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April 28, 2010
Happy Anniversary Arlen Specter!
Happy Anniversary Arlen Specter! He has now been a card carrying member of the democrat party for a full year. One year ago today, after dusting off his old Democrat voter registration card from the 70's, Senator Arlen Specter took the term "career politician" to new levels when he declared he was switching from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party.
So what has this past year shown us in regards to his principles and his party affiliation? Let us look at his stances on three issues as both a Republican and now, Democrat.
Republican Specter was strongly against the Employee Free Choice act, also known as "card check", which would remove the secret ballot from union voting. Democrat Specter, within months of being against card check, changed his mind when it was deemed politically expedient to support this legislation knowing unions would endorse him as a result.
Health Care Reform
During last years press conference newly named Democrat Specter stated, "I will not automatically be an automatic 60th vote (for health care reform)." One would think this is true based off of his stance on the issue in 1994 when he was opposed to government run health care. Republican Specter stood on the floor of Congress with a giant chart of 111 different bureaucracies created by the health care reform bill of the time. Then he was against health care reform. Now after the passage of the health care reform bill we are now painfully aware that Democrat Specter changed his mind like he changed his party affiliation...in an instant. This is hypocrisy at its finest.
Defense of Marriage Act
Republican Specter supported the Defense of Marriage act. He opposed gay marriage but supported civil union. In October 2009, Democrat Specter stated that,
"The time has come to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Enacted 13 years ago when the idea of same sex marriage was struggling for acceptance, the Act is a relic of a more tradition-bound time and culture."
Now it is Senator Specter's year for reelection or forced retirement. Which will it be? I contend that Senator Specter in fact has "awakened a sleeping giant" in and of himself.He stated last year,
"I was unwilling to subject my 29-year record in the United States Senate to the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate, but I am pleased to run in the primary on the Democratic ticket."
But this year it will be up to Democrats first if they want someone who's principles truly reflect their own or if they want a career politician who has been in office most of this author's life. Then, if Senator Specter makes it to November his record will be subject to the Republican Party whether he likes it or not.
Katy Abram is the Arlen Specter town hall attendee who told him he has "awakened a sleeping giant." She can be followed at twitter/katyabram.com and www.katyabram.com.