Gingrich sees silver lining in Specter defection

Newt Gingrich, writing in the Washington Post's "Topic A," sees Arlen Specter's party switch in exactly the right light, I think:

Arlen Specter's decision to leave the Republican Party in name as he left it in spirit over the stimulus vote is further proof that high taxes, big spending and big government are unacceptable to Republican voters.

This switch is a function of personal survival and will make clearer the profound difference between the Democratic Party of big government, big bureaucracy, high taxes and big unions and the Republican Party of lower taxes, less bureaucracy and small business, with its emphasis on the work ethic, civil society and local control back home.

When congressional Republicans forgot that their party was the party of taxpayers and government reformers, they lost control in 2006. When they accepted the Bush big-spending plans of 2008, they further lost ground.

When Sen. Specter voted for a $787 billion big-spending bill no elected official had even read, he widened the gap between himself and the tax-paying small-government conservatives who are the base of the Republican Party.

The former speaker believes that the elections of 2010 and 2012 will now offer "an even clearer choice" of what direction the country should take.

I think Specter's defection was a special case - a senator who wasn't even a nominal Republican, who used conservatives only around election time, and who badmouthed the very people who made his victories possible.

Liberal Jonathan Chait writing at the New Republic had it right also. He calls Specter an "Unprincipled Hack." And liberal websites are also full of condemnations.

The 79 year old senator may have saved his career but I doubt he will feel welcome on the other side of the aisle. Traitors usually aren't.




Newt Gingrich, writing in the Washington Post's "Topic A," sees Arlen Specter's party switch in exactly the right light, I think:

Arlen Specter's decision to leave the Republican Party in name as he left it in spirit over the stimulus vote is further proof that high taxes, big spending and big government are unacceptable to Republican voters.

This switch is a function of personal survival and will make clearer the profound difference between the Democratic Party of big government, big bureaucracy, high taxes and big unions and the Republican Party of lower taxes, less bureaucracy and small business, with its emphasis on the work ethic, civil society and local control back home.

When congressional Republicans forgot that their party was the party of taxpayers and government reformers, they lost control in 2006. When they accepted the Bush big-spending plans of 2008, they further lost ground.

When Sen. Specter voted for a $787 billion big-spending bill no elected official had even read, he widened the gap between himself and the tax-paying small-government conservatives who are the base of the Republican Party.

The former speaker believes that the elections of 2010 and 2012 will now offer "an even clearer choice" of what direction the country should take.

I think Specter's defection was a special case - a senator who wasn't even a nominal Republican, who used conservatives only around election time, and who badmouthed the very people who made his victories possible.

Liberal Jonathan Chait writing at the New Republic had it right also. He calls Specter an "Unprincipled Hack." And liberal websites are also full of condemnations.

The 79 year old senator may have saved his career but I doubt he will feel welcome on the other side of the aisle. Traitors usually aren't.