Thursday, April 30, 2009

Farewell to Arlen Specter

Senator Arlen Specter has exited, stage left, from the Republican Party. The truth is, he has long been a Republican in name only for decades. Having begun his tenure in the Senate in 1981 as one noted for his independence, he has evolved into a very serious Liberal. One could argue that Democrats like Bill Nelson of Florida and Evan Bayh of Indiana were as conservative as him.
In spite of this, he had his moments that were beneficial to conservatives. One could argue that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (certainly one of the most conservative jurists on the Supreme Court) would not be if it were not for Specter championing him in a very grueling confirmation process. In fact, the bulk of the help conservatives have gotten from Specter has been in the appointment arena, but then again he has helped many Liberals get into their various offices as well.Spectorbelieves that the President should have discretion to make appointments. His help to conservatives in the appointment area is philosophical, but not in the way those on the right desire.

The final straw for conservatives when it came to Specter may have happened in January of this year when the Senator voted for the President’s far reaching “bailout” that dramatically increased the size of the government’s budget and scope of its power, but the electoral problems facing the Senator go much further back. In 2004 conservative Congressman Pat Toomey won 49 percent of the vote, on a much smaller budget, in the Republican Primary. This came with Spector getting substantial support from President George Bush and Sen. Rick Santorum (himself almost as conservative as Toomey). Spectoer knew it wasn’t looking promising in the future. When Specter sided with the Democrats on Obama’s package (one of only three members in either House of Congress to do so), Toomey couldn’t wait to go after Specter again. He immediately resigned his position from the Free Market think tank, Club for Growth to get ready to run again.

There was no way Specter would survive another Republican challenge in 2010. There have been rumors that Specter was changing parties for years, he formally made that decision when he casted his vote in January for the President’s package.

Those Republicans who are moderate or lean to the left will cry “the sky is falling” with the departure of Specter. The most common concern will be the end of the GOP’s ability to filibuster. Anyone of either party can filibuster and it will require 60 votes to bring it to a stop. Spector’s failure to support a filibuster in January is among the reasons the bill passed. For most conservatives, Specter’s departure is a victory in restoring the GOP into a party that means something. It is a first step towards becoming a party that stands for traditional values, free enterprise, and limited government. This is a first step in the Republican Party’s own road to recovery.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on CNN 650 (M-F at 11 am), AOL Radio, and CBS Radio. Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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