkest before the dawn! This is the first step to Cleaning HOUSE!

      Election 2010 is going to be a real surprise to leftists whether they are R's or D's.

      That Porkulus Bill is going to be the undoing of many, not just Spector , Snow and the other one. Blue Dogs better wise up or all incumbents are going to get thrown out!

      One million people from 50 states taking a day off from work to make there voices heard is a REAL grass roots revolution , not phony one like Acorn and the hard left have.

    12. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      I would guess that most of the voting will not change a lot since Spector will, most likely, vote as he always has. However, it seems to me, unethical, for a person to change parties without having to first, step down and then run on the other ticket. Of course, unetherical doesn't mean illegal and so the senator will do, as he has said, what he needs to do to remain a senator. Whether that works remains to be seen. There is a clear difference between the two parties but with the media on the side of the dems, the people need to let their representatives on the republican side know they support them. They are human and with the media and polls continually trying to persuade us that the people no longer support conservative values, they are under a lot of pressure to compromise their positions.

    13. TGOTCB says:

      Specter's change in parties is form more over substance. He voted for the "Stimulus" and therefore the beginning of the end for the USA. Specter is a true political whore and did this to get re-elcted in PA. He could care less about his constituents or the American people. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Geitner, Holder, Napolitano, and their minions now run the country with almost zero interference. The mainstream media continues to support them and give them a free pass on every mistep (which are serious and numerous). The US is now eerily similar to Hitler's Third Reich. Who will save us?

    14. KJ Virginia says:

      How can he be representing the people of his state?

      I think we should have term limits!

    15. Angela, VA says:

      Our founding fathers NEVER intended for the people's (ha!) representatives (count senators in that category, too) to make a career out of politics. They envisioned that a person would serve one term, then return home to support their family and community through free enterprise. For a long time, politics has become an occupation, not a public service. With term limits, we wouldn't have politicans pandering to save their careers. We might even elect people who would be more concerned with voting according to our wishes. Imagine that! Polls in PA show Specter down by 21 points so he switched parties in the interests of political self-preservation. Now he is likely to be re-elected as a Dem, since PA has an overwhelming liberal bent.

    16. V. PA says:

      I live in PA and yes this hurts but Spector has forgotten that he is suppose to work "FOR THE PEOPLE" The idea that he switched parties so he can vote as he wants is a blow to the republicans who voted for him but after the next election with the fast pace Obama and his administration are moving Spector may find many moderates turn republican rather than the other way around. He may be out of a job.

    17. Debra, Texas says:

      IT is definitely a good thing. If he votes with the socialists, he should be one. Less confusing for the voters. THere are a few more that should go also…before tne election in 2010.

      The two main problems in the republican party have been democrats posing as republicans with party titles and also the compromising republicans and yes…it goes back to Reagan. He was brilliant when it came to the economy but he appointed that pro-abort to the Supreme Court, Sandra O'Connor.

      That was after he used the name of Jesus during his campaigns. He started or at least perfected this compromising mess. Everyone even called him the "great compromiser" like it was a good thing.

      If we do not stop this compromising now and run like hell in the other direction, it will be the end of our country soon. God will just let some other non-compromising country steamroll us. That's what usually happens.

      Either baby killing is right or it's wrong. Either the destruction of the family unit is right or it's wrong. Look this up and see for yourself: If you do the research, you will find that no country has ever lasted for more than a couple decades with two things in place, 1. legalized baby killing and 2. unbridled homosexuality. Once any country has both of those abominations firmly in place (like what's going on with the legalization of same-sex marriage), it's Sodom and Gomorrah time – or the Babylonians are running right over you.

      In our case, it may be the North Koreans or heck with what the democrats are doing to the military, maybe even the French. Okay the "French" was a joke but we are in grave danger. This will be a broken country with great unused resources up for grabs. No socialistic country has ever been able to defend or even feed itself and that's not going to change.

    18. Lloyd, Norwell, Mass says:

      The always unreliable Arlen Spector, the originator of the "magic bullet" theory, has shown himself to be a political coward. His pathological fear of losing the upcoming election is a clear demonstration of self over country.

      Since the ranks of the Democrat Senate are filled with like minded nitwits,

      he'll fit in just fine. I hope he enjoys selling his country down the river for the next 18 months during this, his last term in office.

    19. OPAS says:

      Good riddance to a Democrat that infiltrared the Republican Party. McCain and Snow are two more Democrats that infiltrated the Republican Party and must be replaced by TRUE Republicans. Voters: It is time for all the fence riders and protest voters to choose whether they vote for the Democrat Socialist-Communists Party, or vote for the Republican AMERICAN Party? Many of you have been divided and conquered. The PROTEST voters voted the party in that wants to change America into a Socialist-Communist institution. We have only two choices; 1. Vote to keep Democrat Socialist-Communists in office and watch them tear our country down, or 2. VOTE FOR AMERICA, vote Republican. and bring back the America we grew up in. The Tea Party supporters are an excellent start, they are not Patriots in name only, they are real, old fashioned AMERICA FIRST Americans. They are not fence rider, undecided, protest issue voters that WASTED THEIR VOTE on splinter "ALSO-RAN" candidates that CANNOT WIN. WAKE UP!, Like it or not, we have a two-party system and all the others serve only to disinfranchise (WASTE), your vote. You were duped by the Socialist-Left media and their "Undecided Town Hall" ploys and you played right into their hands. You might as well stay home and not vote. STOP stupid PROTEST VOTES.

