According to Specter and a herd of commentators – many in The Inquirer’s pages – the senator’s switcheroo is proof of far more than Specter’s brute survival instinct; it’s proof that the Republican Party is narrow and rigid.
Keep spinning. The fact is that, prior to the stimulus vote, conservative former Rep. Pat Toomey was telling supporters that the chances he would challenge Specter in the 2010 Republican primary were 50-50 at best. The Senate’s most liberal Republican would have been the heavy favorite to win the nomination again.
So now we’re to understand that Specter has left the small-tent GOP for the broad-minded, tolerant Democratic Party? Alas, voting records tell a different story.
According to the American Conservative Union, in 2008, only two of the 51 Senate Democrats had conservative ratings above 25 percent. But 21 of the 49 Republican senators had conservative ratings of 75 percent or less. Furthermore, 12 Democrats had a conservative rating of zero, while an additional 25 scored under 10 percent. By contrast, only one Republican scored a perfect 100, and a scant seven others scored above 90 percent. (Note that Pennsylvania’s other “moderate” senator has a conservative rating of 8 percent.)
Which party has greater ideological diversity? Sorry, but the facts just don’t fit the media’s fantasy.
I spent 12 years in the Senate. It has one doctrinaire, narrow, intolerant caucus, and Specter just joined it.
The Democratic caucus is a reflection of the leftist special interests that control the Democrat Party. From 1994 to 2004, those interests supported liberal candidates who were too far out of the mainstream to win in competitive states and districts. They regained power in Pennsylvania and elsewhere because Democratic candidates ran as moderates or conservatives, and Republicans abandoned the principled positions that had helped them win.
The public can tell when it’s being conned, so it chose to throw out the party that had lost its way. The result: the most hard-left Congress in U.S. history (see previously mentioned ratings).
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