The MSM continues to spin the Specter defection & too many supposedly smart people continue to believe them.
Once again, the problem with the Republican party is not that it has become or is becoming too right-wing, too conservative, too rigid, too doctrinaire, and therefore unpalatable to most Americans. The solution to what ails Republicans is not to become more liberal.
Some interesting info from former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's latest column highlights all of this:
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.(emphasis added)
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).
Sorry, Republican-nay-sayers, the facts do not fit your narrative. Republicans did not get tossed out on their ears because they were too conservative or too rigidly right-wing. The fact that Republicans aren't the majority party is not because they supposedly became hostile to moderates & centrists.
The Republican party is far more centrist & moderate in its makeup than the Democrat party. This isn't even debatable. The Republican party is home to more diversity of opinion on all of the controversial questions that divide Americans.
For every pro-life Democrat, I'll find you two pro-choice Republicans. For every traditional marriage Democrat, I'll find you two gay marriage Republicans. For every hawkish Democrat, I'll find you two dovish Republicans. I could do this all day.
I don't point this out as a badge of honor. Sure, I like the healthy debate in the Republican party, but I wish the conservative viewpoint on any given issue would win out more consistently. I think Republicans would still be a majority party if they were more consistently conservative.
I only do this to point out that all the things of which pundits accuse Republicans & blame for their downfall--of all these things, the Democrats are guilty.
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