Benedict Arlen

Today, Republican senator Arlen Specter is going to announce that he is switching parties. No joke, folks, he’s moving to the Democrat party. After 29 years as a Pennsylvania Republican (and millions upon millions of dollars in contributions) he’s turning his back on his constituents. The people who worked to keep him in office on November 4 are about to get a big slap in the face. Just one month ago, however, THIS was Arlen’s tune:

I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there. The United States very desperately needs a two-party system. That’s the basis of politics in America. I’m afraid we are becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party with so little representation of the northeast or in the middle atlantic. I think as a governmental matter, it is very important to have a check and balance. That’s a very important principle in the operation of our government. In the constitution on Separation of powers.

So what’s his excuse? I mean, we all know his voting record was growing more and more liberal, but it was also remarkably unpopular with his constituents. He was soundly thrashed for voting yes on Obama’s stimulus plan. What could possibly have turned him? I’m not sure I’m all that upset that he actually switched over, but to do it just a month after swearing up and down that he wouldn’t…wow. I can only imagine how much money was involved in this. What’s worse is that Arlen’s move takes the Democrats one vote closer to being filibuster-proof in the Senate, and as soon as Al Franken is seated, they’ll have all they need. So much for bipartisanship. I promise you that just went out the window.

Benedict Arnold at least had a reason to turn traitor during the Revolutionary War. All of his hard work as a commander was undermined by power-hungry generals, and his glory and potential promotions were stolen by men who had little good in mind for others. As a combat commander Arnold was a genius. Even if his traitorous actions are to be damned, at least today we can look back and realize what caused it. There’s no valid reason for Arlen Specter to do what he’s done. When asked what he had to say to his constituents, this was his chickenshit answer: “I don’t have to say anything to them. They said it to me.”

They sure did. They raised nearly six million dollars for your campaign and voted you back into office. Let’s see how far you get in 2010.