Whereas Specter, who is, really, not as moderate as he portrays himself and has regularly voted for crap like the Military Commissions Act, warrant-less wiretapping, etc. in recent years had a chance to win the general election because people believe he's, deep inside, a moderate. Even though, Specter (for all his bloviating) has been on the wrong side of virtually every important piece of rights-destroying, inhumane-banana-republic legislation that has come down the pipe for years.
But that's not good enough for the wing-nuts:
Battered Republican SyndromeSpecter is right. The Republicans are caught in a positive feedback death-spiral right now. As they keep kicking out their moderate members, they shrink their base. I've made no secret I got tired of the Republicans and their idiotic culture war in the 1990's. The last hurrah for them was when I was for McCain before he went crazy and betrayed his previously (not so) held principles. When Bush won the primary, I voted for Nader in the general election.
I don’t know what’s wrong with people like Ramesh Ponnuru and Lindsey Graham. Over at the National Review, Ponnuru blamed the Club for pushing Specter to the Democratic Party, calling us, “The Club for Shrinkage.” Senator Graham lamented Specter’s switch-a-roo, saying, “I don’t want to be a member of the Club for Growth. I want to be a member of a vibrant national Republican Party that can attract people from all corners of the country.”
But an ideologue like Mr. Roth doesn't get it. He doesn't get that Specter (and his kind) could, once again, be tolerable to main-stream America if he cleaned up his civil rights issues, especially those connected to Constitutional issues vis' this idiotic "War on Terror" crap that the Republicans abused during the Bush years. I would also expect him to me more mature on the role of government and stay away from the Norquist-type policies endorsed by the Club for Growth.
But the only person to blame for Arlen Specter’s defection is...Arlen Specter. Today, the senior senator from Pennsylvania proved that he cares about one thing and one thing only: Holding on to his thirty years of political power, no matter who he has to step on or what principles he has to trample on along the way. And yet, this is the kind of politician Ramesh Ponnuru and Sen. Graham think will help the Republican Party rebuild itself? This is the kind of “Republican” that will help the GOP regain the voters’ trust?No. If you wouldn't have gone hell-bent-for-leather to kick him out of office, you'd have a lap-dog that'd vote your way 90% of the time. Now you have an enemy that will, if he has any brains, will not...
If you didn't learn the lesson from Tedisco, people don't like Republicans so much anymore. And it's because they are candidates for people like you. In a district with 70,000 more Republicans than Democrats, you lost, because potentially sympathetic people like me don't like your whack-nut candidates. And, yes, your base of intolerant religious freaks and selfish anti-government/tax ideologues will vote for them. As will traditional "lever puller" Republicans. But that's not enough. Not any more.
If anything, Arlen Specter is the epitome of everything voters have come to hate about the Republican Party—the desperate grasping for power and the complete rejection of the principles the Party claims to stand for.Republican principles? What the hell are those anymore?
Isolationism? Fuck, you're trying to empire and it will break us.
Less government? Not from you. Unless you mean sabotaging the legitimate role of government, then yes. You have destroyed/substantially impaired the ability of government to function while taking the money and giving it to corporate interests for boondoggles.
Social conservatism? It used to mean "butt-out of people's personal lives." Now it means regulate every aspect of people's lives, including their sex acts.
Family values? You're way out of touch here. Destroying the middle classes ability to earn a decent living and get ahead is hardly supporting family values.
More trade? What you mean is "no tariffs so we can ship your job overseas and when we import these low-labor-cost goods we don't lower the price, but pocket the difference in labor costs so WE get richer and YOU suffer." Because that's what you're doing. That's why executive pay is now 350+ times worker pay in America, instead of 35+ times like it was in the 1960's.
These folks are buying into Arlen Specter’s argument that the Republican Party would be better off with Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, Rep. Joe Schwarz, and Sen. Lincoln Chafee instead of losing these so-called Republicans to more conservative primary challengers. Well, let’s take a look at these politicians. Sen. Lincoln Chafee is now an Independent who endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Reps. Schwarz and Gilchrest both endorsed the Democratic candidates looking to take over their seats. And all three of these politicians spent months telling primary voters that they were genuine and committed Republicans.They were. But they were moderate Republicans. Not all Republicans, though they're harder to find these days, are hateful monsters such as you've become. Plus, with those kind of people in your party, you have a better ability to trick people into thinking you're still "big tent" and you leave wiggle room for moderates to kid themselves. Without them, you're the party of David Duke, Dick Cheney and people of that ilk.
So instead of blaming the Club or principled folks like Pat Toomey, perhaps, Senator Graham and Ramesh Ponnuru should pin the blame on the politicians who care more about their political careers than the people they are supposed to be representing.You're supposed to represent ALL Americans. Not just some special interest Americans (your wing-nut base) which is not what you've been doing. Really, what pan-US principles would the current Republican party be representing? Trashing the Constitution? Excusing torture? Destroying the legitimate role of Government? Running government for the rich to enrich the rich? Spending billions on unnecessary, bullshit weapon systems that don't/can't work to enrich defense contractors? Because that's what you've done.
Arlen Specter argued today in his defection announcement that the GOP has strayed too far to the right since the days of the “Reagan Big Tent.” But if there was anyone who understood the importance of standing up for principle, it was Ronald Reagan who declared in 1976:Reagan had core principles. But, more than that, Reagan sold a story and people bought it.
“A political party cannot be all things to all people. It cannot compromise its fundamental beliefs for political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers. It is not a social club or fraternity engaged in intramural contests to accumulate trophies on the mantel over the fireplace...No one can quarrel with the idea that a political party hopes it can attract a wide following, but does it do this by forsaking its basic beliefs? By blurring its own image so as to be indistinguishable from the opposition party?”
But, beyond that, Reagan was very, very good at working with Democrats and 'compromising' his principles, on many issues, to reach a common ground with moderates.You'd know that if you didn't worship a caricature of the Myth of Reagan.
Some commentators suffer from "Battered Republican Syndrome" -- they cling to liberals like Specter hoping some day the betrayals will stop. Get over it. If the Republicans are going to prosper as a political party, they must offer a consistent conservative alternative.The only "Battered Republican Syndrome" I see is your faint, bleating protests. You're like Pee Wee Herman, "I meant to do that..."