    20. JH, Ohio says:

      Spector is a true case of the danger of too much radiation

    21. Steve -- Fort Nyers, says:

      Does it really matter what party Spector is in? Both parties are traitors to the American people and what remains of a pillaged Constituition. Both parties are indebted to the deep pockets of lobbyists, special interests and corporate corruptors. Neither party is concerned with the future of the American people — so, who cares about Spector or any of the other 534 so called representaties of the people.

    22. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      What difference does Specter's defection make? Not one whit.

      The US is a socialist country, thanks to the Republicans and Democrats. The government has nationalized the American auto industry and has nationalized the banks. Others will follow- oil and gas will be extinct in a few years. There will be blackouts and brownouts, just like in many of the third world countries. President Obama will become General Chairman with portraits and statues all over the country.

      Memorial Day is fast approaching. Majority of Americans think of it as a three-day weekend and the start of summer. We have let down all those people that sacrificed so much to fight for our liberty. We are now economic slaves of the State.

      How about July 4th? It is another meaningless observance. The country our founders established with their lives and fortune is no more. Our Constitution is ignored and relegated to the basement in a socialist library.

      I don't think the nation will turn around. It is way past that point.

    23. Seven degrees, CA says:

      Good riddance to Spector-an embarrassment.

    24. yvonne Larned Kansas says:

      We have now experienced what is like to be under the complete control of the liberal Democrats.I for one not only don't like it but I am actually afriad of what is happening to America.

      The constitution seems to have become something to wipe their feet on,and a new more updated one is being written by the admistration.We are hearing about the Bush admistration being investigated and should be charged.Exactly what for I am not sure,but the shoe could also fit the new admistration. They are changing America to something that we won't reconize.Is that actually legal?I thought a President was to rule under the constitution,not rewrite it.

      No matter what the liberal left gets they are not satisfied,they want more.It is sad to see America so attacked from all places,the White House.People are elected to work for the very people that voted for them. Once they get in office they forget who they are working for and make a career for them selves,that benifits them.Not all politians are so selfcentered but we have a birds eye view of a bunch of them now.

      The next election is in 2010,I do hope America survies that long,that we don't turn in to a Europen clone.

    25. Steven D. Lange, St. says:

      If you are a Conservative or staunch Republican you can fight back against our lame GOP who quit listening to most of us long ago.

      Do not send your money to them. Not to the GOP. Not to the Senate Re-Election Committee. Not to Mrs. Elizabeth Dole, or any of these established groups who take our money and give it to weak knee-ed sisters passing themselves off as Conservatives or true Republicans. (Like Specter.)

      Send your money to local, new candidates who you have researched and want to support. Send your money directly to the person you are supporting and no one else. This is as grassroots as it gets.

      When the GOP realizes that they are not getting sufficient dollars to do anything, they will be forced to return to us or close up shop. Besides closing up shop and starting over again can't be any worse than the liberal NE Republican politicians that keep getting elected up there.

      Anyway, control where you send your money, and the rest will follow shortly thereafter.

    26. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      This is a Disgrace to Humanity!

    27. Pingback: Ridenbaugh Press/Northwest » Wyden, Specter and health

    28. Tom, LA says:

      Hardly anyone takes a real look at what drove Specter to do this.

      200,000 Pa GOPs switched to Democrat the last couple years; leaving GOP primary voters more Christian and right than ever before.

      Throughout the country, as the Republican Party shrinks in numbers…an absolute disaster in a democracy BTW… the moderates leave and the extremist Christian right…increases its suicidal grip on the GOP's political agenda. So it just gets worse for them every day.

      Specter said he did it for political survival because the Christian extremists were going to ride him out in the GOP primary. And they would have for sure. The winner of that primary, not Specter, gets crushed by the Democrat.

      Now he's the Democrat.

      And boy does he have power…for one Senator.

      It's interesting to note that John McCain…who once threatened to switch to Democrat…was outraged at Specter's decision.

      I could not be more pleased with events.

    29. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Spector is just a cry baby, he did not get his way and wants to throw a pity party. He was a socialist in "sheep's" clothing.Guess he will get his way now that he is in obamas hip pocket.

    30. Earl, Queens, NY says:

      Not long ago Arlen Spector was telling offensive jokes to Polish-Americans in an audience. Well, we can think of good RINO jokes, i.e., the 3 RINOs in the senate who voted for that worthless pork barrel stimulus bill. And now: “Did you hear about the RINO senator who constantly voted with Democrats? He just became a Democrat…..” Of course, it would be a pleasant miracle if we could add to it: “….and as a democrat constantly voted like a republican”. Not likely. Anyway, to all you RINOs and liberals, I am talking and writing this very slowly!!

    31. Pingback: The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room » The Foundry

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