The Specter betrayal in Pennsylvania

Pat Toomey:

Sen. Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic Party has implications on a personal and national scale.

For Pennsylvanians, who must decide who will represent us in the U.S. Senate next year, the stakes are personal. A central question will be whether Mr. Specter can be trusted on anything.

In recent weeks, Mr. Specter has made numerous statements about how important it is to deny Democrats the 60th seat in the U.S. Senate and how he intended to remain a Republican to prevent one-party dominance in Washington. What Pennsylvanians have to ask themselves now is whether Mr. Specter is, in fact, devoted to any principle other than his own re-election.

On that question, there is much evidence. Mr. Specter began his political career as a Democrat, switched to the Republican side out of political convenience and has switched back for the same reason. On issue after issue, he has changed his position over the years to benefit his political calculations.

The most recent example is card check, which denies workers a secret ballot in labor-union elections. First Mr. Specter supported it, then he opposed it when faced with Republican primary opposition, and now, who knows? That's something Pennsylvania Democrats will have to contend with. Do they really want to nominate someone who will switch his principles on a dime?

If Mr. Specter's political expediency were only a personal matter, it would hardly be worth noting. However, the national implications are more serious. By switching parties, Mr. Specter guarantees the very thing he has vocally warned against: a one-party Democratic monopoly of the federal government.

...

Toomey makes his case for his run against Specter next year. At this point his win would be an upset, but it is one that we should all support.

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