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May 4, 2009

I Told You So: An Open Letter to the Republican Establishment


Dear Republican establishment,


I told you so. I told you there is nothing inherently good about blindly supporting politicians simply because they call themselves “Republicans.”


You supported Jim Jeffords. Then he left the Republican Party, giving the Democrats a Senate majority. You sacrificed the likes of George Allen to champion Lincoln Chafee. He called himself a Republican long enough to milk you for your money and support, then he left the Republican Party when he didn’t need you anymore.


In 2004, you, from President Bush, to Rick Santorum, to many members of Congress, lifted Arlen Specter to a razor-thin victory over Pat Toomey in a heated Pennsylvania primary. In the last five years, Specter has continued to be a Democrat in everything but his label, yet you were about to support him once again because you oddly find it your job not to save Republican values, but to save Republican politicians regardless of their values.


But this time around Specter was smarter than that. Although he desperately tried to eliminate his Republican competition with false attacks, and although, as of a few weeks ago, he assertively maintained that he would not leave the GOP, he finally realized that even though he had the support of the Republican establishment, he did not have the support of Republican voters.


So, Arlen Specter, the same man who in 2001 fervently condemned Jim Jeffords for defecting and passionately advocated a rule preventing such party-switching, has now switched to the Democratic Party.


No, his ideology has not changed in the past few weeks. And it is most certain that the Republican Party has not moved to the right – if anything it has increasingly embraced the big government attitude espoused by Specter and the Democrats.


The only thing that has changed is that Specter now is unlikely to survive the Republican primary to return to his seat in 2010. Not even making Specter himself the organizational leader and ideological model of the GOP would have superseded his primary concern of electability. And electability, as I have always known, and now you hopefully know as well, is all the likes of Specter care about, and is the only reason Specter has stuck with the GOP thus far. Somewhere, Lincoln Chafee is kicking himself for not being as politically savvy and running to the Democratic Party when it still could have saved him.


Now, I am not upset by Specter’s switch. He’s come home to where he belongs. And besides, he has always voted as a Democrat. How you allowed his mere label to blind you from this fact is beyond me, but it has been enough for me to divert my money from you to organizations that support conservative principles and candidates. You see, if your shallow electoral strategy was left unchecked, every congressional Democrat would call himself a Republican and ensure that he would never again be challenged from the right, nor ever beaten from the left.


But perhaps this could be the beginning of a great new friendship between the Republican establishment and Republican values – how distant they have been. I truly hope you take the opportunity to learn something. But I can’t say I’m optimistic.




Paul Ibrahim

© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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