Only three weeks ago, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and articulated a number of reasons why it was important for him to remain a Republican:
“We need a second party. Look here, our country is built on checks and balances. The only check and balance in America today are the 41 Republican Senators who can talk and filibuster, otherwise, the White House, the House of Representatives be a streamroller. . . . . I was able to stem the tide against card check, to eliminate the secret ballot, if there’s a Democrat in my place, then they’ll have anything they want. It will be a bulldozer.”
While I do not necessarily see Spector’s change of party as a bad thing in that it now provides a degree of accountability for both parties, it is interesting to see just how flexible his principles are. More to the point, it puts the lie to Spector’s past assertions about his various reasons for voting against his party. Spector’s voting record in the Senate has never been about principle or policy. It’s always been about his own re-election chances. His change of party is just one more flip-flop in aid of his own ambition.
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